An Open Letter to My Fellow Americans

tt138.jpgMy fellow Americans,

As the results of our Presidential election have settled in, the emotions and passions associated with those results still run high. Many of us, regardless of our preferred candidate, felt very passionately about this election. Now that the outcome has been decided, we must take the high road and embrace our fellow citizens as we attempt to move forward as a nation.

This election has turned a mirror onto who we are as Americans. While this image may be shocking or disturbing to some, it is what we have collectively allowed our republic to become. This is mostly due to political polarization, lethargy, and an almost apathetic disdain for government and those who run it. This last point is especially important. When we do not care enough to treat the holders of the elected positions in our representative democracy as conduits of our shared values, then we get representatives beholden to some and ignorant to the beliefs of many. Our democracy becomes less of a reflection of who we are, and more of a manifestation of our worst fears.

In order for us to grow as a country, we must all believe and embrace the notion that our democracy has to have room for divergent viewpoints in order for it to thrive. A country born out of rebellion and formed through agitation should not be afraid of passionate debate and differing opinions. So much of the anger and fear that prevents us from accepting other viewpoints, is born out of our inability to grasp that we can disagree with one another without those disagreements turning personal. This brand of politics has left an indelible mark on our nation and has scarred our political system significantly.

That said, we should never reward those who seek to stifle the voices of our fellow Americans because that betrays the ideals on which our country was founded. It is our duty to continue to raise those voices in loyal and reasoned opposition to an agenda that does not support the values that we believe in. Not only is that is our right, but it is also our responsibility as Americans to ensure that a government by the people and for the people are more than just mere words.

This responsibility cannot solely be exercised every four years, but must be actively cultivated every electoral season. We cannot allow candidates to be selected or elections decided because we have surrendered our vote and thus our voice by not being engaged in this process. So, starting now we have to begin to heal as a nation. All elections are about partisanship, but governing is about partnership and I begin by looking at myself and working in every way possible to find common ground amongst my fellow citizens on the challenges we face. I do this because I want my sons and daughter, and yours as well, to see that a nation deeply divided by a political choice can come together to repair our imperfect union.

My friends, I have the same prayer for our President-elect as I have had for every President since my first vote in 1992, “to govern in the interest of all Americans and to protect our nation”. I pledge my support to our President-elect to achieve this goal and hope with every fiber of my being that he will live up to that prayer. If he does, he will be successful and our nation will be as well. So let us no longer sow the seeds of derision and divisiveness in our country, but rather look forward to a harvest built on cooperation and unity, in an effort to make our country better.

Troy

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  • commented 2016-11-11 07:09:36 -0500
    Troy, thanks for your comments and for representing us so well. You’re right that we need to come together, work together as a nation, and try to find common ground with those who don’t share our opinions. We can do that and remain true to progressive ideals and that’s my goal. That reconciliation we all need would be easier if the other side had not spent the past eight years denigrating President Obama and reflexively blocking all his efforts — just because of who he is. But we have to rise above that, once again. As Ms Obama said, “They go low; we go high.”
  • commented 2016-11-10 22:06:31 -0500
    Troy,
    I appreciate your sentiments but in all the years I have voted, this is the first time I have been so upset about the election results. I am shocked, sad and even angry that a man who preached such hatred for others could be our President. In his campaign, he vowed to destroy everything we have worked so hard for. I do not know if I can ever accept him. He is going to have to prove himself. I’m not sure that he can.
  • commented 2016-11-10 21:10:54 -0500
    Troy, I think you need a reality check.
    There can be no reconciliation with the rising white racist tide because they hate us more each day. Attempted reconciliation is why Obama’s ACA was horribly designed on the Heritage Foundation blueprint. Rs still hate it. Rs hate their own plan because a Democrat adopted it! The ACA is a perfect example of reconciliation failure. Rs are congenitally unreasonable. They cannot reconcile with anyone outside the “tribe”.
    Still, I’ve tried to treat everyone fairly since the disastrous 2000 election and all I got was hate because I opposed the ridiculous Iraq war. I was ostracized from my own Catholic Church and family for pursuing reason and peace. I campaigned against reducing taxes because it makes the budget non viable and I was told “its our money” by people blindly borrowing from their children. After the crash, as a loyal Keynesian, I supported the lender of last resort government stimulus because it always works. The Rs claimed it was busting the budget while it cost maybe 5 trillion to save 320 million from depression. Meanwhile, they used 5 trillion for Iraq, we are obligated for trillions more, no one knows why we need to kill so many people, but Rs say it is money well spent. Rs are irrational but the Church supports them, if you’ll pardon the pun, religiously.
    As usual, I spent about 20% of my after tax pension supporting selected Ds in this cycle. We were on the verge of a government option in healthcare, a Supreme Court that could think outside the powdered wig slave owner mindset, real climate action, restored labor rights, safe food and water, safe working conditions, consumer financial protection, women’s rights, more brilliant treaties like the Iran nuclear deal, and countless magnificent historic achievements but they threw it away because of racial hate and xenophobia. The damage at the Executive office may only run for four years but the damage to the Supreme Court will last decades. We are going to lose 100 years of social progress. We will throw away our last precious chance to confine CO2 growth to the 450 ppm range (it was 25% less when I learned to ski in Southern New Jersey!).
    I’m out of money, time, energy and patience to pursue reconciliation. I’ve been there, I have the scars to prove it and I can’t go on. Good Luck reasoning with those people.
  • commented 2016-11-10 19:32:16 -0500
    Thank you. It’s a challenging time and I worry about people turning their backs on the foundation we’ve counted on for years. Good and bad, our democracy is a big part of who we are as Americans. If we want change we have to work towards it, not reject it. Thank you for everything you do.
  • commented 2016-11-10 19:31:46 -0500
    Thank you Troy Singleton. You are the real deal and I’m so grateful to have you representing our community. You have my support now and in the future – please tell me you’ll run for president someday!