Well, the most bitter and divisive Presidential election in my lifetime just ended, and many are devastated and fearful, but just as many are excited—even elated. In this season of Thanksgiving, I am hoping that we as a nation can remember all the things that bind us together. Our differences are large and important, and they, no doubt, will drive many arguments and elections to come, but these differences must not forever distract us from our common American-ness—those things that unite us like the rich and powerful history we have; a shared love of freedom and the ever-unfolding and imperfect attempt to bring this freedom to more people; the love we have for our family and friends; the hope we have for our collective future, and the energetic push toward progress that has always defined the American spirit. We clash in how to get there, but these things we hold dearly and in common.
This Thanksgiving, I find myself grateful for the political voice our culture invites me to share—whether in support of or in opposition to any powers that be, for the vote I can cast, for the peaceful transfer of power that we again see occurring. I’m grateful for a genius Constitution that distributes power to an ever-rotating collection of representatives—legislators, justices and an executive who, in concert, make our system function. The grandeur of the Presidency and the seriousness of the problems that it faces have pulled greatness from many who have held the office in the past. Reform, insight, and political growth have often come when we least expected it. Our history is full of surprises. I’m thankful for that as well.
Thanksgiving is a time for grace. I hope we will protest respectfully, and celebrate with sensitivity. Our system needs all of our voices, AND it needs each one of us to listen—to truly try and understand each other’s fears, hopes and motives. Votes decide elections, but only dialog, concern and true curiosity bring understanding and change. Above all, this is my holiday hope this year.
We at OKA wish everyone a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.