It is done. The citizens of the US have voted. A decision has been made. The time has come to accept the results of that decision. The citizens of this great country now need to put the past two years of a very nasty Presidential campaign behind us and start working together to address the problems we all face. It is the right thing to do.
I know that people still have this feeling of our country being divided. However, we will get through it. Our country was much more divided during the Presidential Election of 1860. Abraham Lincoln, the Founder of the Republican Party, was elected on November 6, 1860 and was inaugurated on March 4, 1861. During the four months between Lincoln’s election and his taking the oath of office, seven Southern states seceded from the Union and by February 1861 had declared a new government called the Confederate States of America. Within three months of Lincoln taking office, another four states would secede and join the Confederate States. Less than 40 days after taking office, our citizens were literally at war with each other. Sure we called it “The North” and “The South”, but it was still people that were friends and countrymen fighting against each other and in some cases, it was literally brother against brother. By the time that fighting was done, some 365,000 Union soldiers and 290,000 Confederate soldiers were dead. Some 50,000 free civilians also died during this conflict as did some 80,000 slaves that weren’t even considered citizens, or even human, by some people’s beliefs.
Have we not learned how to agree to disagree? Must we always stand firm and fight for our own political ideals? When are we going to learn to embrace the diversity of everyone’s uniqueness and leverage our commonality for the betterment for all of our people? Just because I have different ideas or think differently than someone else does not make them my enemy. It should not make me their enemy either.
We need to stop looking at people with different political ideas as our enemy. A case in point is the former Soviet Union. We fought a Cold War against them for 40 years over ideology. We were so afraid of Communism that we spent trillions of dollars on nuclear weapons because we thought each other wanted to destroy the other. For those of you too young to remember those days, it was commonplace to training and drills in our elementary schools on what to do in case of a nuclear attack. We all lived in fear. Not just the US, but the Soviets, too. It wasn’t until we learned that the Soviets were literally as afraid of us as we were of them that things began to change. Thank goodness, there were very few casualties during the Cold War…only a plane or spy here and there. No mass destruction.
We do this to ourselves whenever we look at another person as our enemy. I believe that humans are inherently good and do not want conflict with each other. So, let’s stop looking at each other as enemies and learn how to agree to disagree. We spend too much time disagreeing with others over ideology that we begin to view someone in opposition to us as our enemy. Trust me on this. Your enemy is the person that wants to kill you…mostly because of what you have or what you enjoy. They either want it, or they believe that you shouldn’t have it, whatever that may be. Having the Freedom and Liberty to live your life as you want means you either learn to live with others that see things differently than you, or they’re your enemy and they must be destroyed. Would you rather have a life of fear, or one that is fearless based upon mutual understanding that we all have differences. It is what makes us unique. Let’s celebrate that diversity by agreeing that we can disagree, but work together for our common good.