For what seems an eternity, Americans have been focused on November 8.
Now we need to turn our attention to November 9.
Close to half the nation will face the reality of a president-elect whom they regard to be unsuitable if not unfit, perhaps illegitimate. Indeed, a majority may feel this way. Many who will have voted for the victor cannot be counted as supporters. They will have chosen whom they regard to be the lesser of two evils, often with the greatest reluctance.
Who Will Bring Us Together?
How will we bring the nation together?
We know one thing for certain: we can’t leave it to our politicians. It’s their “leadership” that has brought us where we are.
It will fall to all of us, to each of us.
It’s within every citizen’s rights to choose not to support Ms. Clinton or Mr. Trump. It’s necessary for all of us to support the next President of the United States.
A Challenge to Independents
With partisanship inflamed, there is a particular responsibility on those of us who are Independents.
The defeated side will likely exhibit reactions ranging from denial to disappointment to despair, from resignation to defiance. Many may experience an alienation, a sense of disenfranchisement that is more common among Independents. Immersion in ecosystems of like-minded people—in our communities, our social media, our choices of television and radio and other popular entertainment—may intensify and prolong such sentiments.
There is no reason Independents can’t simultaneously do two things that would seem contradictory in the thinking of many Democrats and Republicans:
—We can do whatever we can to help the new president unite the country.
—We can regroup and then redouble our efforts to reform our broken political system.
In the face of the Special Interest State that occupies Washington, the only way to unite the nation is to disrupt politics.
Reclaim November 9
The date November 9 is freighted with ominous historical undertones. On November 9, 1923, Hitler and his Nazi party were crushed in a coup attempt against the Bavarian government. It was henceforth a day of remembrance in Nazi lore. In 1938, November 9 garnered enduring infamy as Kristallnacht, “the night of broken glass.” The world watched in horror as the Hitler regime unleashed an orgy of orchestrated violence against German citizens of Jewish descent.
Thankfully we face no such immediate, existential crisis. Yet we all know we have serious work to do.
Reclaiming November 9 as a day of national reconciliation would be a worthy first step.
November 9 | The Day After