When I was a teenager, I played competitive travel softball. My team was unique in that we started playing together in 7th grade and stayed together until we graduated high school. We were more like family than teammates. But there was one catch. The town we lived in had four high schools, and our team was spread out between all four of them. Even though we spent every weekend of every summer playing together, we spent every spring on rival teams.
During those rival high school games, we were the fiercest of competitors. Every spring, I had to face my travel team pitcher as she pitched for the team across town. She tried to strike me out, while I tried to drag a bunt to her weak side. We were enemies for those 90 minutes. But without fail, at the end of the game, we hugged and congratulated each other for a game well played. We said hi to each other’s parents and talked excitedly about our upcoming travel season.
Why am I telling you this story?
Because today, Election Day, we wrap up a season of fierce competitiveness. Democrat vs. Republican. Candidate vs. Candidate. Issue vs. Issue. It’s been a fight. Each side convinced of their own rightness. Each side aiming to win.
But at the end of today, we are all Americans again. And we’re going to be okay.
I know this election means a lot to a lot of people. I’m not saying it doesn’t. But the only way forward is together.
Maybe I’ve been listening to a little too much Hamilton lately, but there is one thing I am sure of. Americans are fierce. We fight for what we believe in, and we believe hard. But we also rally together like no one else. We all want this country to be a better place and are willing to stand up to make that happen. We’ve faced a lot in our 244 years of being a country, yet our spirit is just as strong as ever.
Tomorrow, let’s begin the process of coming back together. No matter which side you’re on, whether your candidate won or lost, you won’t ever be able to accomplish your goals alone. We need all of us, working together.
Tomorrow, America will have a new leader or four more years of the last one, but the American people are still the same. WE are the heart and soul of the nation.
Tomorrow, let’s lay our gloves down and embrace each other. Win or lose, it’s over. We have to keep moving forward. We have to.
Just like athletes who show no mercy during the game but walk off laughing together in the end, we can come back together. As Americans. As humans. We are family. We take care of each other. We celebrate wins and grieve losses, but remember that America is more than a president or party.