Today, people across America woke up with vastly differing emotions, and it’s not as simple as excitement or frustration. While there were plenty of enthusiastic supporters or both candidates, there was perhaps an equal or even larger number of people reluctantly supporting the person that at least more closely lined up with their overall stance on the issues (even if they weren’t enthusiastic about the individual candidate). As a result of this, you have a much wider range of emotions today than other typical mornings after an election.
So today, in the midst of thousands of other pseudo political posts, buried in the white noise of social media, I decided to write something as well. Not because I somehow think that this story will be picked up and read by millions, but because this issue is occupying a larger chunk of brain space than I care to admit and this is the best way to release that and move on with my day.
Many people will look at the map above and see red states and blue states. More red by geography but almost a perfect 50/50 split when it comes to population. You can read many posts, blogs and articles today (and over the next few weeks) and see a significant amount of pain and frustration, along with some excessive gloating and taunting. Neither one of these reactions are necessary nor are they helpful.
The truth is, when I look at the map above, I see Red, White and Blue. From the beginning, we have been a nation of individual ideas that somehow rally, despite our differences, to the common good of this great nation. We often fight and argue as to the path of that common good, but we do often agree that the freedoms we have here in the USA are still somewhat unique to the world. If fact, it is that unique freedom that allows so many viewpoints to coexist in a nation… together.
I felt the pain and frustration when Clinton won in 1992. But then I saw our nation rally, I saw our Congress keep him in check and I saw a man seek compromise and success for the nation. I still did not like the man, but I did see someone work for this country. I was again frustrated in 2008 when Obama won. Unfortunately I never saw him respond like Clinton did and remained frustrated through the full terms of office.
I don’t know if Trump will be more like Clinton in reaching across the isle or more like Obama and stubbornly push only his agenda. For our nation’s sake, I hope he is more unifying as a President than he was as a candidate. However, no matter what happens, it will only be temporary. He will only be President for 4-8 years.
We as a nation are bigger than the president. Conservatives like myself were very disappointed in the last two presidential elections but we survived. Liberals were very disappointed in the two elections prior… but they survived also. This is because we are bigger than one president. How can we still love our neighbors, serve our fellow citizen, raise our children and thrive as a nation… but continuing to be Americans. We are not red or blue… we are Red, White and Blue!