Vote today, unify tomorrow

We’re all tired of it.

The steady stream of television attack ads, the nonsensical Facebook posts in which individuals try to berate other individuals who disagree with them; people making wild and false claims about a candidate, a candidate’s supporters, even taking aim at the media for supposedly not reporting things that are, in fact, reported and easily accessible.

We suspect everyone is tired of it, and most discouraging of all is that when it all ends, once today is over, we don’t believe anyone can be truly happy with the choice we’ve made as a nation as to who will be president for the next four years.

But a choice we must make, and we encourage you to do two things.

First, if you haven’t yet voted, please make an effort to get to the polls before they close tonight. Voting, even if it is for the lesser of two evils, is the building block of this nation and the hope of people all around the world. The simple act of casting a ballot is a remarkable achievement, considering that most of human history has been marked by monarchs, dictators and military leaders who held control by force.

That we get to freely go the polls, vote for whomever we wish, without fear of recrimination, is truly remarkable, and we should never take that for granted.

If you haven’t taken advantage of early voting, we encourage you to make your way to the polls today and cast a vote. Whether you vote for Clinton, Trump, one of the minor party candidates — even a write-in — cast your vote. And don’t forget to vote for the other elections. Oftentimes, the votes for state government seats, county and municipal board spots have far more daily impact on our lives than the national ballots, even the presidency.

Tomorrow morning, presumably we’ll have a winner in all those seats, from the president down to the Pilot Board of Commissioners, and everything in between.

This has been a nasty, no-holds barred election at the national level, though much more civil and professional at the local and state level.

No matter who wins, the best way to show we, as a nation, are above all the mud-slinging that has occurred at the national level is to rise above it. Determine right now that whoever wins, that’s who we claims as our president, our senator, our governor, our commissioner or state senator or house of delegate representative.

Determine you will support them when they do right by our communities and our nation, regardless of political party affiliation. Equally important, show them you will hold them accountable if they overstep their bounds as governing officials; if they engage in petty bickering that results in more gridlock; if they simply seek out what is in their best interest rather than the best interest of the people they represent. Again, this must cross party lines, rewarding those who do the job well with additional time in office, and punishing those who do poorly by ousting them the next time they are up for re-election.

This is how we continue to make America, and our communities, great — by showing we expect our leaders to act in the best interests of the people being governed, and to toss them if they don’t.

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