Surviving the Post-Election Fallout

How have things been in your world for the last week?

Do you still have all your friends?

Over here, in the wake of the election, I seem to be doing my best to alienate plenty of people. It hasn’t been on purpose, and I’m not super happy about it either. But trying to figure out the best way to navigate social media post-election has been hard. Sharing feelings and discussing fears online seems to lead to eye rolling from some and outright hostility from others.

This is the third time in a row I’ve been on the losing side of a presidential election. However, it feels different this year. After the two previous elections, I don’t remember the winners ever being quite so angry or the losers quite so distraught. Maybe it’s because I’m on Twitter this year, and Twitter seems to be ground zero for bad behavior.

On Opposites Sides of a Canyon

While it may be a convenient scapegoat, I don’t think I can blame social media entirely for the post-election fallout many of us might be experiencing. No, I think it’s because never before have we been quite so divided in how we see the world.

It’s like we’re standing on the opposites of a canyon. Not only can we not hear what the other side is saying, we can’t even see where they stand. When I think about where my beliefs diverge from many of my friends, the difference in stark.

  • I see the election results as a sign the nation has turned away from God.
  • They see the election results as a sign God answers prayers.


  • I believe Donald Trump is a danger to democracy.
  • They believe Donald Trump is a sign democracy works.


  • I can’t understand why anyone would believe a word Donald Trump says.
  • They can’t understand why I can’t give Donald Trump a chance.


  • My perspective: never has a man been so obviously unfit to be president.
  • Their perspective: never has a man been so obviously right for the presidency.


That’s a huge chasm for us to cross! How do we even begin to find common ground?

Struggling to Find the Right Response After the Election

Here’s the thing. The people I find myself disagreeing with aren’t simply personalities and pundits on TV or radio. They are people right here in front of me – friends I love, acquaintances I respect.

I don’t want to lose my relationships with these people. I want to continue to love and respect them, and just as importantly, I want them to continue to love and respect me. And quite frankly, they’re not going to do that if I insist on always pointing out where I think they are wrong and I am right.

After a lot of soul searching over the weekend, I found myself coming back to these points time and time again:

  • I need to remember that I can’t change anyone but myself.
  • I need to remember that even though I disagree with my friends, we all have a common goal. We all love our country and want what’s best for it. No one voted for Donald Trump thinking he would be the end of democracy.
  • I need to remember that we are all doing the best we can with the information we have.

I can’t change how my friends feel about the election and really it doesn’t matter at this point anyway. What’s done is done. Either we get four years of economic prosperity or four years of recession. Four years of peacetime or four years of war. Those things are out of my hands at this point so there’s really no use in railing against someone’s past decisions.

However, here’s where I still struggle:

My moral code – probably thanks to years of Catholic social justice teaching – compels me to point out injustice when I see it. I see a lot of injustice surrounding our president-elect and the behaviors of some of his supporters. So when is it productive to point out those things and when is it beating a dead horse?

Some of my friends would probably say I’m beating a dead horse right now, but I haven’t quite figured out where that line is myself. If you’re one of those friends reading this, I hope you’ll bear with me while I figure it out.

Do you have friends standing on the other side of the canyon? How are you trying to find common ground?

(photo credit)

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    1. I, too, have found it difficult to discuss anything political during this election, as well as after Trump was announced President. I have deep feelings toward the outcome, and pray, pray, pray that our Nation will survive and flourish, as it needs to, with the new President.

      I have spent considerable amounts of time trying to discover within myself why I feel so adamantly about my choice, and why others feel so diametrically opposed to my viewpoint. I have finally resolved that perhaps one of the reasons for such divergence is that, for me, I feel there could have been a better choice, and because there wasn’t, I cling to the beliefs that I have. In that same vein, there are other people that feel like I do, but chose another candidate. We’re all praying (and desperately hoping) that the new President and his ultimate cabinet will make wise choices for all of us, and further bolster our economy, take care of our elderly and our nation’s financially, physically or mentally challenged. Those two are big issues for me.

      All I want is for this Nation is to flourish in all the ways that matter. If this President can make it happen, then I will stand behind him 100%. I cannot change what has already happened, but I can support him to make our country strong and safe. I truly hope that my friends and loved ones will understand, whatever their viewpoint, that we will all have to stand strong together in the aftermath.

      1. Thank you for sharing this Lisa. Very well said!

    1. I agree 100%! It is difficult to look to your friend or loved one and not be able to understand the choices they are making. How can one set aside their morals to support such a candidate?! I don’t get it. I understand the need for change, but at what cost? I also agree that now the deed is done, that we should come together as active citizens and do our part to move forward in a positive direction. It hurts, though, to lose respect for those you once held in high regard because of their political choices.

      1. Yes, this sums up my thoughts exactly. I suppose one positive is that I have now culled the list of politicians and pundits I’ll support in the future. I am utterly embarrassed to say that when I was in college, I thought Ann Coulter was the bomb. Not sure if she changed or I did, but her tweets this year seemed to highlight the worst of politics!

    1. I am following the lead of President Obama and Hillary Clinton after the election. I am disappointed, but I root for the success of President Elect Trump in his endeavors as President, because we are all in this together. I also think this is a reminder to get out there and volunteer to help others in whatever capacity you can. We all are America!

      1. I think this is where I need to get to also. Not quite there yet, but I’m trying.

    1. Maryalene-
      I too am a graduate of Catholic schools and suprisingly enough when you said, “My moral code – probably thanks to years of Catholic social justice teaching – compels me to point out injustice when I see it.” I said to myself “yes that’s me too.” In addition, I am a 60yo second generation Mexican American female. The only difference is that I voted for Mr. Trump, so I’m on the other side of the canyon. I do hear you though, but I don’t understand, just as friends on FB are asking the same questions and getting very upset.

      I did not make my choice on the two people running as I was not convinced that either one was a proper choice, so I dug deeper. I looked at their families, their vice-presidential picks and the people that surrounded them.

      I am a Christian/Catholic first so when I saw Tim Kaine, a Catholic say in the debate that he believed in a woman’s choice on late-term abortion, that was my deciding point. For me it is very simple-the issue of life-it starts there and ends there.

      I don’t consider ourselves winners and losers, which to me connotates a game of some sort. I think Karin’s comment above sums it up for me, “We all are America”. Thank you for a very considerate and open forum of ideas.

      1. Tim Kaine’s stand on abortion is so very disappointing. What’s up with all the Catholic politicians who don’t follow Church teaching??

        Many of my friends said they voted for Trump because he promised pro-life Supreme Court justices. Given his history of being pro-choice, I’m not entirely sure I believe him, but I’m hoping he’ll prove me wrong.

        I really couldn’t stomach voting for Clinton either given her pro-choice views so I voted for Evan McMullin. I knew it was a long-shot, but I was hoping he might just pull it off in Utah and push the election to the House of Representatives.

        I love your last paragraph. Skipping the idea of winners and losers is definitely something to aspire for! Thank you for sharing your perspective Mary. 🙂

        1. Just a note…I think of pro-life as ALL life. Babies, kids, adults, and elderly, all of them. It disappoints me when people after the birth and into the end of life that is not the case with many pro-lifers. Again, it’s my opinion there is no assisted any end of life (even death penalty). Support all life and quality of it. That is why I cannot be a one-issue constituent.

          1. That’s true Katie — all of that is wrapped up in being pro-life.

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