After a long, bitter, divisive election, a Republican president candidate has prevailed. The candidate’s partisans rejoice, but his opponents are outraged that such a narrow, prejudiced man will become president. Some are so outraged that they are thinking about leaving the United States. A Republican senior statesman is asked for his comments.
The year is not 2016. The year is 1860. The setting is not a modern television studio. The setting is the front door step of William Henry Seward’s house in Auburn, New York. But his words speak directly to our situation this morning. He said that the duty of the Republican victors was “simply that of magnanimity. We have learned, heretofore, the practice of patience under political defeat. It now remains to show the greater virtue of moderation in triumph. That we may do this, let us remember that it is only as figures of speech that the use of martial terms, such as ‘defeat’ and ‘victory’ obtain in our system of election. The parties engaged in our elections are not, never can be, never must be, enemies, or even adversaries. We are all fellow-citizens, Americans, brethren.”
Indeed. We are all fellow-citizens, Americans, brethren. Let us remember that on this morning after the election.