Rising after the election

I had not planned to write about the election. But with all the divisiveness brought on by the presidential election, I started thinking about the only time I did not vote in a presidential election. It was 1996, several months after I moved to a nursing home. I was in a different county, feeling disjointed, and did not think voting would make me feel any better. But, after I skipped voting, I felt apathetic. I realized I had missed out on participating in something larger than myself. Ever since then, I have voted in presidential elections by absentee ballot. I consider voting a great privilege. I made sure my absentee ballot was completed and mailed so my voice was heard.

Since some voters do not like the candidates, many say they are holding their noses and voting for the lesser of two evils. Some complain and are not going to vote. They feel not voting means they are held harmless by the election results. But I do not feel you can opt out of the responsibility to participate.

It is clear from reading the newspapers and online stories most voters are nervous and some are quite anxious. They wonder what things will look like on the day after Election Day. Will the election, in fact, be decided? Will there be rancor, cries of “a rigged election” or possibly a lawsuit to challenge election results that might go on forever?

Voters can gripe about the messy campaign. So can those who do not vote. But we all must accept the results and participate in the post-election unification.

I hope the next president will discuss the future for all Americans. I read Republican nominee Donald Trump was removed from the stage at a campaign appearance Saturday because someone yelled there was a gun. I worried about this months ago and am surprised it just occurred.

I like history and have read a lot of it. From what I have read, this is not our worst presidential campaign politically. In the past, candidates have been manipulated and some came of nowhere to win. History books give us only the highlights. They tell us about the ugly catastrophes and seldom tell us about the uplifting moments. Who knows what the history books will read about this election.

But we all have a hand in writing it. I encourage everyone to vote. Vote for a candidate or vote for an ideology. And remember, after the election we all have to gather around the winner and come together as a country because we are Americans. If this is the land we love, that is what we have to do.


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