I didn’t know what to expect with yesterday’s election.  It’s no secret to my friends and family which way I lean; I ran for our local board of education as a Democrat three years ago.  I consider myself a very middle of the road, moderate D, but more often than not, I find myself looking towards that side of the aisle. Still, I pride myself on being very open minded, researching the issues, and not demonizing people who disagree with me.  I try, really try, to listen and have discussions with those who don’t feel as I do to try and understand why people think they way they do.  I have plenty of friends who are conservative, but the ones I am very close to have the same ability to see things from someone else’s point of view, and respect that just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean either of us are wrong.

Still, in the last few months the divisions have been heating up, even with those I know personally.  The anger and rhetoric has reached a very divisive, fevered pitch, all of which was going to culminate yesterday in the election.

I was uneasy from the start of the day.  I knew that no matter what, no matter which side prevailed, our country was still going to be in a mess.  With the country so divided, and angry, no matter who won would have a mess on their hands, I reasoned.  I fully expected that we’d find ourselves in a 2000 election scenario, with the winner unknown for days or even weeks.

Which is why, while everyone I knew stayed glued to the TV last night, getting either very happy with each passing hour or very upset, I went to bed early.  I fell asleep on the sofa at 9pm, tired and frustrated.  Feeling as if no matter who won, I wasn’t going to be terribly happy with the result.  Don’t get me wrong, I was hoping for a blue side victory, but I knew that the other side would be so angry and so upset that any hope for real compromise or bipartisanship would be out the window.  As much as I didn’t agree with much of Romney’s stands, I realized that he likely would have a better shot at getting anything done because he would have a Congress willing to work with him.

And so here we are, the day after the election, and just as I feared, half the country is Extremely Pissed Off.  My own Facebook feed has comments that include, “God Help Us Now,” “Welcome to the United Socialist States of America”, “I’ll just stop working now and put my hand out,” “We just handed America over to the Devil.”  I’ve seen people compare Obama to Hitler repeatedly, and Lenin.  Honestly.I get that some people are upset and disappointed.  That makes total sense to me.  But the name calling, the vitriolic anger, the total lack of respect for a human being is just abhorrent to me.

And I truly don’t get why no one else seems to get that that is just plain wrong, and does nothing to move our country to a better place.  I mean, we all say we love our great country.  But part of the whole premise around our great democracy is that it is built on compromise.  No one person holds all the power for a reason.  And to get to the land of compromise, two things have to happen.  People have to trust one another and respect one another.  Two things that I see very much lacking, not only in Washington, but in much of the political talk that goes on between regular folks these days as well.

The elections are over.  The decision is made.  It’s time to push up our sleeves, respect our differences, and find some common ground to get the hard work that needs to be done, done.  Our country is great, but it won’t be if we continue this level of division and anger.  It’s time to get over ourselves, all of us.  No gloating from the left and no whining from the right.  Just put your heads down and do the hard work that needs to be done.


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