As Americans, we have elected Donald Trump as our 45th president.
After months of rancor in an especially bitter, stressful, passionate and hateful campaign, we must now as a democracy find ways that we can come together to work on the very real issues, problems and frustrations we face in all the communities that make up our great nation.
In his acceptance speech early Wednesday, Trump began this necessary process: “To all Republicans and Democrats and independents, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”
Indeed, and for all of us.
For all the other things we’ve witnessed over the many months of the campaign, the election results were ultimately driven by a deep desire in our country to change the status quo.
Now it’s time to govern.
With Republicans now in control of the presidency as well as the House and Senate, we’re about to see how this desire for disruption can transform itself into governing a deeply divided nation, into solving the long-simmering issues of income inequality, health care, security and equal opportunity that pushed voter sentiments to this result.
It’s going to be a lot more challenging than simply refusing to meaningfully participate.
In Hillary Clinton’s concession speech Wednesday, she said, “We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”
The nation is split down the middle. In the end, it looks likely Clinton will win the popular vote with a razor-thin margin. But it is the Electoral College, where each state gets votes based on congressional representation, that determines the winner of the election.
This could be the fifth time in our nation’s history that the president was elected without winning the popular vote.
Yet, against improbable odds, Trump won the election.
We as a nation — Republicans, Democrats and independents — need now to find ways to solve problems we share, and to respect that in a democracy, there are many passionate opinions involved on the way to those solutions.