As I write this, we are still waiting to hear the results of some of the voting in last Tuesday’s election. Not all of the ballots have been counted yet, and some races and measures are still too close to call. I believe that, for the most part, even though none of us are completely happy with the results announced so far or those that are hanging in the balance, the election is giving each of us enough positives that we should not be too upset. And, you know… that’s the way it should be! Our country was set up as a two-party system because that’s the way democracy is meant to work. Not all of us believe the same way about everything when it comes to how our government is run and how our lives are affected by the decisions that are made. Our democracy works on the premise that none of us can expect to have everything go the way we want as individuals, but we can work together to find compromises through give-and-take so that one side doesn’t get all of the marbles.
Unfortunately, in the past decade, our two parties have been moving further and further away from each other, leaving the middle ground so wide that it’s become harder and harder to be able to “meet in the middle.” Personally, I’m glad that this election did not give either party all of the marbles. It’s time to reach out and begin listening to each other instead of immediately putting up roadblocks or walking away from trying to understand where someone else is coming from.
It’s time to condemn hate and violence of all kinds and to bring back respect and support of law and order. We need to stop judging each others’ differences, setting up competitions between genders, races and nationalities and begin recognizing each others’ “human-ness.”
I certainly don’t have the answers on how this can be done, but I’m hoping that those who were voted into office—whether or not I voted for them—will do everything in their power to help draw us back together as a nation. We, as individuals, have done our parts by casting our ballots; it is now up to those who we have put our faith and trust in to listen and consider the points of view of those they represent… not just the directives of the party that they happen to belong to.
Am I dreamer?… a wishful thinker?… probably, but if we let ourselves accept the behaviors and injustices of the past few years as “normal,” then we have lost what has always made our country truly great.
Let’s embrace honesty, kindness and respect for each other as “the new norm,” for we all have the potential to make something of ourselves and take pride in our accomplishments if we have a support system from others.