In the late 1700’s, We The People got the idea that we were tired of being ruled by the British Monarchy and wanted a different option, and in the 18th century the only way to go about that kind of thing was to wage a war. In fact, no major empire in history prior to the writing of the US Constitution has been overthrown and replaced without violent revolution.
Throughout much of the world today there is no transition of power without bloodshed. Opposing voices are routinely silenced, and power is held indefinitely by the few while the masses have no say or influence.
Regardless of how we vote, we must admit that we find ourselves in a unique and enviable situation in world history. In 1980 I watched Jimmy Carter peacefully hand power to Ronald Reagan. In 1988 Bush 41 handed power to Bill Clinton, Clinton to Bush 43 in 2000, and George W. Bush handed the reins of power to Barack Obama in 2008. During the inauguration, these leaders literally sit on the platform and participate while the other leader assumes power they once held.
Men with strongly opposing opinions, agendas, and philosophies who have respected the will of the people and handed over power peacefully, shook hands, and then simply walked away.
Last night we watched as Donald J. Trump wrapped up the necessary electoral votes, and in the morning this was the news, “President Obama called President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday morning to congratulate him on his election victory and invite him to the White House on Thursday to discuss “the smooth transition of power,” the White House said.
Obama will discuss the election results in a statement to the press Wednesday from the White House, including “what steps we can take as a country to come together after this hard-fought election season” .
From a philosophical standpoint, President Obama has little in common with President-Elect Trump. Most of Trump’s campaign was built on opposition to policies Obama has implemented. But without a second thought, our President is prepared to continue the American tradition of a smooth transition of power, and ask the people to unite. Regardless of party affiliation, this is what American leaders do. He was graciously treated this way by an opponent in 2008, and he now extends that same tradition.
As our nation continues to be strongly divided, I still believe we are not as divided as we think we are or the networks tell us we are. We all yearn for unity and understanding, and we do well to follow the example of the smooth transition of power. Do not fall into the trap of speaking constant ill of President Obama, President-elect Trump, Secretary Clinton or any of those who have chosen a position different from yours. The election is over, and while we will certainly continue passionately debating our differences, we must seek to do so in civility.
For what does continued anger towards one another accomplish? Nothing at all but a further circling of the wagons and further isolations against those ‘other’ people, who in truth generally seek the same results you do, they just believe that a different approach will get them there.
Instead let us choose to be guided by this truth, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” – Luke 6:45. Let us pray for all of our leaders and ask God to guide their decisions, regardless of party. Let us pray for one another to move forward from this campaign season.
Keep your words pure and right by keeping your heart pure and right. There was division in 2000, there was division in 2008, there is division today and this divisive election will be followed soon enough by another, but the words we say and the way we choose to interact with those around us will leave lasting impressions, quite possibly for generations to come. Don’t forever alienate Clinton supporters or Trump supporters or third party supporters. It’s simply not worth it, as the smooth transition of power is going to occur one way or the other and will occur again in the future. That has always been and will always continue to be a very very good thing.