Let's get this out of the way: I am a liberal. In fact, I am a registered Democrat. I caucused for Bernie Sanders, but eventually voted for Hillary Clinton. Accusations of hypocrisy would not be entirely unfounded.
However, I did not vote along the Democratic ticket because that's who I've always voted for. I voted along the Democratic ticket because I was more aligned to their policies than to the Republican platform. I am for social programs, I am against money as free speech (which is rather hypocritical, I know, since Clinton used Super PACs very extensively, as did Obama before her), and I am against cuts to the EPA, as well as other government programs.
I personally know many Trump voters who truly supported Donald Trump. That is fine. I also know many Trump voters who voted for him, despite their many doubts, because they always vote Republican. They were more focused on getting "our man" in the White House than "the right person." By blindly following whatever the Republican (or Democratic party, for that matter) suggests, they deliberately handed their vote over to the top people in the party. They threw away their vote.
Now that the election is over, I still see partisan politics every day. Being left-leaning myself, I mostly hear it in criticisms of President Trump and his staff. While I am no fan of Donald Trump, I am still infuriated by many of these criticisms. These can no longer be considered politics, but merely rhetoric.
For example, Donald Trump was lambasted for having two scoops of ice cream while everyone else got one. This is the President of the United States we're talking about here. Who cares? Why do we care how much frozen dairy the President, who can make decisions that deeply affect the American public, gets with his chocolate cream pie? Why is this important?
I see this everywhere. "DJ Trump," "Donald Drumpf," "Killary Clinton," the criticisms of Jared Kushner's voice -- Why does any of this matter? What good does any of this criticism do to actually change any of the policies that Americans are supposedly up in arms over? It only acts as a distraction from truly important matters -- that goes for you too, Bill "Trump is a whiny little bitch" Maher.
Meanwhile, those in Congress are doing no better. Mitch McConnell continues to attempt to force a health care plan that alienates liberals in Congress behind closed doors. This same man attempted to block many of Barack Obama's proposed changes simply because they came from him. I see the same gut reaction from many on the Democratic side: they will criticize anything that President Trump says, objectionable or not, simply because he said it. This gets us nowhere.
So what should we do? We should forget party affiliations, forget who criticized whom, and forget who voted for whom; instead, we should focus on what matters: policies, actions, and histories. We should focus on what people say they will do and compare it to their final actions. We should vote based on policy, not on party. We should, rather than thinking of ourselves as teams opposing one another, instead think of ourselves as one group: Americans.