Sharing the most important bonds

Published 12:50 am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

We are Suffolkians. We are Virginians. We are Americans.

There are many things that separate us, different lines of distinction setting us apart from one another: Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, Libertarian, Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist, agnostic and so many others. We define ourselves in so many different ways each day, and in doing so we often mark off territories that exclude those who do not look as we do, think as we do, worship as we do or vote as we do. We’re red or blue, unless we’re purple. But then we find ourselves coloring that purple into its own shades of red or blue.

Today — after interminable months of campaigning, after countless phone calls and surveys and debates and television commercials and attack ads and news stories and on and on and on — today we’re all similar shades of black and blue. Winners or losers, we’re all feeling beaten up by the process, mugged by the business of elections. Today, we’re looking for aspirin to cure the Election Hangover of 2012.

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Today, as we begin to find a way to move back into our normal lives — ears ringing in the sudden silence now blaring from our televisions and radios — we’re collectively breathing a sigh of relief. Whether our candidates won or lost, there’s a palpable sense of relief that the long ordeal is over. Channeling a famous frog, we in Virginia might be tempted to look back on it all and say, “It ain’t easy being purple.”

But today we can start the most important process of all — the process of healing, of calling old friends and offering olive branches, of reminding ourselves that we love our family members from the other side of the political spectrum and then reminding them of the same thing.

Today is the day to remember that whatever else we are, we are Suffolkians, Virginians and Americans. And we will persevere. No election will destroy those bonds.