What makes America great is not our elected officials. We are what makes America great. That means we have some shared responsibilities during election season.
First, we need to remember not to allow partisan politics to divide us from each other. Both of the major parties have a vested interest in selling the idea that we are more different than we are alike. That’s why they create a few wedge issues. In contentious elections, like this one, these divisions are being sold as something requiring physical violence.
The very best leaders remind of us of the values we share, while working to minimize the differences. We have a political process to work out our differences. And we have an unbroken 240 year record of a peaceful transition of power. This is a big deal.
Don’t disconnect from your friends and family over partisan politics. Be an example by respecting their view, and hope that they respect yours.
Be a leader here.
Second, it does no good to recount the sins of one candidate while pretending that the candidate you support is as pure as the driven snow.
Politics doesn’t take place on a playground, and if you are looking for heroes, you aren’t going to find them in politics. You aren’t going to find any saints, and you aren’t going to find any perfect people. There are no candidates for office without flaws, regardless of party.
If you have ever voted, you made the choice between flawed candidates. This election is no different. Whoever wins, we’ll work it out, like we always have.
Start at Home
Finally, we may not be able to make all of America great through our actions as individuals, but we can make a difference in our communities, and that’s as important as anything else you do. It’s not okay to be a Facebook Activist, complaining about the way things are without doing anything about it. That makes you a poseur. You can’t make a difference attacking or arguing with people online.
We can treat each other with kindness and compassion. We can volunteer to help those around us in need, and we can contribute to causes we believe in. That will make America great.
In a few years, whoever wins this election will be gone, but we will still be here, and we will still have each other.