I’m not going to waste my time or yours talking about “the issues” or who won or lost. We have what we have because those are the people we voted for. Perhaps many of us are disappointed; perhaps we are glad; maybe we don’t care at all. In any case, there is not one thing we can do about it now.
What saddens me in the post-election haze is the way we continue to cut each other down. There is nothing wrong with expressing our pleasure or displeasure at the outcome. That’s a natural human reaction. In the right context, and with the right people, it can be a very good thing—a chance to come together to talk about why we feel that way or what we might do to help make positive changes during the next four years. I’ve seen plenty of this on both sides; I have some great friends who are gracious about their victory/loss.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot on the other side, too. Not surprisingly, it’s mostly from people who identify as being on the “losing” side. I’ve seen hateful things about how it’s a dark day for Americans (hello, I’m an American too, and I don’t feel that way); how all the “brown people” skewed the vote; about how we might as well start learning Chinese now in preparation for the takeover; about how we’re screwed as a nation and the country will be “gone” before the next election (zombie apocalypse?); about how overnight, the President somehow single-handedly caused the stock market to slump (what, all by himself?). I’ve seen more than one person threaten to leave the country as a result.
Don’t think that I’m just blaming the “other guys” here. I believe wholeheartedly that I would be seeing some very similar, and equally nasty, things from Obama supporters if Romney had won. I have no doubt that sore losers exist everywhere. I have no hope that my more liberal friends would be able to keep their mouths shut in the event of a conservative win. (I am aware that many of them would, just as many of my conservative friends have been gracious.)
Today, I would rather celebrate some of the wonderful things that happened last night, and I don’t just mean who won the presidential election. Among the very cool: We have an unprecedented number of women in the U. S. Senate (at least 19). Really! Not only that, the variety of people now representing our collective States in Congress includes Illinois’ first Asian-American Senator, who happens to be a disabled Iraq veteran; a Hindu Representative from Hawaii; Hawaii’s first woman Senator; the first openly gay woman Senator; and Massachusetts’ first woman Senator. How cool is it that we are seeing progress happening right before our very eyes?
Instead of cutting each other down, let’s look for the good. Let’s celebrate those milestones and pray that we see more of them. Then, let’s work together for everyone’s benefit. Today, I am proud to be an American and proud to stand with all my fellow citizens, regardless of political ideology. How about you?