TEXAS VIEW: Entering the year with hopeTHE POINT — No one knows what 2017 will bring, therefore we should give it a chance.

Here we are, on the first day of a new year — and for many Americans it couldn’t come too soon.
Last year was long and often ugly. Tensions around the world were high, with terror attacks in numerous places, a humanitarian crisis in Syria, the never-ending strife between the Israelis and the Palestinians, heightened strain between Russia and the United States. At home we witnessed questionable police shootings of black Americans and retaliatory murders of law enforcement officers, including five in Dallas. We recoiled with horror at the massacre of some 50 people in an Orlando gay nightclub. We witnessed a rising tide of killings in Chicago.
Then there was the presidential election, full of ugliness all around. There was more than enough nastiness to last several lifetimes. And when the election ended in a surprise, the nastiness continued unabated. As we start this new year, many Americans refuse to accept the legitimacy of the election, refuse to acknowledge Donald Trump as our 45th president. He lost the popular vote, they note, as if that matters. He is going to destroy America — the world — they worry, and Trump certainly has played into their fears with his embrace of Vladimir Putin, his cabinet appointments and his threat of a renewed nuclear arms race.
But this is a new year, one we should enter with hope not fear. No one knows what 2017 will bring, but we should give it a chance.
In a few weeks we will have a new president — our 45th — and a new direction for our nation. There are concerns, to be sure, but President Trump should be given a chance to be, well, president. It is to be hoped that the mantle of the presidency will soften Trump’s strident side, will mellow his more outrageous traits. This isn’t to say that the president shouldn’t be challenged when he does something with which we disagree, but he must be given the chance to lead. He just might surprise us.
Those of us who proclaim Donald Trump is not my president should remember how they felt when others said Barack Obama was not theirs. Thanks to the beauty of our Constitution, Trump will become our president on Jan. 20, just as Obama became our president on Jan. 20, 2008. That’s how it works, and it works so well.
The fact is we are one nation, one people striving for a better life, a more equitable society. Our political parties often try to divert us from that goal and we must not let them. We should reject the partisanship that gridlocks Washington and reach out to people of different philosophies, different faiths, different colors, different orientations and relearn how to work together for the good of all of us.
Reject the politics of division and embrace the reconciliation of unity. Look not to the past, but to the future, a future that should be bright for each and every one of us.
And together, we will make an even greater America.
Happy new year! Best wishes for a wonderful and peaceful 2017.