The election season was one unlike any in recent memory. The separation between the candidates, though great, was nothing compared to the division of their respective supporters. Reason and rationality were often lost to passion and anger.
Even now, with the election over (save Jill Stein’s attempt to make a name, and a little money, for herself with a recount effort) vitriol continues to spill forth. Republicans must not be disheartened by the current state of discourse, nor should we fall prey to hardened hearts at the insults being lobbed. Instead, we must embody the essence of Abraham Lincoln who saw fit to maintain a thankful spirit even as a civil war was being waged around him.
“The year that is drawing towards its close, has bene filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies,” Lincoln wrote.
“In the midst of civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity” he still mustered the humility to thank God that “order has been maintained, the laws have been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict.” He went on to be thankful for a growing economy, a growing nation, growing national resources, and most importantly, “a large increase in freedom.”
The political disagreements we slog through today are nothing compared to the literal war that Lincoln and his political contemporaries had to suffer through. And yet he gave thanks and continued working undeterred, knowing that his cause was just and believing that his methods were the best at his disposal.
We at least are blessed with the knowledge that although we may disagree over the means, we largely agree on the ends: We want to expand opportunity, health and wealth for all Americans while simultaneously reducing poverty, inequality and stress.
Fortunately, Republicans are ready to put the divisiveness of a the election behind them and get on with the business of governing. What’s past is now prologue for the great things to come.
“Every day, we are guided by our belief in the dignity of every person, and the hope that we will leave our children with a stronger nation than we inherited,” Rep. Doug Collins said in the Weekly Republican Address. “In the weeks ahead, our mission is to set things on the right course. A unified Republican government offers the people a better way to address some of our biggest challenges.”
It offers the opportunity to once again offer a positive agenda that is laser focused on using conservative principles to making American’s lives better and easier. No doubt, Republicans, who long ago grew disheartened by their inability to move their ideas through the halls of Washington, are energized by the thought of legislating. Of getting to put their principles into practice.
“At the same time, we recognize that the task ahead of us is enormous,” Rep. Paul Ryan recently told the press. “If we are going to put our country back on the right track, we have got to be bold, and we have to go big. This country is expecting absolutely no less.”
House Republicans have already put together an ambitious governing vision including tax reform, a path to boosting entrepreneurship and startups, a plan for growing the economy, and ideas for combatting poverty. That list will be augmented by President Trump’s mandate to repeal and replace Obamacare, implement an infrastructure program, and rollback various Obama-driven rules and regulations.
“The work will not be easy,” Collins admits. “There will always be difficult days. But if we listen and learn from one another, if we seek to empower—and not exploit—one another, our journey ahead will be brighter than the path behind us. And we’ll gather together to give thanks for the heritage we share, for a more perfect union.”
We are all fighting for a stronger America. So now, with a new legislative session upon us, let’s agree to put the election behind us.