OUR VIEW: A time for healing and unity

The choices have been made – for the most part – and with the exception of some unfinished business at the state level, Election Day 2016 has passed.

A new President of the United States will be inaugurated in January.

With that question resolved, it is time for the nation to move on with its business of being a nation, and not a moment too soon.

The election campaigns, from the primaries right through now, were rancorous. Democracy is not always pretty. But it is preferable to violent revolution. That’s a lesson we learned as a nation by the time the Revolutionary War ended in 1783. It was a lesson too soon forgotten by some. And four-score and some years later, when, split in two by the unresolved question of its special Original Sin, the institution of slavery, the nation fought against itself in its bloodiest confrontation.

Internal peace has reigned since then, and we trust that it will continue to reign despite the issues with which we now contend.

We should never be beyond questioning our leaders, and this new presidency is no exception.

There will and should be questions from a free press representing a free people.

There should be swiftly forthcoming answers to those questions except when providing them endangers national security, and we are all going to be watching very closely.

Those whose views did not prevail can and must understand that the question of who is to lead will be presented again in just four years. And then, as now, the ballot rather than the bullet will decide. Or the pitchfork. Or the torch.

Because this is the United States of America. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are the shining light.

The rancor that preceded the vote should not be slammed.

It is a sign that people care, that Americans everywhere, if divided on many issues, are united in the idea of bringing their diverse thoughts and concerns to the forefront. We argue loud and long because we care.

Congratulations are due to the men and women who made it their business to get out to the polls and vote. They didn’t use as an excuse to stay home, though excuses were prevalent.

It would have been easy for some to say that since Louisiana was not a battleground state in the presidential election, voting didn’t matter.

There were constitutional amendments, there were other important elections.

The U.S. Senate race comes to mind.

Those of you who voted did your civic duty.

We don’t agree that those who did not vote “have no right to say anything.”

The First Amendment to the U.S Constitution does not discriminate against those who do not vote. Those of you who did not have a right to say whatever you wish to say.

But the preferred place for everyone to make their preferences known is the voting booth.

We now enter the great unknown. It is a new era for the United States. We have children to educate, sick to take care of, dreams to fulfill.

Hopefully we shall not again see what has happened over the past eight years, which was a concerted effort by partisans on one side of the political equation to castrate a presidency that emerged from the prevailing will of the other.

Our federal representatives must never, as they have during the election campaigns, speak of dismantling the U.S. Supreme Court by inaction.

The time has come, no matter which party one belongs to, to put the overall interests of the nation ahead of the interests of party.

In one family members may disagree. In the least dysfunctional families those disagreements can be settled by vote.

Members of our American family must be willing to do the same thing.

We must work toward uniting on those things we can all agree on, and reaching compromise, not winner-take-all victory, on those where we cannot.

That was tried once, and ended up with tragic consequences.

Now, with the election behind us, let us join in one voice and say one thing everyone can agree upon.