Moving forward for the good of the country

Katie Wade

It’s been a wild ride since we first heard the original candidates announce their bid for the presidency. I know most of us are tired, burnt out, and probably planning to avoid all social media for the next few days.

Some say they watched thoughtfully as the campaigns unfolded while others were unwaveringly sure in their candidate of choice since the beginning. But I’ll admit that I have been emotional and stressed about the outcome since the primaries. I have unfollowed friends and family, battled over fake news and clickbait, and watched the debates in horror.

Negativity, radicalism and hatred slithered their way into the spotlight, showing the ugliest sides of America regardless of political alignment. And I was angry and frustrated to see that in my country and my community. I believed we had come so far and suddenly saw everything I thought the United States stood for challenged by toxic ideologies and agendas that had existed beneath the floorboards for decades.

Now here we are, with the final counts in. I accept the results, because I believe in our system of government. But we cannot pretend like this is the end of the road. We cannot believe that with this new administration all of our problems will be solved or that the efforts of the last administration will crumble under new leadership.

Now is the time to step up and be an active voice. Now is the time to reconcile differences and join forces. Ultimately I believe we all want the same things for this country – a place for everyone, access to opportunities for success, acceptance of varying ideas and room for debate. That sounds a lot like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, doesn’t it?

I’m not going to sit here and preach to you and pretend like there aren’t some ugly beliefs among certain groups of people who crawled out of the woodwork. I imagine we will be hearing a lot from them in the coming days. We will deal with them as we always have, with perseverance and the assuredness that we are on the right side of history.

Unity is going to be important after this election. At the moment, we are so divided, possibly more than ever. The values in this country are just as diverse as the people who hold them. But we do believe in the United States, we believe in liberty and justice for all, and in that we share an identity as Americans and we’ll continue to fight for the value of that identity, through this new administration and on.