The inglorious TV election drama has finally ended. In Left Coast San Francisco, a post-election pall of fog hangs over our city, much like the hanging chads of 2000.
We finally have a president-elect, but he might not be the one you wanted. Now what? A basic rule of etiquette is to never discuss politics or religion at social events, and this election proved why: polls showed that 48 percent of the voters felt disenfranchised by both candidates. It's no wonder that post-election rhetoric remains strong.
On November 8, it was the people's choice, and the people chose Donald Trump. It was the biggest political upset in history, and it's been hard for many to come to grips with the outcome. But many voters clearly wanted a change, and Trump was the change candidate.
As one proud immigrant recently shared with me: "America is so prosperous. Through every election cycle we go through a mini cleansing. 2016 is no different, but we must unite for the good of the country."
The next time you come across a friend or colleague who disagrees with you politically, agree to disagree, or try these comebacks, whether you consider yourself a conservative or a liberal:
• I'm so depressed that my candidate did not win. This was a long and tough election. I'm taking my cue from President Obama. We must move forward.
• President-elect Trump is a racist. Political campaigns can turn ugly--fast. I'm just glad it's over. Looks like Alec Baldwin may be on Saturday Night Live for four more years.
• Exit polls showed a Clinton victory. How did this happen? Everyone makes mistakes, and this year every major news organization got it wrong.
• Hillary Clinton has no one but herself to blame for the email scandal. After service as a U.S. senator and secretary of state, she deserves a rest.
At the age of thirteen, George Washington penned a book on civility. Two of his rules are my favorites: No. 49: "Use no reproachful language against anyone," and No. 59: "Never express anything unbecoming."
Like most of America, I have been glued to news and social media channels. But no message seemed more profound to me than this one on Instagram:
"Some of the most incredible people I know voted for Donald Trump, and some of the most incredible people I know voted for Hillary Clinton. The people that I know that voted for Trump are not racist, misogynistic, or hateful, and the people that voted for Hillary Clinton are not hateful and intolerable. If you are someone that woke up this morning and is going to start seeing people as who they voted for, and not as the person you have always known them to be, then you are what is wrong with America. I will never think any less of a person who has different views than me, because some of the most beautiful, inspirational people I know will disagree with what I believe with all day long, but at the end of the day they are still that beautiful inspirational person I have always known them as. Don't think less of people because some of their beliefs don't align with yours, and don't lose quality people in your life because you choose hate over love."
As my cousin recently messaged a friend on Facebook, "You and I are proof that love can exist in the midst of difference."
Choose tolerance, not hate.
Lisa Mirza Grotts is a certified etiquette expert and the author of A Traveler's Passport to Etiquette. She is a former director of protocol for the City and County of San Francisco and the founder of The AML Group (www.LisaGrotts.com). Her clients range from Stanford Hospital to Cornell University, Microsoft, Nordstrom, and KPMG. She has been quoted by Dear Abby, The New York Times, InStyle magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Times. She has appeared on various radio and television stations, including ABC, CBS, and Fox News. To learn more about Lisa, follow her on www.Twitter.com/LisaGrotts and www.Facebook.com/LisaGrotts.