We must all hang together as a nation

Throughout the nation, approximately half of the people who had hoped to be elected to public office on Tuesday have been disappointed.

So have their supporters.

The aftermath of any election calls for a period of reconciliation. By their very nature, political campaigns aggravate the enmity that too often goes with disagreements about policy. Generally, we move on — if not as good friends, at least as adversaries who accept the electorate’s verdict and attempt to cooperate as much as possible.

This election is different. This time around, the animosity and distrust has run deep. Overcoming it will not be easy. It will not occur quickly.

Ours is a nation founded from the very beginning on recognition that we will differ, sometimes profoundly, however. With that must come a spirit of, if you will, agreeing to disagree without viewing one’s adversaries as too evil to tolerate.

We certainly have disagreed deeply, have we not? We will continue to do so, but it simply must be as Americans who all want the best for our nation, but believe in different routes to that end.

This may be a good time to remember that we Americans have passed through peril much greater than that we face now, and prevailed by putting our differences aside for the common good.

It may be a time to remember something Benjamin Franklin reportedly said to his fellow Founders, when internal squabbles threatened to rend the United States asunder even before we had declared our independence.

“We must all hang together,” Franklin is said to have advised, “or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

editorial@tribtoday.com

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