Regardless of the results of the election, we are still one country. We must live, work, and raise our families together. The results of this election will shape our future, but we decide the character in our hearts. We can choose everyday to work hard, be kind, and strive for more. These American ideals transcend the color of our candidate’s tie. They are the foundation of what the American flag means.
The president can shape policy, but that is also impacted by our local, state, and congressional representatives. We must pay attention to those in every office, not just the oval office.
We cannot put an “I voted” sticker on our chest once every four years and think that is enough. Everyday issues, like the Toxic Exposure Bill, is a war of attrition. That fight will be won in the trenches and will take us all. The election is important, however it is only a single event. Our course as a nation is not merely dependent on the results of one day.
“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”- Thomas Jefferson
When minds change, policy will follow. We cannot afford to ostracize everyone who disagrees with us. The major candidates agree on at least 20 of the 80 main issues that will govern our lives. This common ground is where we must meet. We must not shy away from difficult discussions. Rather we must be willing to hear a new perspective before we make up our minds. We served with people with many different beliefs, but we still kicked ass and partied hard together. Just because we do not believe 100% of the same things, doesn’t mean there isn’t value in discussion. We must not ever forget: United we stand, divided we fall.