In the early hours of November 9, Americans across the political spectrum, indeed people around the world, were shocked to find out Donald Trump won the election.

No really — Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States of America.

To win he beat one of the most decorated women in public service. A former First Lady, US Senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton knows the ins and outs of Washington, DC better than anyone. Without question, she had more than plenty of the experience that voters would traditionally expect in choosing a president. And yet, she lost.

Her defeat — especially against him — shocked millions of Americans. Their response has swept the full range of human emotion — sadness, anger, disbelief and yes — even rage.

Thousands have taken to the streets to protest Trump. Wealthy Silicon Valley executives have vowed to fund a California secession effort. Popular celebrities have threatened to pack up and leave the country.

Many are trying to find their own way to deal with Clinton’s loss. Fortunately, we have a solution that does not involve throwing Molotov cocktails, punching a Trump supporter, or learning French and moving to Canada.

As the 19th-century womens’ rights activist Margaret Fuller once said, “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”

If you voted for Hillary Clinton and feel like all hope is lost, the most important thing you can do today is this:

Read a book.

No seriously. But not just any book. To understand why Hillary lost and keep from ever finding yourself in this gut-wretching position again, you must seek out books that allow new ideas to blossom.

So put down the placard, break out your Kindle (or support your local public library) and dive into one of these books:

Crisis of Our House Divided: A Guide to Talking Politics Without the Noise
By Thomas Krannawitter

“The bad news is that politics isn’t going away. The good news is that we can understand better why people disagree so strongly over politics, and in the process we can understand and relate better to those closest to us.”

How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes
by Peter D. Schiff & Andrew J. Schiff (Author)

A light-hearted approach to explaining the complex world of economic growth, trade, and other factors that influence our opportunity to pursue meaningful work we love.

The 5000 Year Leap
By W. Cleon Skousen

Over the past 200 years, we have experienced more peace, prosperity and empowerment than in the previous 5000 years of human society. What was the catalyst for that growth? Can we recreate it in the 21st century?

Reflections on the Revolution in France
By Edmund Burke

Believe me, you will have flashbacks from high school history class reading this, but power through. It will enlighten you on some of the background of the French Revolution, and contrast it with the American Revolution. Very different foundations and very different outcomes. These are stories we need to know to shape the future. Burke has the scoop.

Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest & Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics
By Henry Hazlitt

What is this, #$%@! college?!? No. Well, not really. Sort of. Okay — some of these are books you should have have read in college instead of taking 3 hours of frisbee golf. Again. This is a quick one, and you’ll leave with a whole new, eye-popping look at how the world works. And you didn’t even have to take a final.

Who Really Cares
By Arthur C. Brooks

So many progressive movements are driven by a desire for social justice. How can we improve the non-profit community and charitable organizations that support great, impactful programs? Science-based research on the trends in charitable giving will leave you with new insights.

Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
By Milton & Rose Friedman

The world we wake up to today is unsure. The ground under our feet is shaky. We don’t recognize the road we’re on or where it will lead. Ultimately though, there are two choices: a path to more personal freedom and opportunity, and a path to more government control and regulation. These are separate goals and cannot be achieved together. So which future do you choose? Read the personal testimony of Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman and his wife Rose and make your own choice.

If you read these books…

Here’s the unfortunate truth: for all of her service and determination, Hillary Clinton did not lose because she was a woman, or America is filled with racists, or the Russians rigged the election, or even the FBI. Mrs. Clinton ultimately was not successful because her ideas are rooted in a belief that is not rooted in reality. They lead to a dead end where lies are piled upon lies and communities, societies and nations are left in ruin.

As a great philosopher, John Locke, once said, “Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”

Did you support Hillary, and are left hollow and empty, without hope or passion? Fill up with a good book, a warm latte, and time to think. And know that a brighter future — even if it’s not the one you thought it might be — awaits.

Take it from here

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking people who don’t agree with us just don’t care. Not so. There’s a lot of people in America — in fact, most Americans — who just believe solutions to the problems facing society fall outside of government. They believe the solutions are not up to some massive, 20th-century bureaucracy a thousand miles away, but that solutions are organic and come from the grassroots.

Do politicians always embody that ideal? Of course not. Does that make the ideas wrong? Decide for yourself. Check out our topics pages and see how the goals match up with your own, and decide if these principles might be the solutions you’ve been seeking.

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