The 2016 contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will go down in American history as one of our most divisive and rancorous elections. The divide between left and right was deep when it began, deepened during the process, and has never seemed deeper than it is right now. At this writing, four days after the election, protests and riots continue to plague American cities as thousands refuse to accept the outcome.
“Never Trump” has never been more alive. Vociferous and often profanity-laden protests have devolved into assaults on citizens, police, and businesses.
Vociferous and often profanity-laden protests have devolved into assaults on citizens, police, and businesses.
Hillary Clinton gracefully concedes
In her concession speech, a visibly disappointed Hillary said, “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.”
You do not have to read much of my writing to know that I am no Hillary fan, but I applaud her for doing what she had to do to bring American together after a contentious election.
It didn’t work.
America loves winners
America loves a winner, or so they say.
The truth is America loves a gracious winner. No one watching a lifetime of Trump narcissism would anticipate much in the way of grace when he won as a presidential candidate after being the unlikeliest of longshots and finding himself opposed to establishment politicians from both parties, the bulk of the media, Wall Street, and everyone who had an interest to protect in DC.
If ever there was a time for a Trump gloat, this victory might be it. Instead, he was gracious in victory:
Thank you very much. I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us — it’s about us — on our victory, and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign.
I mean she fought very hard.
Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.
I mean that very sincerely.
Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of decision. We have to get together.
To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it’s time for us to come together as one united people.
Its 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. ~from Donald Trump’s acceptance speech after winning the presidential election
Gracious winners and graceful losers. Statesmen committed to their belief in the American experiment. Servants serving a greater common good.
I know that we tend to denigrate politicians, and, more often than not, for good reason. But they remain a vital part of a system of government that has worked magnificently for 240 years. Where else in the annals of human government have you seen a system where power changes hands every four or eight years and does so without violence?
I know that we have seen violence this time, but it is not officially sanctioned violence. It is not the conqueror vanquishing the conquered. It is not the winner doing violence to the loser as has so often been the case in every other human government.
Make America Grateful Again
It is time to make American grateful again. It is time for Americans to realize that, for all of her flaws, she is still what Ronald Reagan called “a shining city on a hill.” She is still the beacon of hope, the guiding light for those seeking a better system of government, a better way of life.
As we approach the holiday America has officially set aside to remind us of God’s goodness to us, to remind us to recognize the grace under which we have thrived, what can I do, what can you do, what can we do to make America great again?
We can begin with gratitude. We can begin with grace.
It is right that we should be grateful for the plenty amidst which we live; the productivity of our farms, the output of our factories, the skill of our artisans, and the ingenuity of our investors. But in the midst of our thanksgiving, let us not be unmindful of the plight of those in many parts of the world to whom hunger is no stranger and the plight of those millions more who live without the blessings of liberty and freedom…
I urge all citizens to make this Thanksgiving not merely a holiday from their labors, but rather a day of contemplation. I ask the head of each family to recount to his children the story of the first New England Thanksgiving, thus to impress upon future generations the heritage of this nation born in toil, in danger, in purpose, and in the conviction that right and justice and freedom can through man’s efforts persevere and come to fruition with the blessing of God.
Let us observe this day with reverence and with prayer that will rekindle in us the will and show us the way not only to preserve our blessings, but also to extend them to the four corners of the earth. Let us by our example, as well as by our material aid, assist all peoples of all nations who are striving to achieve a better life in freedom. ~President John F. Kennedy, Thanksgiving Day, 1961
America’s greatness is directly related to her gratefulness and her grace. Let’s make America great again by being grateful again.