Abraham Lincoln was elected president on this same day in 1860 and he led our country during our (hopefully) only civil war. Tonight, many of us in the United States are nervously awaiting the results of our Presidential election.
We are becoming more and more known as a “nation divided”. Conservatives versus liberals. Wealthy versus poor. Small government (states rights) versus big (federal) government… I would like to think the divisions in our country are overly exaggerated by the media for entertainment purposes. Drama pumps up ratings. All Americans are not the people you see on tv or the internet. Many of us dress appropriately, have graduated from school, don’t abuse drugs, food or other people; many of us are quiet, we care for others and almost all of us are hard-working. We come together and help each other when needed.
Despite intense pride in our country, many Americans shy away from politics. We are known as a country of apathetic voters. So many eligible voters never get to the polls. Droves of people are leaving the democratic and republican parties to become independents because they don’t want to be labeled as one side or the other. We are afraid to mention any subject that may seem political. Instead of engaging in open, civil discourse, admitting you support the “other side” could lead to a verbal (and in some cases physical) altercation.
Why aren’t there more sides? We are so polarized because when one is “for” the other side has become the “against”. Adding 3 or 12 or 20 more presidential candidates would allow people to choose who represents them best without pitting us against each other. Our issues are not ‘black’ and ‘white’ —we need more options.
Of course, I hope the candidates I voted for today win. I believe they are fair and will do their best to represent all Americans. To be truly fair, we just need more choices. Despite what some may believe, our diversity is a tremendous strength of our nation. I hope at some point we can all feel we are part of the same team.
Images from: http://www.politico.com/