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Editorial: After Devisive Election, it’s time to come together as a country

Editorial+cartoon+by+Trenton+Wesolick.
Editorial cartoon by Trenton Wesolick.

Editorial cartoon by Trenton Wesolick.

Editorial cartoon by Trenton Wesolick.

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Throughout the seemingly never-ending campaign of 2016, many Americans wondered what the founding fathers would think if they saw what our political process had devolved into. Many Americans thought the likes of Jefferson, Madison, and Washington would likely be disgusted if they saw our candidates. Now, the American system will truly be put to the test, as a man with no governing experience is commander in chief.
When the founding fathers gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 to write the Constitution, they were primarily concerned with one thing: fear of dictatorship. It was this very fear that prompted the weakness of the Articles of Confederation, in which the framers of the Articles left a chief executive out of the newly formed government. Later, when writing the constitution the framers ensured that no one person, even the president, had the power to ruin the government. They ensured the American people of this by distributing the powers of the government throughout various levels, and branches, of government.
Now, the majority of the country has a president that they did not vote for, and that over 60 percent feel is unfit for the presidency. This, of course, does not make President-Elect Trump illegitimate in any way, but it does mean that the next four years could be a particularly divisive period for Americans.
It’s now important for Americans to unify around the president out of respect for the office, although this does not mean that Americans need to unify around President-Elect Trump’s values or even many of the values upon which he campaigned.
The Editorial Board concedes that it may be difficult for the American people to unify around a man that was so devisive in the way he ran, but the importance of unification cannot be overstated.
Hopefully, President-Elect Trump will abandon many of the devisive values upon which he ran; if he does so, it will be much easier for the country to heal.
Fortunately, the President-Elect has already demonstrated this. His famous (or infamous) border “wall” may now be partially a fence; his deportation force may now only focus on criminals; and regarding Obamacare, he has recently expressed a willingness to keep key parts of the law intact.
There is another important note to consider in the aftermath of this election; many Americans do not feel as comfortable in this country as they did one week ago. We as Americans need to unify around the values that we hold most dear – values that are above anything discussed during the election – for these are the values that made America great in the first place.
Americans also need to trust in the institutions of our society, the very institutions that were so widely criticized during the elections. This includes research institutions, the media, and yes, even the government itself.
If we, the American people, put our faith in these institutions that have served as the bedrock of our Democratic-Republic for centuries, we can truly become a unified society. The institutions of our society draw their power from the people, and therefore are a fundamental part of acheiving change through unification.
This unity still leaves room for ideological discourse, as long as this discourse takes place in a civilized manner. Many of the demonstrations across the country have remained civilized, modled after the long history of peaceful protest in this country. However, the demonstrations that have turned violent are not only dangerous, but are ineffective and have no place in our Republic.
Our country is stronger than any one person or office. The success of the United States lies upon the shoulders of the American people: peole of all races, religions, and origins. We all want what is best for America, we just don’t always agree on how to get there.
On his way to Washington D.C. to assume the Presidency, Abraham Lincoln stopped in Indianapolis to reassure a group of Americans. He stated, “I appeal to you to constantly bear in mind that not with politicians. not with presidents, not with office seekers but with you is the question: shall the union and shall be the liberties of this country be preserved to the latest generations?”

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Editorial: After Devisive Election, it’s time to come together as a country