What the win­ner should say

A reader sug­gests a mes­sage of unity from who­ever is elected pres­i­dent

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Peter Shafer, Lutherville

Here are what should be the Nov. 9 re­marks of the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion win­ner (“Trump says he will ‘to­tally ac­cept’ elec­tion re­sults ‘if I win,’ ” Oct. 20): “I stand here to­day both in awe of the his­tory that was cre­ated yes­ter­day and ex­hausted from wag­ing an in­ter­nal war our coun­try has rarely ex­pe­ri­enced.

“To­day is not a day to cel­e­brate vic­tory or claim the prize of gov­ern­ing this great na­tion. It is a day of re­flec­tion. It is a day to be­gin heal­ing. And it’s a day to truly rec­og­nize that even through strife and anger, through pet­ti­ness and de­ri­sion, Amer­ica re­mains the land of im­mense op­por­tu­nity and ev­ery­one should have a fair and rea­son­able pur­suit of those op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“The time has come for us to take very se­ri­ous stock of where we have been, where we are to­day and where we are go­ing.

“That jour­ney can be even more suc­cess­ful and more re­ward­ing if we take con­sid­er­able time to re-ex­am­ine our goals and prin­ci­ples per­son­ally and as a na­tion. Each of us needs to use this time to recharge our in­di­vid­ual and col­lec­tive bat­ter­ies. By do­ing so, we can re­fo­cus and re­frame our en­er­gies away from the anger and bit­ter­ness. We can heal old wounds that hin­der us to­day from our hope­ful fu­ture.

“We all value the strength in trans­parency, but also the time had come for all of us to open our hearts and minds to truly al­low our­selves to tran­scend the seem­ingly in­fin­i­tes­i­mal de­tails that sti­fle our progress. It is so true that the devil is in the de­tails. We must have faith in our­selves, our am­bi­tions and our prin­ci­ples and cen­ter our col­lec­tive en­er­gies on con­struct­ing our pros­per­ous fu­ture, and not be bur­dened with the minu­tiae that dom­i­nates our coun­try’ de­bate and di­a­logue.

“We need to al­low our ac­tions to speak louder than words and to lis­ten and act more than talk and stand by.

“Life and pol­i­tics are not sport­ing events. We can­not con­tinue to keep score of our so­ci­ety’s progress in terms of wins and losses.

“While it is nec­es­sary to fo­cus on data, it is so much more im­por­tant to fo­cus on the peace of mind that we have done the right things, ver­sus do­ing things right.

“We need to be more ac­count­able for the progress we make as a so­ci­ety. Some­times it takes his­tory to de­fine those suc­cesses, not a spread­sheet or a bud­get. We need to be more con­cerned about how we lay the foun­da­tion for the fu­ture in­stead of how much the bricks cost to build that foun­da­tion.

“I be­lieve we all rec­og­nize that this will be a chal­leng­ing jour­ney. That is why I am ask­ing that ev­ery­one take a step back, be­gin to rest, heal and re­fresh both their mind and their hearts, so that we can one day soon be­gin this jour­ney to­gether. The jour­ney is for a sin­gle pur­pose — to re­build trust, trust in our in­sti­tu­tions, trust in our peo­ple and trust in the very prin­ci­ples and val­ues this coun­try stands for.

“We must switch the fight to be not against one an­other but to be against the com­pla­cency and the bit­ter­ness that has sym­bol­ized the last sev­eral months and years.

“I am re­minded of the adage that there are two ways to have the tallest build­ing in the city — one is to tear all the other build­ings down and one is to build anew. I am set­ting forth to­day that I choose to build the tallest build­ing and not to tear down other build­ings to achieve our goals. There is no rea­son to de­stroy the beauty and majesty of what our col­lec­tive world has built. But there is jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to pro­tect and pre­serve the spec­tac­u­lar beauty our na­tion of­fers to this world from our en­e­mies.

“Over the next sev­eral weeks, our na­tion will honor our veter­ans on Veter­ans Day and give thanks for our abun­dance on Thanks­giv­ing. Let’s use this time to col­lec­tively rest, re­flect, re­store, and re­vive our faith in the United States. Thank you.”

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