I moved from an extremely liberal area in Northern California to one I would consider to be very much conservative in Northern Florida. For many of the people around here, the economy was a main issue. When I was in the Bay Area, I would argue that social issues were the most important. Overall, being in different regions of the United States throughout this election cycle has been an amazing experience.
My main take away from this election more than anything else is that everyone has their convictions. We all have things that we are passionate about and care for deeply. It is these issues that take prominence come an election. People gravitate to what is most important to them based on their life experience. I would say I witnessed this more this year than any other election I could remember.
We do not have perfect candidates. Like ourselves, they have flaws and opinions that may not be the most popular. There has yet to be a single president to win every single popular or electoral college vote. It will never happen. This means that people will always have differing views on fundamental issues and the level of salience placed on these issues will ebb and flow for people over their lifetime. An important issue to you now may not be as important 10, 15, 20 years down the road.
We need to be supportive of and welcome others to have different views and opinions than our own. That is how we make progress. We need others to think differently. However, we still need to maintain a level of mutual respect for one another. At the end of the day, we are all Americans. Greater than that, we are all humans. Some comments spouted over social media leading up to and throughout the election evening were deplorable. At times it was an utter ugly display. It demonstrated that we still have a far way to go as a nation.
I finally just logged off it all and watched The New York Times website for updates, the last major media outlet to announce the results of the election. It has been decided. Obama will continue in his role as president. We can recognize that there is a lot of work to be done. We have an economy that needs to recover. We have national debt that we need to slow. We have social issues around equity for all Americans. We have a middle class that is struggling. We have domestic issues of poverty, homelessness, and hunger. We have foreign issues and relations that need to be further developed, nurtured, and supported. Both sides have great ideas to accomplish the myriad of tasks facing our nation. We need to come together to solve these issues with the best possible ideas. To simply disagree because of party lines, regardless of what side you may be on, is unproductive and further debilitating our nation.
Whether you agree with Obama’s platform or not, we have work to do as a nation. So, let’s put aside particular and individual agendas and get the work done.