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Thoughts on Election 2016

Command Performance, a radio show broadcast during wartime in the 40’s, was recently featured by author David Brooks in his book, “The Road to Character.” This particular show was the celebration of Victory in Europe day, and as Brooks so compelling points out, the victory was marked by a deep humility.

Before the broadcast began, the following words are read very movingly.

Oh God thou Heavenly Father Grant us peace, thy most precious gift Oh thou eternal source of peace And enable us to be a messenger of peace Unto the people of the earth Bless our country That it may ever be a stronghold of peace And the advocate of peace in the council of nations May contentment reign within its borders Health and happiness within its homes Strengthen the bond of friendship and fellowship Between all the inhabitants of our land Plant virtue in every soul And may thy love of thy name hallow every home and every heart Praise be thou oh Lord Giver of peace.

Congratulations are in order to President-Elect Donald Trump and the Republican Party for their victory in the November election. Donald Trump ran a historic election, surpassed many odds, survived the scrutiny of the media and his rivals, and clinched the election with (currently) 290 electoral votes.

This victory has not been without its bittersweet moments as factions within the nation have reacted in demonstrations, violence, and at the very least, expressions of fear and grief. This is an election victory which calls for humility.

And while Donald Trump is an improbable victor, consider these things as we embrace the new reality and as Trump takes office as our nation’s 45th POTUS: 

  • If you voted for Trump, chances are good that someone you know, work with or love did not vote for Trump and you have made generalized, even rude, statements about those who voted for Hillary without considering those names and faces. Be considerate and mindful when you’re talking politics with others. Remember, too, that there are real people behind political figures. Mrs. Clinton and her family have been through a grueling election and – more than anyone else – need kind words, prayers and consideration as they begin to pick up the post-election pieces.
  • If you didn’t vote for Trump, chances are good that you’ve made insulting statements about those who did vote for him, perhaps not considering that someone you love and respect voted for him. If you’re sorely disappointed, consider this… is it worth sacrificing family and other relationships over who someone else voted for if they didn’t vote the same as you?
  • Civil discourse and respect for humanity about politics is something that desperately needs to be brought back to our nation. Amidst the terrible stories of protest marches, violent racial and religious insults and personal attacks on one another in the last few days, remember: humanity needs kindness now more than ever. Don’t let hate, ignorance, fear drive the things you say and do. That goes for both sides of the fence. There are people on both sides saying and doing shameful things that would make our forefathers roll over in their grave if they saw how some of our nation was acting. The reality is that we have a new President-elect, whether you personally voted for him or not, and we as Americans exercised our liberty to peacefully cast our vote for our nation’s leadership. It cannot be reversed now, regardless of the number of protests and violent crimes. Those things only place a deeper divide and cast greater sorrow on our nation’s citizens. Instead, focus on the beauty of a non-violent and generally egalitarian system that allows the people of our nation to have and express their voice in the political process.
  • Donald Trump truly seems to LOVE America. He is one of the most outwardly patriotic Presidential candidates we’ve seen in modern times. Yes, his father loaned him his first million dollars to begin his business, but Trump is a self-made multi-billionaire who exemplifies the American dream in business that you can become and do anything. He seems to be committed to doing whatever it takes to maintain the freedoms and liberties offered in our nation without compromising or tiptoeing to be “politically correct.”
  • Trump isn’t owned by anyone. When PAC’s and Super-PAC’s came forward during campaign season with funds that they raised on their own to support Donald Trump, he not only declined, but told them to return the money where it came from. He isn’t part of the “establishment,” and doesn’t owe Big Government any favors, which means he only has the best interest for our nation at heart instead of trying to appease those who have purchased him for a price and for a say of what he does while in office. While his lack of political experience can be unnerving for some, it could also be a welcome change.
  • There is something to be said about the ever-nearing collapse of the current healthcare system. Regardless of which side you’re on, are you happy with the fact that your insurance premiums have taken a hike, even doubled or more, as the years go by under our nation’s current healthcare mandate? Are you pleased with the fact that you might have had to stop going to your preferred doctor or that you have to enroll in a new plan every year now because your plan options keep changing? Our healthcare system is a mess. It is. And if nothing else improves, perhaps this will. It really can’t get much worse than it is already.
  • If you didn’t vote for Trump and you’re fearful of the future, this is your chance to be proactive. Get involved in your community. Write letters to your representatives. Volunteer for organizations you believe in to make a difference. Don't just sit, complain or point fingers. Do something. Be the change.
  • Above all else, remember that while we voted in a new President, our country still remains a system of checks and balances--- our Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they intentionally ensured our country’s leadership would not be one of tyranny, of unaccountable actions or where the American people would not have opportunity to participate in the process.

 Take confidence, my friends, in the fact that our nation has had peaceful passing of the baton from one President to the next since our nation’s inception, and while current President Obama and upcoming President Trump do not see eye to eye, they have assured the American people that they too will honor this transition of power. We truly live in a great nation.

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