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Dear Republicans, from Georgia to the White House,

Congratulations, you won. Happily, that’s not the end of your journey. Winning means nothing in isolation. Instead, you’ve landed a much harder job. Politics isn’t about the race for office, it’s about what comes next.

You fought for the chance to govern. You won because you managed to convince a majority of voters that, for the moment, you were their best option for a brighter future. Go you.

What’s your prize? Celebrate, sure, but then it’s time to pay up. With great power, and all that. You are now accountable for the life, liberty and happiness* of the American people. Even the ones who didn’t vote for you. Even the ones who disagree with you. And especially the ones who will come after you.

A brief suggestion? Focus on what’s best about our way of life. This is America, imperfect but always striving for more. Look to build open, safe and productive communities, with educated people, well-fed children, healthy places to live and work, and the free and constructive exchange of ideas. Diversity is strength, and if you don’t agree with that ask yourself: did you create the iPhone, go to the Moon, build an airplane, invent video games, the Super Soaker, or make that amazing touchdown in last year’s Super Bowl? I know I didn’t, but I’m proud to come from a country of people who did.

We may disagree on methods, but look far enough down the road and we may agree on the goals. We are much more alike than not. Find those points of overlap and use them to aim for something better.

Don’t think you need to worry about those who did not support you? Take a look at your margins of victory, then ask what would happen if half of your constituents went elsewhere overnight. (Heck, ask Detroit.) That’s half of the people who pump gas, grow food, and teach in schools. It’s also half of those who keep the lights on, pick up the trash, police the streets, set bones, dispense medication, own businesses, build houses and, oh yes, pay taxes.

Even within parties there are diverse views and significant divides. Every day, we work together across those lines to make our communities function.

That’s the job.

So again, congratulations. Time to get to work.

. . . . . . . . . .

* Sounds a lot like healthcare, rights and economic wellbeing, doesn’t it?

 

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