Dear Commons Community,
Even though it has been a bitter election season, it is most important that we all vote today. Tonight, it is just as important that we begin a healing process and it needs to start with our two candidates. Here is an excerpt from an op-ed written by Frank Luntz, a CBS News and Fox News analyst, giving advice to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump,
“For decades, that healing has begun on election night with a concession speech. The vanquished candidate, usually surrounded by family and friends, accepts defeat with remarkable grace and dignity, and asks supporters to accept the will of the people: “We’ve been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone.”
The concession speech is a trademark of our democracy, and we are stronger for it. Let us hope we don’t have to wait hours or days to hear it.
From the winner, what we need is less of a victory speech and more of a personal apology and a clarion call — for unity, empathy and understanding. If we are to address the rampant cynicism and heal the wounds I have witnessed day after day on the campaign trail, here are the words America desperately needs to hear:
“My fellow Americans, I stand before you tonight, humbled. There is no greater honor than to serve as president of the United States — and no greater responsibility.
“For many, this is a night of celebration. But I recognize and respect the millions who preferred a different path. And so I ask one last sacrifice from my supporters who have worked so hard to make history happen. Instead of your cheers, I ask for your silence so that I might speak directly to my opponent and to the people who are discouraged and disheartened with tonight’s results.
“Our political system has too often drowned you out. Our economic system has too often left you behind. But no more. Tonight, I hear you. I feel your frustration. Your hopes and dreams are just as important as those of the people in this room. Your concerns are just as real. I get it, and I will act on it.
“Throughout this election, we’ve said things to each other that were harsh, negative and inappropriate. Our divisive words too often distract us from the challenges we need to solve. From failing schools to rapidly rising health care costs, from immigration to Social Security, the challenges we face as individuals, as communities and as a country are immense and demand the best minds and best ideas from across the political spectrum. In the months ahead, my administration will set the example. We are more than just Democrats. We are more than just Republicans. We are Americans.
“And so I ask my supporters to have empathy and understanding for those who are commiserating across town and across the country tonight. And let us all tonight pledge allegiance to one nation, indivisible. I’ve always promised to fight for you, but that doesn’t mean we need to fight against them. Let’s mark tonight by finding our common ground and moving forward together.”
Let’s fix our country, not tear it apart.”