Have you recently posted, retweeted, shared or commented on a social post about something happening in Washington, only to get a comment back, frequently in all caps with exclamation marks that says: “YOU LOST!!! GET OVER IT!!!”

Or, perhaps the comment is a bit more polite but says something to the effect of: “I accepted the outcome of the last election even though I didn’t support that president. Why can’t you stop protesting and just accept the results?”

Wondering how to respond without starting a social media war?  Start by agreeing: “Yes, Trump won the election.” Then, if the shoe fits, try one of these response suggestions:

Response Idea 1: Citizenship is about more than voting. It’s about everyday involvement and action. The protest/post/comment is to foster continued action.

Response Idea 2: My original post/comment has nothing to do with the election. It has to Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 3.02.51 PM.pngdo with current proposed policies that I don’t agree with.  I want to make sure The President and Congress hear that there are alternatives for saving money/cutting the deficit/growing the military.

Response Idea 3: My post/comment has nothing to do with the President. My comment is for my elected Congressperson or Senator who has to vote on the issue(s).  I want my duly elected representative to know how I want to be represented.

Response Idea 4 (Similar to 3 above): My comment has to do with the fact that my Representative or Senator is coming up for re-election (or has just been elected) and I want him/her to know that I expect them to represent me, or I will not be voting to put him/her back in office next time.

Response Idea 5 (likely the most incendiary): I agree that the campaign is over. It seems, however, that the President doesn’t realize it. Did you see his last two speeches, which he called campaign rallies, in Nashville, TN and Melbourne, FL?  Let’s both send posts and postcards to the White House to ask the President to get off the campaign trail himself. It seems he still feels he’s running for office.

Response Idea 6 (also more aggressive in tone): I know you might find this hard to believe, but I’m actually glad he won. Did you see his recent speeches, which he called campaign rallies himself, where he was still railing about Hillary? Had she been elected, I believe he still would have done those same rallies, and would not have let the election drop as she has done.

Response Idea 7: You and I can agree the election’s over, but Trump is the one 8 years ago who wouldn’t stop going after Obama after the 2008 election. Remember the whole birth certificate thing? It’s true that what goes around comes around, and now that he’s on the other side of the fence, doesn’t like to be questioned, but it’s exactly what he did, and I believe would have done again, had he lost.

Check out one recent Twitter exchange  above we had at Little Hinges after a post on Conscious Capitalism.  The reader only saw the word “vote” and reacted with the classic all caps and exclamation point response: YOU lost!! GET OVER IT!!!  The content was about boycotts and the new buycotts, and voting with your wallet not your ballot. We’re happy to report that capitalism and consumerism are far from dead.

Many of us believe that conversation and healthy debates, although becoming lost arts, are arts that should be also rediscovered.  Even Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, after disagreeing with both his predecessors George Washington and John Adams on many issues, said in his inaugural address: “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.”

We all need to remember and remind our network of friends, family and colleagues that a free exchange of ideas is a basic democratic principle. Without it, every day and not just on election days, we run the risk of losing what really does make America great.