Half of my feed is profs/grad students explaining how instead of teaching they conducted group therapy sessions with their students. Seriously, GTFO.
First, your students need to grow up–no participation trophies for losing elections. That dumb sticker is all you get. In the words of Joe Rogan, “this is what happens when you give kids participation trophies for getting their asses kicked in soccer.”
Second, most of the things they “worry” about are talking points from the campaign that the Left themselves made up to get Clinton elected. Your students are simply believing their own hype. What is it that they actually think Trump is going to do, install the leadership of KKK as the Supreme Court? Maybe remind your students that we do not elect a monarch to reign over us but a chief executive to run the government.
Third, if your students really are that traumatized, you should send them to an actual counselor, not try and handle it yourself just so you have another virtue-signaling post to put on Facebook.
Frankly, the truth is that your students are 18-22 years old and this is their first election and their first loss. It sucks. But it sucks for everyone to lose. But they will get over it and they will live just as everyone else has with every other election. Your students just don’t know that yet and you should help them to understand it. It is contemptibly self-indulgent to wallow in their misery to reassure yourself that you have been wronged and to validate your own feelings. You are the adult. Act like one.
When you participate and encourage such political theater in your class, you are taking the excesses of hyperbolic and inflammatory political campaigns and teaching your students that they are deadly serious and real. That is inexcusable. In the heat of the campaign when we want to persuade people to vote for our candidates, we exaggerate our opponent’s faults and amplify our own fears. We get caught up in the moment, the excitement, the longing, the fear. We sort our fellow citizens into those who are for us and those who are against us. We then follow the crowd–our own crowd. It is human weakness, not the product of calm reflection. When the campaign is over, we need to transition back to a healthier and more sober state of mind. We do not need to move into a continuous 24/7 campaign cycle that dominates every minute of our lives.
But of course, maybe you have students such that it really is hard for them to get over this loss. That’s fine, we send students to college to grow. Help your students grow instead of feeding off of their emotions to validate yourself. Instead of feeding fear and hysteria, try instead to help them grow and become more resilient by telling them this:
1) The best thing you can do to promote actual change is get to know someone from the demo that voted Trump, like people who are >50 and white. Perhaps befriending someone will affect their attitude but it will likely affect yours too–a risk we all take in civil society. If you do not regularly come into contact with numerous people outside of your age group, you are socially deprived.
2) Don’t make your life depend on politics. Find a way of going about life seeking the normal goods of it that does not require changing things you have no power to change. Don’t make your well-being so fragile that it hangs on your favorite political candidates holding office. Find the greater and transcendent goods and stake your well-being on these rather than on those that corrupt politicians can destroy. Otherwise, you are going to make yourself miserable and those around you too.
3) Don’t use politics and the activist life to fill other voids. Be critical of your own motivations. Don’t engage in politics to find affirmation because you have low self-esteem. Don’t engage in political performances on social media because you are lonely and need friends. Don’t use the ups and downs of politics to find excitement in your life. Don’t allow politics to become a medium to express the normal emotions and insecurities we all have that are mostly unrelated. Let politics be politics.
4) Go to church! Try going to church if you are not sure how to get started on the three items above.
Remember above all things that there can be no justice in society without justice in the soul.