It is 2016 and we are in the midst of another presidential election. As in elections past, there is no unanimity among us as to who should next serve as the leader of our country. The Electoral College voting aside, since I was born it seems on average there were about 52% of us who voted for the winner and thus were happy. That means for any given election, 48% of us were unhappy with the results of an election. Each of those percentages equal millions of happy and millions of unhappy people. And just like everyone else, I have been happy with the outcomes of some elections, and I have been dissatisfied with others.
If I look back starting to when I was born, I have lived through 19 presidencies – and, if the good lord is willing, I will experience at least one or two, maybe three, more. It is in times as these that we need to take a deep breath and remind ourselves that maybe in spite of those presidents we weren’t enamored about, as well as those we lauded, our country has survived. We have made it through wars and times of peace; economic boom times and dire financial times. At times our country has been that shining city on a hill, as President Reagan reminded us, and there were times when our behavior cast a pall over our country. We have stood tall as Americans and we have held our heads in shame. We have been a red country and we have been a blue country. Many today say what we are now experiencing is the worst of times. Others say the best of times. Either way we are still one country; we have once again survived.
But what is important is that even though we bicker and fight politically, since 1865 we have never let our differences end in a coup d’ etat or an armed conflict. I like to think that someplace deep within the core of each of us we understand that we are all Americans; we are all citizens of the United States of America. We are in this boat together and want what is best for us.
So, as we work our way through this presidential election, I hope you and everyone you know will take a deep breath along with me and remember who we are and why we are. And whatever the problems, whatever the differences, we will survive and we will endure – because we are Americans and are all in this together.