Focus on positive change after election

  • Saturday, November 12, 2016 4:59pm
  • Opinion

There’s been a post making the rounds on Facebook about a woman who, feeling down about the results of the election, went for a hike in the woods to help get her mind off of things. While out getting some fresh air, she just happened to encounter Hillary Clinton, who was doing the same thing.

We share that anecdote with you to tell you this: with the campaign over, it’s time for us to start looking for the things we have in common — and an appreciation for the outdoors is a great place to start. After all, it’s why many of us choose to live on the Kenai Peninsula. Whether you consider yourself liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between, who doesn’t appreciate getting outdoors?

The political rhetoric of the recent campaign has been nasty — which isn’t really anything new — but it’s also been much more divisive than in campaigns past. And there’s been an aggression behind the rhetoric we haven’t seen before, one that’s made people feel unsafe and threatened in their own community.

That’s unacceptable.

Others have listened to the candidates and the news coverage, and have seen themselves essentially labeled as ignorant.

We must do better.

Now, we’re not saying we all have to stand in a circle and sing “Kumbaya” — while it would be nice, we don’t think it’s realistic to expect it — but we do need to acknowledge that having a political conviction, and the courage to express it, is to be admired and respected, not derided as a character flaw. President-elect Donald Trump set the right tone with his acceptance speech.

“Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division, have to get together,” he said. “To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. “It is time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all of Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”

We also appreciate Clinton’s remarks after the election, in which she said, “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

And President Barack Obama emphasized the American tradition of a peaceful transfer of power, pledging to help Trump and his advisers as they take the reins of government.

“We all want what’s best for this country. That’s what I heard in Mr. Trump’s remarks last night. That’s what I heard when I spoke to him directly. And I was heartened by that. That’s what the country needs — a sense of unity, a sense of inclusion, a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law, and respect for each other,” Obama said on Wednesday. “I hope that he maintains that spirit throughout this transition. And I certainly hope that’s how his presidency has a chance to begin.”

We hope our readers understand that unity has to start here in our community. We all have friends who may have voted differently than we did — they’re still our friends. We have the same hopes and dreams now as we did six months or a year ago.

And if there’s any lingering doubt about that, we have a suggestion to help remind you of at least one place where we can find some common ground: go for a hike.

More in Opinion

Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink promotes getting immunized with the flu shot this winter. (Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Health and Social Services)
Immunize when you winterize

An annual flu shot plus the COVID-19 vaccine protects Alaskans and our health care system, too.

(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Dunleavy’s first act as governor was unconstitutional

That’s according to a ruling by Senior U.S. District Judge John Sedwick.

This Aug. 3, 2021, photo shows Juneau International Airport.  The Federal Aviation Administration shared recommendations on Thursday for improving aviation safety in the state. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: How the FAA will improve the margin of aviation safety in Alaska

Alaska depends on aviation more than any other state…

Central Peninsula Hospital is seen in Soldotna on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Perspective of an educator in a ‘high-risk’ group, part 2

During some of the darkest days of my time in ICU, it was obvious where we all live is a special place.

Lawmakers havereturned to the Alaska State Capitol for a fourth special session. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Revenues should be determined before more PFD spending

The governor believes the dividend drives the entire calculation. Sadly, he has it backwards

Ronnie Leach. (Photo provided)
Point of View: For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, #weareresilient

At the onset of COVID-19, we expanded our services in a way to ensure COVID-19 consciousness.

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion:Where’s Don Young when America needs him?

Once upon a time, avoiding political controversy was completely out of character for Young.

Peter Zuyus
Voices of the Peninsula: Seniors appreciate vaccination efforts

To those who have worked to encourage vaccination we say: Be proud, you are, in fact, saving lives.

Jackson Blackwell (courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: Carbon dividends are the bipartisan climate solution

By levying a gradually increasing price on carbon, U.S. emissions will be slashed by 50% in 15 years.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Dunleavy: Facts Matter

Political opportunists care more about spreading political untruths than accepting the facts.

Steve Hughes. (Photo provided)
Voices of the Peninsula: We are all victims of COVID-19

It is disturbing to hear, as a triage nurse, the many reasons cited for not getting a vaccine that are based on misinformation.

Opinion: LGBTQ+ Alaskans deserve respect and dignity

Like every state that lacks equality, we need federal protection.