It is over! The people have chosen. The campaigning, together with its misrepresentations, exaggerations and accusations, has come to an end.
We are fortunate to live in a democracy where no matter whom you vote for, you have a right to your choice and everyone is responsible for their own vote. I have many friends from different backgrounds and different views from my own. Some are liberal. Others are conservative. I have friends in the Christian Right and some with libertarian views, and we have great discussions. They make me see things in a different light. I find different views stimulating. It would be a boring world if we all agreed on everything!
I respect the person, whether or not I accept their values or agree with their views. I have great difficulty understanding people who vote based on personality rather than issues, but I still must respect them. I am a big believer in critical thinking, and it amazes me how many otherwise intelligent people fail to analyze the issues, especially those which might challenge their own deeply rooted beliefs. But some of those folks are still my friends, even though we disagree. I tend to respect people more if they have reasons for their views.
Both candidates made statements that were distorted by their supporters, the Internet and the media. Each side accused the other of half-truths and fact distortions. But now it is time to move beyond the contrary evidence and discredited claims that plague our political campaigns.
It is time to take heart that, in these United States of America, democracy lives on. We can be thankful that there are no "pro-Americans" or "anti-Americans." We are all Americans. Whether we are Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, we all love this great country.
Our president-elect has renewed our optimism, energy and vision. But we cannot expect one man to go in and clean up a mess that has been years in the making, in just a few weeks or months. We must all come together and move forward as one people to renew this nation's promise. We need to help one another to face the many challenges on the road ahead.