Americans entered voting booths all across the country, casting their support for their chosen candidates and lending their voices to important issues.

Over the years, I’ve witnessed and participated in numerous election days. After all of them, I cannot help but marvel at the process of self-governance.

While America and her children are not perfect, the notion that millions of citizens with varied political opinions come together every two years to shape their futures is quite miraculous – especially since we could never agree on whether that 2015 dress was blue or yellow.  It was blue!

Regardless, the democratic system of self-governance remains extremely special. While it may not seem Americans agree on much of anything these days, when democracy works, it is something to behold. We should never take that for granted.

While our system is not perfect, it’s our responsibility to keep including people in the process to make the country a more perfect union.

Exclusion hinders democracy, while inclusion makes it stronger.

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once famously quipped, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all others.” So true Mr. Churchill, so true.

At the time that I am writing this, control of the U.S. Congress is still up in the air, with the Georgia Senate race going to a run-off.

However, the 2022 midterms did offer some interesting takeaways, as posturing for 2024 is already underway.

First, American democracy remains strong.

While our union has always been fragile (Civil War and January 6, 2021, insurrection), the American people seem to rise to the occasion, placing the country back on solid footing. And believe it or not, that solid footing needs to be a combination of blue and red.  If we cannot figure out how to work together, then we are doomed.

Second, politicking continues to push the boundaries of decency.

My job has me on the road quite a bit, so watching the news in hotels has become a research project during election season. Over the years, political ads continue to grow more vile.

Hearing hateful language about the transgender community and people using critical race theory as a reminder of who should be in charge turned my stomach more than once. It might be time to pass an American version of The Communication Act 2003, an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Third, a majority of Americans rejected Trumpism.

While this was a positive result, good faith citizens should not fall for the notion that Trumpism is dead. It is not. While the former president might lose some influence, another iteration of Trumpism will emerge under a new name. We must remain vigilant.

Fourth, Americans overwhelmingly support reproductive health care for women.

Abortion rights were on the ballot in Michigan, California, Vermont and Kentucky. The first three states enshrined abortion in their state constitutions. Kentucky rejected an amendment that would have said there was no right to the procedure at the state level.

However, there are states where it remains illegal and women are suffering. It is well past time to pass a federal bill enshrining abortion rights as part of women’s reproductive health care rights.

Fifth, American elections remain trustworthy.

When I walked into my polling place this week, I made certain to thank the poll workers.

Again, our elections are really an amazing feat of self-governance. Being a part of this process feels sacred, as people from different cultures and political persuasions come together to select our leaders and oversee our elections. It’s America at our best!

Abraham Lincoln once wrote, “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” May we always strive to heed the words of our sixteenth president.

The greatest tool every American possesses is the right to vote. That’s why I am so perplexed over people saying their vote doesn’t matter or simply choosing not to vote.

I live in a state that is controlled by individuals whose political and theological ideals are starkly different from mine. However, my wife and I still exercise our right to vote even though we are always pretty confident the candidates we support will lose.

Why do we continue voting knowing this reality? You might think we enjoy banging our heads against a wall. No, we cast our votes letting the majority know we are here and will not be silent. In the words of the late congressman John Lewis, we’re getting into “good trouble.”

Another former U.S. president, Lyndon B. Johnson, once claimed, “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”

May we never forget this sentiment.

Finally, I want to wish all our veterans a happy Veterans Day. Thank you for your service and sacrifices. You are some of America’s best!

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