I have a mixed bag of emotions this day after election. The pressure from political advertising, the hated filled messages, the hope for a new direction for this country, those who want it to remain as is, the millions who were on the march to the ballot boxes from early voting right up to the closing of the polls last night was like a weight on my chest, pressing down and taking my breath away. It is a difficult thing when the legacy of one country has to bear the hopes and dreams of over 325 million people. And we bear added responsibility because throughout the world our elections are seen as free, safe, and secure. They stand as an example to the rest of the world. We do not expect violence or threats on those who vote or those who are elected. Our history and our constitution calls for a process that has worked in the face of 200 years of struggle and compromise, but I think there is a great pride in what we have accomplished and a national need to see it continue. The success of this historical venture surpasses all race, gender, age and ability.
The long lines of voters at the polls, those who voted by mail, those who voted for the very first time are an indication of the importance of our duty as citizens to get out and let our voices be heard. Many of the voting percentages were very close in a variety of elections so every vote mattered regardless of what the nay-sayers think. And it is imperative we work with every generation of young people to understand and be educated to voting.
I think there was still a tendency to vote for the party rather than the candidate. My parents always said, “Vote for the person. Are they the ones who will get things done for the betterment of this country?” The tendency to demonize the other party simply because they are the other party is dangerous. A one-party system is not the answer, that is a dictatorship of the worst kind.
Each election should be a reminder that we are building something good together. To live in “community” is to recognize the “other” as my sister or brother and to build on that realization to create a better place. Each election should be a promise to work harder together, to learn how to compromise, to know I won’t always get my way, but that regardless we clasp hands and work for the betterment of all.
I was not satisfied with the results of all the races, but who is. We all have our personal agendas at election time, but then those have to be discarded for the common good. In a day or two we will begin hearing about 2020 and even though we would love a reprieve from the rhetoric, the building of a safe and secure country where the blessings of liberty are for all begins again each new day. The job is never done. Our history is a never-ending story of pride, courage, justice and freedom.