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  • Adam Schell

Coming Together After the Election

Election Day 2020 has come and gone...and, even though it took a little longer than we're used to, a winner has been declared. But, sadly, that doesn't mean that we can just put this election behind us.

I may be a prisoner of the moment, but it feels like the 2020 Presidential Election was one of the most divisive elections in our history. Over the last few months, we have witnessed uncivil debates, the harassment of campaign officials and election officials, and we have seen a whole lot of protests and demonstrations--both civil and not so civil--happening across the country.

So, even though our President-Elect is calling on us to come feels like we are far too divided by our red and blue politics to be united as a nation right now. So how can we come together after this tumultuous election cycle? Well, here are a few ideas:

Miss the Forest and Look at the Trees

We've all heard the expression about "missing the forest for the trees." It's an expression that we use when someone is so caught up on little details that they're missing the big picture. But, when we look at the big picture of politics in America and specifically in Washington, D.C. it can be disheartening.

Four days after various media outlets declared a winner in this year's election, far too many officials from the opposing party are still refusing to acknowledge the winner. And, if we can't even accept who won this election, it seems impossible that both parties can come together to actually accomplish anything in our nation's capital.

And that's why we have to look beyond the political forest of Washington, D.C., and pay attention to the trees all around us. When you got to work, there are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents that come together every single day and manage not to bicker or fight over politics. When you go to church, people of every political persuasion manage to worship the lamb of God instead of an elephant or a donkey. When you're out at the grocery store, you can ask someone to grab a can of green beans from the top shelf without having to ask them who they voted for on November 3.

The average American city or town isn't as divided as the politicians in Washington, D.C. would lead us to believe.

The average American city or town isn't as divided as the politicians in Washington, D.C. would lead us to believe.

And the average American has co-workers, friends, and/or family members that supported the other party in this year's election that they still manage to love and accept.

So don't focus on the big picture of politics in America. If we want to come together, we need to focus on the trees right in front of us every day.

Find Common Ground

This shouldn't come as a shock to you, but we will never agree on politics. The truth is that Democrats can't even agree with other Democrats on every issue, and neither can Republicans. So, if people who manage to support the same party and candidate can't agree on everything then there's no hope that the 150 million Americans that cast a ballot last week will agree on everything.

But just because we can't agree on everything, that doesn't mean we can't agree on anything.

Just because we can't agree on everything, that doesn't mean we can't agree on anything.

So, believe it or not, you can find common ground with members of the opposite political party. I am friends with quite a few people that I will never agree with on most political issues, but we can still cheer on the same basketball team, or watch the same TV shows, or enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And that means that we don't always have to dive into deep discussions about what's happening in politics. Sometimes we just talk about the front court for the Cats, or the latest twist on This Is Us, or how much we miss Chadwick Boseman.

Remember We are All Children of God

In the heat of political debate and discourse, it's easy to forget that the person you are talking to is a child of God...but they are. Everyone you will ever meet, whether they are a staunch Democrat or Republican, is still a child of God...and that includes Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

So never forget the humanity of the person you are interacting with. And when you feel yourself getting a little overheated, take a step back and remind yourself that the person who is driving you crazy was created by God and that God doesn't make mistakes.

So even if you can't agree with them on anything, you have to be able to find a way to love them.

Now, I know that what I've written in this post is too simplistic and Pollyanna-ish to solve the divide in our nation. But even if we are miles apart politically, we have to start somewhere. And even the smallest baby steps can bring us closer together. So let's be willing to take the baby steps we can now while we keep looking for giant leaps too.

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