This election has exposed the division in this country. It is a division that simmered below the horizon and never fully manifested to become part of the national dialogue in this country. Trump spoke to this dissatisfied, angry part of America. It is an America that we in New York do not see, an anger that our elected officials must now recognize as voices that must be taken into consideration while governing, whether in Albany or in D.C.
This campaign also revealed the dark side of America. The side we don’t speak about because we are afraid to recognize that racism, hate and homophobia are still part of the national consciousness. It is a fear of those who are different.
Those who live on the East or West Coast don’t travel or spend enough time in the central part of our country. If they did, they would realize that it is a very different America. There is a lesson to be learned here on both sides. It is a lesson of respect for lifestyle, opinions, facts and beliefs that both Republicans and Democrats from coast to coast need to learn.
Those differences must be respected and solved in the voting booth rather than through social or intellectual snubbing.
Next year we have an election in New York City. We hope it will not be as divisive as this year’s presidential election. We hope our leaders will engage in a dialogue that will bring communities together because we cannot emotionally or cognitively withstand another election like this one.