“The nation is at a critical point. At a time like this we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the party aisle to do the citizens’ work.”
Not the words of Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton.
Those were the words of Republican candidate for US president, Mitt Romney, during his 2012 concession speech in Boston.
And yet, four years later, our nation is at an even more critical point.
The world has watched as The 2016 United States Campaign Season unraveled into the most insulting, accusatory, vulgar, and divisive campaign ever. It’s finally election day and the polls remain tight with Clinton clinging to a narrow lead.
The tight race reflects American voter emotions.
Disillusioned. Fed up. Frustrated. Many Americans are voting today in disgust of the Republican and Democratic candidate. I’ve even heard some are tossing both aside and going for a write-in ballot:
As a political reporter for CNN, I covered one of the tightest presidential races in US history – that of Al Gore and George W. Bush.
After six weeks of legal wrangling over Florida’s hanging chads, the Supreme Court stepped in and declared Florida and its electoral college votes for Bush. Despite winning the popular vote, Gore lost the presidency.
He called his opponent to congratulate him and then he addressed the nation:
“For the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession. I also accept my responsibility, which I will discharge unconditionally, to honor the new President-elect and do everything possible to help him bring Americans together in fulfillment of the great vision that our Declaration of Independence defines and that our Constitution affirms and defends.”
Today, as the election results are tallied. I pray that whoever wins and loses remembers that:
“We are one people with a shared history and a shared destiny.”
I hope tonight at New York’s Javits Convention Center where Hillary Clinton will be and at nearby the Hilton Hotel Midtown where Donald J. Trump will be, there is no talk of building walls.
Only of building bridges.