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Post Election Day: It is time to move on…but together for a change.

November 7, 2012

“With malice toward none; with charity for all; …to bind up the nation’s wounds; …”  Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 1865.

If you, like I, woke up this morning in a highly charged, politically divided household, solely as the simple result of Americans exercising their right to choose their next president, you may know why I was reminded, again, of the foresight and wisdom of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.   Mr. Lincoln, asking for healing support from both sides in the waning days of America’s most costly war, the Civil War, had previously warned our nation that “a house divided, against itself, cannot stand”.

At the time of this address, that war was now almost over.  The Union victors, although proud of their impending victory, had a much larger job ahead of healing the nation for the benefit of all.  And, that healing also required the participation of those who would not be ultimately victorious despite their unquestioned valor and deep belief in their own cause, the Confederacy.

Many of my generation learned passages of this inspired speech by President Lincoln as a required memory exercise.  But it is also surprising how many times many of Mr. Lincoln’s words have entered my mind reflecting upon the current political state of our country.

With today’s juxtaposition of the results of the 2012 Presidential Election and with Veterans Day now only days away, as a point of personal privilege, I again digress from my blog’s primary intent solely to offer suggestions to those who wish to become more successful at mediation.

No one asked me or any of the other veterans of my generation my party affiliation when our country sent us off to war.  And, just as there are no atheists in foxholes, neither did anyone inquire about anyone’s political party affiliation as yesterdays or todays veterans faced deprivations of family, injury and death in their service for our country.

What we have always asked of our service men and women was simply to protect our freedoms.  And, for all Americans.

One of those most precious freedoms is our right to choose our leaders.

And, speaking from the viewpoint of the military, it was also always fully expected and accepted that once a leader was chosen, it was every soldiers sworn oath to support that leader and move the entire unit/country forward until victory was achieved or another leader was chosen.

Honestly, until recently, I believed the same duty to be true for all American citizens.

I am not sure when or how such permanent dissention started.  However, it seems that today many of us have forgotten how our republic (not democracy) form of government is supposed to work!

Simply stated, our forefathers directed we choose leaders to represent differing interests and allow those leaders, by working together, to find the common good.  And, while they work for the common good, we support our leaders.

But, if the leaders we choose, fail, we simply choose new leaders.

Americans foreseeably wake up the morning after EVERY Presidential election with 45-49% of those that voted “disappointed” with a leader, not of their personal choice, chosen by others constituting the majority.  And, by the way, a similar outcome is the same in every election of every kind!  It has been that way for my lifetime and I doubt it will change in yours.

The difference in recent years, disappointing to me, is that rather than all Americans uniting, traditionally in support of the new leaders to try to move the Country (or State or….?) forward for the benefit of ALL, too many of those who were not on the prevailing “side” simply refuse to contribute to the benefit of all, but rather immediately start to work to undermine those leaders chosen! 

Equally as bad, often those of the prevailing side, are less than magnanimous in their (present) victory.  Many of them spend too much time addressing past “transgressions” rather than moving forward for the good of all.  Too many forget that only too short a time ago, those prevailing today were likely on the previous losing side!

Where did this childish gamesmanship come from?  When did it start?  And, what can we do to stop it?

I have a simple Veteran’s Day solution.

This Veteran’s Day, ask any veteran if he or she served so that only one party or one special interest would be permitted to prevail?  Ask them if their comrades who were grievously injured or died for our Country put any qualifier of political persuasion upon their sacrifice.

I know the answer.  And, you do too.

It is time to move on, for all of us, but together for the common good.

Our new leaders elected yesterday may or may not be of your choice.  But they were the choice of the majority, this time.  And, until the next election they are YOUR leaders as well.  If any leader is ever to succeed, they need everyone’s support.  Not mindlessly, but working  within our incredible proven system of compromise and Constitutional checks and balances.

If the present leader then fails, you will soon be able to choose another leader, next election.  And, trust me, the next election is just around the corner.

And, this Veteran’s Day, in a few days on November 11th, thank a veteran for that freedom.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2012 10:27 am

    Dan –
    I just took a few minutes to read a couple of your blogs. I really liked this one as a former Political Science student. Thanks for your comments and our new friendship. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
    Bob Rasch

  2. Kest, Kristopher J. permalink
    November 8, 2012 10:37 am

    Well said.

    Kristopher Kest Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. 215 N. Eola Drive Orlando, FL 32801 407-418-6285 Sent from my iPhone

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