There are lots of extremely distraught people in America today. Maybe traumatized is a better word. They are upset that Donald Trump was elected President. I know that because I’ve been watching them curse, scream, cry, rant and rave all over the news and my Twitter feed for more than a week now.
I have a message for all those people: Grow the f*** up. This is America, and we have a process called democracy. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s been around a lot longer than you and this is how it works: We campaign, we vote, and when it’s over, we get over it and work together to make this world a better place.
What we don’t do, because it doesn’t work, is this:
In cities across America, protestors chanting “not my president” are burning flags, defacing buildings, blocking highways, setting fires, and burning Trump in effigy amid calls for revolution and violence. Many of the protests were reportedly organized by left-leaning MoveOn.org.
Meanwhile, tech elites took to Twitter to thump their chests and denigrate the roughly 60 million Americans that supported Trump.
M.G. Siegler of Google Ventures tweeted “We’re f—ed. Not because of Trump necessarily. But the people who elected him.” Zynga chairman Mark Pincus compared our president elect to Hitler. Hyperloop One’s Shervin Pishevar plans to fund a campaign for California to secede. And blogger Anil Dash wrote, “I am not afraid of that motherf—er.”
But the award for childish, unprofessional behavior goes to 500 Startups founder Dave McClure, who had a complete meltdown on stage at a tech conference in Lisbon. After dropping F-bombs for a full minute and making everyone on stage feel pretty darn uncomfortable, he called Trump an a–hole and shouted, “This s–t will not stand!”
— Adrian Weckler (@adrianweckler) November 9, 2016
Well, I’ve got news for McClure, the Silicon Valley elites, and all the whiny children who think that hurling expletives, stomping their feet, and throwing temper tantrums will change reality: This will stand. Trump is your president. And if you’re not with him, you’re against Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and a who’s who of great CEOs.
President Obama and Clinton have both emphatically said that all American’s must unite behind Trump to help make him successful and heal our divided nation. When Obama and Trump met at the White House last week, a planned 15-minute meeting turned into an hour and a half. Maybe that was just for show … or maybe they had more in common than they realized, once they opened their minds to each other.
Meanwhile, Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff – a staunch liberal – tweeted “Congratulations, President Trump. This is what makes America Great–our democracy. Now it’s time for us to come together as one country.”
No fan of Trump, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tweeted, “I for one give him my most open mind and wish him great success in his service to the country.”
And, in an email to employees, Apple CEO Tim Cook, who actively supported Clinton, wrote, “Regardless of which candidate each of us supported as individuals, the only way to move forward is to move forward together,” he wrote, “We only do great work and improve the world by moving forward.”
Too many talk about diversity and inclusion without understanding what it really means. It’s not just about race, gender, and sexuality. It’s also about embracing diverse viewpoints and including those who disagree with you in the conversation. It’s about having an open mind instead of kicking and screaming when things don’t go your way.
You know what I call people who talk about diversity and inclusion but are so narrow-minded that they’re not even willing to give someone who challenges their limited worldview the time of day? I call them hypocrites. Sadly, those people are usually so myopic, they can’t even see their own hypocrisy.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that everyone should just fall in line and march like good soldiers without a dissenting thought in their heads. After all, protest is American. But so is questioning the status quo, and that’s exactly what Trump is trying to do. That’s what his campaign was all about.
Look. Nobody knows if Trump will make a great or a lousy president. But if you want to change things for the better, you have to roll the dice. You have to take risks. And that means being tough, embracing new ideas, having a little faith in humanity, and giving others who think differently a chance to prove themselves. That’s all I’m saying.
Image credit Alice Carrier via Flickr
Portions of this post originally appeared on entrepreneur.com