Our View: Now is time for unity

Published 11:44 am Wednesday, November 9, 2016

There were tears, there were cheers and, surely, there were some sighs of relief as a bitter election season came to a close in the early hours of today.

As election tradition would have it, the presidential race dominated everything. Social media, the news, our mailboxes and even our conversations with friends and family have been suffocated by the race between two candidates who seemingly couldn’t be any more polar opposite.

This presidential race will go down in history for more reasons than one. Many people found hope as a woman was selected to run on a major party ticket for the first time. Others saw a brighter future as a celebrity businessman promised to return America to its former glory.

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Bold lines were drawn as the race got uglier, and somehow, this presidential race seemed to be more divisive than others.

Hate was the overwhelming byproduct. Ignorance became the excuse for anyone with an opposing viewpoint. Tolerance and respect were lost.

Friends (in real life and on social media) were lost, families were torn on the issues, names like bigot, racist, murderer, liar, crook and many others became common language.

As we awoke to news of President-elect Donald Trump’s win this morning, those emotions and this divide will surely still resonate for some.

We can only hope some much-needed mending can take place in our community and our country.

No matter who is at the helm of our nation, it is most important that we somehow muster the ability to look beyond our differences and work toward what should always be our common goal —to be a better nation tomorrow, next year and in the next generation.

Perhaps our perspectives on how to achieve that greatness are different, but that is OK.

It’s easy to feel that we can’t affect change at the national level from here in Winchester and Clark County. But, if we start from the bottom up, maybe we can set a better path for our community, with the hope that other communities like ours have similar visions.

The stakes are high.

For that reason, we call on our local and state officials, newly-elected and already in office, to find ways to mend what has been broken by this election. Start small and build on those successes.

Set a tone of unity. Encourage conversations that don’t point fingers or ignite hate, but instead promote understanding and acceptance with a common goal in mind.

Coming together is truly the only way we can move forward after an election such as this.