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Going forward

November 18, 2016
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Judging from protest rhetoric and social media commentary, America's post-election is shaping up to be, at least initially, as contentious as were the 2016 Presidential campaigns.

Given the fervent support on both sides - and the close results between now President-elect Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton - it comes as no surprise that there has been no immediate "healing," no spontaneous joining of hands across the divide, no we're-all-Americans hug fest.

Emotions continue to run high.

But not among our country's leadership.

Our president, our president-elect and the candidate who lost are all urging that the election be taken in the context our founders intended: That the people have spoken and that it is time for, if not agreement, respect for the democratic process, and a good-faith effort to move forward.

From our next president:

"Now it's time for America to bind the wounds of division; have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.

"It's time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.

"For those who have chosen not to support me in the past... of which there were a few people. . . I'm reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country."

- President-elect Donald Trump

From our current president:

"The point though is is that we all go forward with a presumption of good faith in our fellow citizens, because that presumption of good faith is essential to a vibrant and functioning democracy. That's how this country has moved forward for 240 years. It's how we've pushed boundaries and promoted freedom around the world. That's how we've expanded the rights of our founding to reach all of our citizens. It's how we have come this far.

"And that's why I'm confident that this incredible journey that we're on, as Americans, will go on..."

- President Barack Obama

From the candidate who lost:

"Our campaign was never about one person, or even one election. It was about the country we love and building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power.

"We don't just respect that. We cherish it. It also enshrines the rule of law; the principle we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them."

- Hillary Clinton

Time for us to come together as one united people. A presumption of good faith in our fellow citizens. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power.

For those who ask if there can be agreement across party lines for the common good, the answer is, apparently, yes.

- Island Reporter editorial



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