The Morning After the Night Before

To all my politically inclined Facebook friends:

Good morning!  Either congratulations are in order or condolences.  Either way, our Nation has chosen its leader without war, without bloodshed and without a change in the fundamental way our Nation is governed.  Our system — the American system of government defined in the Constitution of the United States did its job and a peaceful selection of a leader by the masses has occurred.

Do not take this for granted.

There are many nations around the world in which a transition of any kind results in death, destruction and the suppression of rights.  As I write this at 9:25 AM on the day after election day, my cable TV is still working, my Internet access is still blazingly fast (according to Comcast) and I can still search for and find opposing views on any issue my meager brain can conjure.

Do not take this for granted.

Yes, there ought to be election reform. Yes, there ought to be less pissing and moaning between candidates for any office.  Yes, it would be lovely if the candidates focused on ideas for the Nation instead of on how to get elected.  And yes, the governed need to feel as though their vote actually impacts the election; that they’re closer to their government than they are now.  But I would not trade this system of government for any other system of government in the world.  

I will not take this for granted.

I’ve listened to the sniping among my friends and colleagues.  I’ve seen the anger over whose candidate is better, more qualified, more personable and more competent, and most of that has really turned me off to the political process.  But I voted.  I’ve had my say.  And now it’s time for all of us who are far more alike than we are different to recognize that we are Americans FIRST.  Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Yellow, Purple, Chartreuse — frankly I’m not interested in your partisan rants.  We are Americans, dammit, and we can and should come together and stay together regardless of who won last night.  We are stronger, better, more productive and more compassionate when we concentrate on our similarities than our differences.  

So today, instead of gloating or drinking heavily, look at that person on my Facebook page whose posts you hate to read ’cause it really gets on your nerves and think to yourself “We’re both Americans.  I’ll bet that person likes ice cream just like I do.”  Find the commonalities.  Find the things that make us alike rather than the things that make us different.  You’re all my friends for a reason:  I’ve found something in each of you that is similar to something I find in myself.  You all, my Facebook friends, have me in common.  (And there’s no one more common than me!)  

See if you can find what else you have in common with one another.  You might just be surprised that you’re far more alike than you think.

And never take that for granted.

Dan


Comments

The Morning After the Night Before — 1 Comment

  1. I meant to add this the day it was posted. A close friend of mine, who will call RCN, spent a lot of time in the foreign service. Her relevant response to this essay as reposted on Facebook are contained below:

    “RCN: Having served in a number of countries where transition in government inevitably involved bloodshed, intimidation and plundering of the public coffers, I agree with you completely.
    November 7, 2012 at 11:28am via mobile · Unlike · 2

    “Dan Wolfe @RCN – I consider your opinion to be definitive since you’ve lived in countries far less democratic that I have.
    November 7, 2012 at 11:42am · Like

    “RCN: Central African Republic, 2006: the defeated presidential candidate incites a military mutiny that results in death, destruction, and an end to whatever fragile security the people had. A bullet penetrates our roof and lands next to our son’s high chair. America, count your blessings and get back to work.
    November 7, 2012 at 11:57am via mobile · Unlike · 2

    “Dan Wolfe @RCN – Wow! Makes you feel pretty good about what goes on here, huh? Thank you for your service to our great Nation both in uniform and as a diplomat. You’re someone who really HAS walked the walk.
    November 7, 2012 at 11:59am · Like · 1″

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