Unity in a wild election year

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Photo by Peter Burleigh

Over the weeks leading up to the 2020 presidential election, our nation has witnessed deep divides among our fellow citizens. People are either pro-Biden or pro-Trump; pro-life or pro-choice; or they subscribe to nationalism, globalism or any number of other “-isms.” 

Although President Trump has not conceded, the projected results speak for themselves and it is said that Joe Biden will be the next president. Regardless of what side of the proverbial aisle each of us stands on, it’s more important than ever now to remember the ties that bind us.

While allegations of voting fraud are cropping up all over the country, most (if not all) of them seem to have little weight. Time Magazine reports that many of the lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign have already been dismissed due to lack of merit and that experts agree that legal action will have no effect on the results of the election. 

Allegations of voting fraud are no laughing matter and ought to be pursued to the fullest extent, especially given that elections are relatively fragile institutions in a democratic country, and the people must be able to trust the system for it to work. No doubt, the Trump campaign will make certain that all are investigated.

Many insist that the election is not over, citing the 2000 Bush v.s. Gore election in which Al Gore was the projected winner but George Bush ultimately won. It may conceivably be possible for President Trump to win the election (however unlikely), but that isn’t really the point. 

As Americans that believe in democracy, it is more important that we as a country willingly accept the results of the election, whoever the victor, and remember that there was more on this election’s ticket than the presidential race. 

The GOP is currently projected to hold a majority in the senate, yielding a healthy division of power between the two parties. The GOP, while it will not hold a majority in the house, has gained ground in the house, again opening the door to bipartisan legislation. 

The state of Louisiana voted to change the language of its constitution so that it does not protect rights or funding for abortion. Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota chose to legalize cannabis for recreational use. Apart from these more controversial ones, there have been many ballot measures passed and others that haven’t. 

In his acceptance speech, Joe Biden states that he intends to be “a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify. Who doesn’t see red and blue states, but a United States.”

 There is a bigger picture than simply who sits in the Oval Office.

Regardless of the results, we are all still Americans. Each of us wants little more than a job that pays the bills, a system that faithfully delivers justice, the freedom to speak as we wish and the right to practice our faith—whatever it may be. Whether Biden or Trump wins, the American people will continue to pursue these things where they are lacking and protect them where they already exist. 

The economy might get worse and taxes might go up, regardless of who wins. A new administration might conduct foreign affairs in ways that some don’t like and some do. We as an American people have been through all that and worse. 

Now is the worst possible time for more division, more rioting, more conflict. The outcome of this election cycle doesn’t mean the difference between the end of our nation and its prospering, it only means the possibility of a different administration that conducts things differently than the last, a new era so to speak. Whether or not the years that follow are prosperous or not is not really up to Trump or Biden, it is up to us, the American people.

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