Country First, Candidates Second

Today  is election day. Both parties and presidential candidates have been campaigning for months and it will finally culminate today. Regardless of who wins this years election, it is set to be the most divisive in American history. If Barack Obama wins, he will do so with the lowest percentage of white voters in history and if Mitt Romney wins he will do it with the least amount of non-whites ever recorded. This just illustrates one of the numerous ways this election is being decided through a divided prism of opposing voters such as: whites and non-whites, married women and single women, pro-life and pro-choice, tax cutters and revenue raisers, those worried about the debt and deficit and those not, small-government and big-government believers, pro-Obamacare and anti-Obamacare, pro-gay marriage and anti-gay marriage, pro-gun control and anti-gun control, and the list goes on dividing us up…

However, despite all the negativity and constant rhetoric, we are fortunate to have two well-qualified and dignified men running for the highest office in the county. Though they may not be many peoples first choice, and there are many more qualified people, our political process has nominated and chosen these two men and that choice is a blessing in and of itself. Today, the United States continues its growth and living history by adding a new chapter and a new leader. What we should hope for is true leadership not just from the winner, but from the loser as well.

The only thing that can hurt the country and set us back even more is to have a contested election, which will serve no purpose, but to undermine the eventual winner and strongly divide this country. News reports have been highlighting both campaigns readiness with attorneys and lawyers willing to challenge any election irregularity and drag this election for days, and in some cases even weeks. The media would love nothing more than to turn this election into a soap opera and gain ratings, which is shameful. The country went through that episode before in 2000 and we should not have to do it again, especially now that both sides are prepared for such a fight. It will only serve to delegitimize our electoral system, weaken the eventual winner, and rip an already torn country in half.

For the sake of the country, the presidency, and our future, we should hope that whoever loses the election tonight chooses to be a true leader and concede defeat, congratulate the victor and throw their support behind them and their presidency. That would be the dignified and presidential thing to do and solidify trust  in our political system and enhance people’s trust in government. If that is to happen, then regardless of who is elected, we all win. If we drag this out, we all lose, including tonight’s winner.

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