Dear Fellow Americans,
Although many reading this may know where my vote is going, this letter is about something far more important than anyone’s personal choice for the next President of the United States. On November 8, one of the cornerstones of American freedom and democracy takes center stage as the people go to the ballot boxes and choose their next Commander in Chief. There is no question that this day, a day that is always vital, is even more critical in 2016. However, what possibly separates this election cycle from so many others is that as crucial as November 8th is, a very solid argument can be made that there is a day far more important, and that is the next day, November 9th.
Even many staunch supporters of Trump and Clinton feel that the country is in big trouble. Many feel that this election is an embarrassment. The world has been watching and they love to say that we Americans have made fools of ourselves with our choices and our attacks on each other. Well I am here to say otherwise. I am writing this letter to all Americans who genuinely want a better country. As critical as the choice is on November 8, and as uncertain as our future is, we as Americans have a choice that is even more critical than for who we cast our ballot. That choice is whether or not we are prepared to work together as a nation in support of the next president. That choice is to show the rest of the world who we really are, not who they like to believe us to be.
I know how the biggest critics feel about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It’s been well-documented, highly publicized, and discussed ad-nauseum. But on November 9th, assuming the election has a clear enough outcome to declare a winner, people all over the great United States have an opportunity to heal the nation. To continue bashing the other side and sit back and type nasty comments online and come up with silly names about the candidate you didn’t want after the election, will just prove the naysayers right. When the Supreme Leader of Iran uses this election to declare that America’s choices and behavior during this election proves Iran to be right, it is our responsibility to use November 9th to prove how wrong he actually is by showing how right the American system is. Show the world that peaceful democracy and a free society creates dispute, but ends in peaceful coexistence.
I’m reminded of my father, may he rest in peace. I won’t speak for my siblings, but in my case, when my father was vehemently opposed to one of my life choices he would push very hard to do things the way he felt I should do them. Would he get mad at me if I wasn’t seeing it his way? If the issue was important enough, most definitely. Would he make it very clear that he felt I was making a mistake? Unquestionably. However, those times when I chose not to listen, once I made the choice, even if he was unhappy with my choice, he supported me in my decision. Sometimes he was right, sometimes I was, but every time I came out loving him even more. Why? Because when it’s important enough to you and those you care about, you may show passion for your choice, but the true indication of love is to continue to show support whether or not someone listens to you or not and regardless of whether or not they share your passion. I got that from my father.
On November 9th Americans have an opportunity to show their true love of country. Granted it will be easier for those on the side of the winner, but the opportunity exists nonetheless. The winning side must be prepared to genuinely welcome the other in building and healing the country. Although each side has different philosophies on how to move the country and the world forward, a totally one-sided agenda from the winning party’s candidate will alienate too many others who voted for the opposition, and nothing will be more important on November 9th than a country moving towards unity.
It is a common thing in life for people to blame their problems on others. Humanity does that on an individual level and as a people. The truth is that many problems can be resolved by doing what is right and working hard towards making things happen. This election is no different. As important as it is, upwards of at least 40% of the voting populous will not get the candidate they want. These people will be left with 2 choices. Continue to fight the opposition and set this country back decades with more infighting and obstruction, or join forces and find a middle ground most, if not all people can agree on.
There is a populous movement in this country. This populism has taken form on both the conservative and liberal side of the aisle. There are some fundamental disagreements on policies. That being said the overall lesson to be learned by the populist movement is that the people are more involved than they have been in the past. But involvement is not enough. This involvement must coincide with responsibility, and that responsibility is towards the common good, something that can only be reached by working together and yes, supporting your next president regardless of who gets elected.
As easy and therapeutic as it will be to insult the President-elect if that person was not the one you voted for, like so many other things in life the right thing to do is not always the easy thing to do. So it comes down to this. I don’t care if you hate one candidate so much that the very though of them becoming the next president makes you sick to your stomach. What I care about is the future of this country and the rest of the world, and regardless of who wins, for better or for worse we are far better off if we support our next president. That is something I will do. Not because I consider all options to be acceptable, but because the only way this works is if we get behind that president and grow together as a nation. If we do not do that then all of this will have been for nothing. To me that is far less acceptable than my candidate losing.
Fight for what you believe in. Fight for what you feel is right. But at the end of the day do what it right for your country, and that means supporting its leadership, even if it wasn’t the leadership you chose. Tomorrow I will support my candidate. On Wednesday I will support the next President of the United States.
But first get up tomorrow I will do what I hope all of you will do. I will get out and vote.
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