Americans must find calm, peace

This very unpredictable election has gone, well, as many predicted.

Despite the predictions by early polling — that aren’t always accurate — we still don’t know unequivocally who has won this historic election. But what has happened, as expected, is the amount of time being spent counting ballots and, as threatened, litigation already being filed in connection with those tallies.

Yes, Republican Donald Trump has won Ohio, along with Trumbull and Mahoning counties, beating Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Trump claimed about 55 percent of the vote in Trumbull County, an even bigger win than in Trumbull County four years ago. And in Mahoning County, Trump claimed 50 percent of the vote to Biden’s 48 percent. Trump lost that county to his Democratic challenger in 2016.

And we know Biden is leading in his march to obtain the needed 270 electoral votes to claim the White House.

These things are certain.

Still, the outcome remains uncertain. Frankly, the whole situation is stressful.

Many of us have proclaimed ourselves sick with dread. We seem almost obsessed, relentlessly checking news reports. And through it all, sadly, America remains bitterly divided.

Now, many fear angry protests or unpeaceful riots might erupt at any moment. Many worry citizens will lash out inappropriately if they are dissatisfied when final results emerge.

That is a shame, and we hope and pray that is not the end result.

In a speech from Delaware on Wednesday, Biden spoke passionately about democracy and in defense of the election process.

“Every vote must be counted. No one is going to take our democracy away from us. Not now, not ever,” Biden said. “If we had any doubts, we shouldn’t have any longer about a government of, by and for the people. … Yesterday once again proved that democracy is the heartbeat of this nation, just as it has been the heartbeat of this nation for two centuries.”

We should bear those words in mind as we go through these next few days as the battle for the White House plays out.

Bothered by ongoing vitriol, a group of pastors gathered in the parking lot of Youngstown’s Covelli Centre for an outdoor session of prayer and healing after what they’ve seen as months of divisiveness leading up to Election Day.

Pastor Rolando Rojas of the Spanish Evangelical Church in Youngstown, prayed, “Father forgive us for allowing ourselves to be divided.”

Pastor Shawn Tyson of Mount Calvary Pentecostal Church, also in Youngstown, prayed, “Our nation needs a revival, but it must begin in the house of God. Judgment must begin in the house of God. Father we return with the spirit of hunger.”

Amen to these prayers.

We all must acknowledge that divisiveness must end. Fingerpointing, hate and anger toward those who think or act differently than we do is not the answer.

Indeed, we all are human, and it is not our place to judge.

Rather, it is imperative that we remain calm and maintain peace.

Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman from Ohio on Wednesday reminded us that while the election process continues, we must respect the process spelled out in state laws to ensure that all ballots cast in accordance with state laws are counted. Calmness must prevail during this process.

And then, no matter what the outcome, we must have faith and respect in the system — both electoral and judicial.

At the end of the day, acting out angrily will not help.

It is time now for healing. Haven’t we been divided long enough?



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