If you’re reading this, you’re one of the survivors. It appears that most of the fires have burned themselves out. The streets may not yet be safe. I would advise staying indoors at least until your neighbors have removed their campaign signs from their front lawns. For those of you brave enough to venture online, be very careful what sites you visit, as some are still red-hot from the flames of last night.
Donald Trump, the man whose candidacy many wrote off as being nothing more than a publicity stunt that would surely end long before November 8, the man whose rallies rose to scales not seen in decades, the man who was caught on record admitting to sexually assaulting women and then shrugged it off as something men just talk about when women aren’t around, that man is about to be the leader of the free world. This choice of the American people was a historic one. Never in my lifetime has someone held this office that was not a career politician. That kind of leader is all I’ve ever known for my country, Democrat or Republican. Now that all changes, and we watch to see how a businessman and TV personality can handle the reins of our powerhouse nation.
No matter the results of this presidential election, some things are not going to change. We are all still going to be here when the dust settles, and whatever the rubble, it will be ours together. Your neighbors, coworkers and classmates are still going to hold the same opinions they had before Election Day. The Black Lives Matter movement will still exist, and there are still going to be people that disagree with you on the definition of marriage. No matter who won last night, there still will be police officers who risk their lives every day to protect us, and there still will be those who would rather shoot to kill than serve their citizens. And there still will be women whose aspirations reach all the way up to the highest office in the land. Just because a group of people may suffer one loss does not mean they and their beliefs vanish. We remain.
Over the next few days, weeks and months, it is going to become far too easy to focus on the things that divide us. We are going to be reminded again and again of who are the winners and who are the losers and why some honest voices simply weren’t loud enough to be heard over the deafening din of others. In these days where bitterness and resentment will be so easy to succumb to, remember that you are more than your political affiliation. Remember that even if the car parked next to you has a different bumper sticker than yours, you must try your absolute hardest to refrain from denting their doors and smashing in their windshield. Unity is paramount. Division is poison.
Lincoln was referencing the Gospels when he said “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” That idea stands more true today than any day since he uttered it. We are weaker when we stand apart, so search for ways to rebuild the bridges this election has burned.