From one millennial to another: If you can't salute the man, salute the rank
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“You salute the rank, not the man.”

These words were spoken by U.S. Army Major Richard Winters of the famed Easy Company “Band of Brothers” to Capt. Herbert Sobel during the Allied forces post-surrender occupation of Germany.


The insecure, often incompetent Sobel had once been Winters’s commander, but had seen his cadet overtake him. Winters spoke these words to Sobel in passing when Sobel refused to salute him.

In many ways, it feels like our nation has just been through a war. It was a grueling two years of increasingly venomous campaigning on both sides, but now the people have spoken. Now it is time to, at the very least, salute the rank or office, if not the man.

During the last week, however, many young Americans have made it clear that they are unwilling to accept the results of the election. The shrill whining, crying, and complaining of millennials who claim to be “disturbed and afraid” by President-elect Donald J. Trump has been inescapable.

Social media is inundated with long winded millennial rants, shaming the country for electing a “bigoted white supremacist” to office. And one can’t drive around many of the nation’s largest cities without mobs of young anti-Trump protesters blocking traffic on the streets, sometimes for hours. 

On college campuses the post-election hysteria has been just as bad. Professors at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and Yale University delayed or canceled exams to help students get through this “tumultuous time.”

Students at the University of Connecticut were allowed to skip class to deal with the traumatization of a Trump presidency. Cornell University held a “cry-in,” and numerous other campuses offered counseling services.  

Millennials, who have been coddled since birth by their "helicopter" baby boomer parents, have little tolerance for anything that makes them feel “uncomfortable.” They are also used to getting their way.

It’s gotten to the point where these young people are unable tolerate the thought of a president who they didn’t support in the election. Rather than accept the results, they whine, cry and call Trump a racist or bigot with little hard evidence to back those accusations up.

Here’s a message for those millennials who appear to be so distraught: There are no “safe spaces” in the real world. In the real world, things may not always go your way; you may come in contact with things you don’t like or people you don’t agree with. But these are the experiences that make us stronger. 

And if the young people protesting Trump cared about this election so much, they should have turned out in records numbers to vote. But they didn’t. Fewer than half of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 29 cast ballots in this election, which is far below the estimated general voter turnout.

And Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump defends indicted GOP congressman GOP lawmaker says he expects to be indicted over FBI investigation Why it's time for conservatives to accept the 2020 election results and move on MORE received a smaller percentage of millennial support than President Obama did in 2012. In Portland, Ore. — where some of the largest anti-Trump riots are occurring — the large majority of protesters arrested either didn’t cast a ballot or weren’t even registered to vote.   

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE will be our next president. You may not like it, but it’s time to deal with reality and work together to better this country. Screaming and whining will get us nowhere. Unnecessarily portraying ourselves as victims will get us nowhere. It’s time to stop acting like babies, and start acting like adults.

The office is venerable and the country needs all the help it can get. If it is all you can do, salute the rank, not the man. And then get to work.

Kristin Tate is a conservative columnist and author of the book "Government Gone Wild: How D.C. Politicians Are Taking You For a Ride And What You Can Do About It."
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