Its funny the things I remember my Dad saying, like how odd it felt when a president was elected who was younger than he (Jimmy Carter, 1976), or later in that presidency, how he would fume “You can impeach a president for running a stop sign, but not for ruining the country.” Dad was reacting to the impeachment proceedings connected to the Watergate break-in, and the economic downturn that happened during Carter’s presidency.
It felt strange for both those events to happen in my own life; like last night, as they talked about our 47-year-old new president elect. I’m 49 so I know how my Dad felt then. Likewise, I also understand how this president elect will follow one who wasn’t impeachable, but certainly did his part in bringing the inverse of prosperity to this country.
It finally feels safe to be a Democrat again. I know in a previous life, I was a closet one. I had the John Kerry sign, but displayed it proudly in our back yard. It didn’t feel safe to be contrary. I hope that this new majority party can do better, I hope it celebrates diversity, and tries to mend the wounds of the last eight years, and not retaliate for them.
I also hope we can appeal to our “better angels,” and Abraham Lincoln said in his first inaugural address, and the president elect quoted from last night:
We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. (AL, March 4, 1861)
I hope we will reach out to the single issue voters, and not ridicule them. My heart goes out to them for their unyielding support of a party that has not delivered. For six years that party occupied the presidency, had a majority in both houses, and still did not advance their cause. If it could not be done then, then when, I wonder? I hope we will all work together, and though we may not always agree, I trust we can respect each other and honor the process. For if we can all honor the process, then the outcome will be one we all can live with.