I did not vote for you, but I sincerely hope you give me many reasons over the next four years to wish I had.
This and every Election Day, each of us cast our ballot knowing only of our own experiences, beliefs and struggles. This makes it easy–too easy–to judge our friends on the other side who just don’t “get it,” to lash out in frustration on that highly anticipated “morning after,” or perhaps even gloat in victory. It’s easy to get mired down in all that Monday Morning Quarterbacking, the “Coulda Woulda Shoulda’s “and the “I told you so’s,” but my friends? We are better than this.
The most amazing thing about this exceptional nation is not that we all agree. In fact, our most tremendous asset happens to be the one very thing powerful enough to unite even our country’s bitterly divided electorate: the democracy our Founding Fathers fought for, and other nations long for. The idea that each of us is entitled to our own journey, filled with very personal experiences, beliefs and opinions. And because we each receive only one vote– none of them count more than any other.
Which means neither do we.
As long as we can accept this (and each other), it will never matter whether we find ourselves on the winning or losing side of that first Tuesday in November (and believe me, we will all find ourselves on the wrong side of history at some point). But no matter how disappointed, frustrated, or hurt we may feel along the way–our country can’t help but survive and thrive as long as we are committed to standing together. To reserving judgment. To accepting both victory and defeat with the grace and dignity our Founding Fathers intended. If we can do this, friends, it is my most sincere belief that no matter who may be taking up temporary residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, our country will forever remain the hope of the earth.
So please be gentle with each other today.
It’s the best example we can set for our children, it’s the best way to honor this great nation and now that the election is over, it is the best thing we can do for our President.