The day after the elections: A prediction
I have two boys, and like most boys they love to wrestle. Many times, however, their wrestling turns to full-blown fights. Inevitably, I begin to hear the yelling and stumbling, and within a few minutes one or both of my boys come running to me, red-faced, sweaty, and in tears. One — or both brothers — then starts hurling accusations against the other for things he had done, and the other will do the same.
Before either can finish their arguments, my patented response has become, “Work it out,” and I send them away to resolve their differences. But interestingly, more times than not, within the hour the two boys are back to playing with each other as if nothing had ever happened.
In many ways, our election process reminds me of my two boys. Citizens are intensely passionate about their position and are fighting to assert their rightness. An election, by its very nature, has a way of creating divisions among citizens.
With elections less than 30 days out, I predict the fighting will become even more intense as each side ramps up the virtues of their candidates and positions, and vilifies their opponents. This intensity comes from the fact that many of us recognize that the upcoming election will be one of the most consequential elections in our nation’s history.
After Election Day, however, one thing is certain. No matter who wins, or what legislation is passed or not passed, there will be intense anger and hurt feelings by a significant number of our citizens.
For some, the outcome of this election will be absolutely devastating and they will feel like they have “lost the country.”
Conversely, some will feel overjoyed seeing that their candidates and positions have won the day, and they will feel like they have “saved the country.”
How we express our joy in the outcome, and how we “bring into the fold” those who have lost will surely determine whether or not these United States can be considered one American family.
Some may argue that this notion of an American family is virtually impossible given the current ideological divide.
However, our nation’s history has been rife with ideological differences, and guided — or “parented” — by our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, we have managed to “work it out” and retain our great democratic republic.
We recognize that despite our intense differences, our strength as a united country supersedes many of our ideological differences.
Just like my boys, there will be arguments and fights, but in the end we recognize that we are family and we will get through this election season.
[Bonnie B. Willis is co-founder of The Willis Group, LLC, a Learning, Development, and Life Coaching company here in Fayette County and lives in Fayetteville along with her husband and their five children.]