“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
~Abraham Lincoln, Inaugural Address
Getting Past Presidential Politics
This election season created great divides amongst Americans. It was vicious and hateful. We won’t be past the emotions of the elections anytime soon, but we do have a great deal to be proud of as a nation. We peacefully transitioned power and set the example for other democracies to follow. There were no militias in the streets. No armed rebellions or insurrections prevented the new president from taking office. We followed the historical framework and tradition of the republic and inaugurated a new president.
Our republic demands of its citizens the peaceful transition of power. Inauguration Day is a day that opponents from all sides gather to witness the outgoing president hand over the power of the presidency to a new administration. To be sure, the framers did not envision the modern party system; the Constitution makes no mention of political parties. But they appreciated the need to moderate conflict between individuals and groups with strong political disagreements. As such, Article I, Section 4 and Article II, Section 1, call for elections that enable the peaceful transition of power between factions. With ratification, states and prospective candidates agreed to abide by those procedures. Despite harrowing moments when that commitment appeared to waver, our constitutional system has endured.
Celebrate the Republic and the Presidential Inauguration
Our republic stands in the framework our forefathers set into motion over two centuries ago. We must participate in our democratic process. That means each citizen must engage in peaceful discourse. Let your argument be heard through a peaceful practice of democracy.