Our view: Trade division for unity | SteamboatToday.com

Our view: Trade division for unity

At issue:

The 2016 presidential election was one of the most contentious and divisive in American history.

Our view:

Now that the votes have been counted, it’s time to move forward and seek a more unified vision for America.

The 2016 presidential election will go down in history as a race between two of the most unpopular candidates in three decades. According to an Oct. 31 Washington Post/ABC News poll, Hillary Clinton is seen unfavorably by 60 percent of likely voters while Donald Trump is viewed unfavorably by 58 percent.

Our view:

Now that the votes have been counted, it’s time to move forward and seek a more unified vision for America.

The election has also been marked by 18 months of political rancor, negative campaigning and debates that seemed more like debacles, and we think it’s time to put the divisiveness behind us. The votes have been cast and counted, and our country must now lick its wounds, learn its lessons and look to better days ahead.

The first step toward moving forward depends on a peaceful transition of power, which is rooted in the foundation of our democracy. It’s a long-established tradition that the losing party graciously concede the election and acknowledge our country’s newly elected president. We believe this peaceful passing of the torch is the first step toward healing our country after such a brutal election season.

The transition to a new president does not wait until all the ballots are counted. According to an Aug. 2 story in The Wall Street Journal, Trump and Clinton transition teams were given access to a workspace near the White House on Aug. 8, so that both campaigns could begin planning a legislative agenda and vetting candidates for staff positions.

The teams shared the same office space and were tasked with preparing their candidate to assume office if elected in November. This protocol was established by the Partnership for Public Service, which was set up in 2002 to formalize the transition process.

“After Sept. 11, there was a recognition by both political parties that transitions are a vulnerable time and there has to be a fluid passage of power between the two — no matter whether it’s a same-party or change-of party transition,” Martha Joynt Kumar, director of the White House Transition Project, which studies and advises policy makers on transition issues, in the Wall Street Journal article.

We agree with Kumar that the transition to a new president is a crucial period for our country — it is a time when we need to replace fear with faith in the democratic process and trade division for unity.

Differences are inherent in a democratic government, but we hope to see more of our elected leaders reaching across the aisle to solve America’s most pressing problems. Compromise should not be a bad word, and instead, our government leaders should be finding ways to work together to solve major issues facing our country, such as healthcare, job growth, ballooning student loan debt, immigration and peace in the Middle East, to name a few.

Regardless of who you voted for, now is the time to respect the will of the people and unite as Americans to solve our common problems.

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