ATLANTA -- After an election cycle described as bitter and nasty, how can we move forward as #OneNation?
Wednesday night’s largely peaceful demonstrations come amid calls for unity as the U.S. prepares for a Donald Trump presidency.
People protesting Donald Trump’s election – is that just a taste of the next 4 years and will Trump supporters rally in celebration of his election?
On Wednesday night, the reality of our national motto, E Pluribus Unum – out of many, one, is very much up for debate.
Just one evening after the political earthquake, people are voting again facing another fork in the road – and deciding which path “We the People” will take.
So does the country choose a deeper division or some sort of agree-to-disagree mutual respect.
In his acceptance speech, Trump called on the public to come together as one united people.
Hillary Clinton said in her concession speech that the American public owed him an open mind and a chance to lead.
“The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy,” President Barack Obama said. “And over the next few months, we are going to show that to the world.”
Many, locally, hope that is the case.
“My hope? Figure out how to find that common ground, one woman told 11Alive. “I don’t think it’s going to be easy.”
So it is that the senior pastor of Martin Luther King’s church – Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist’s Raphael Warnock – thinks it just may take divine power.
“We are all Americans and the day after the election we close ranks, we pray for the best for our country – for our new president,” he said. “And we witness, I pray, the non-violent transfer of democratic power.”
Social media filled with clashing hashtags like “#NotMyPresident” or “#OneNation”.
The latter of these shows Democrats and Republicans refocusing on what makes us all American.
“And I think that’s where we’re going to mesh,” one local said. “And if people in the middle - the great percentage of people who are level-headed, reasonable folk - will come together.”
Still, Trump’s plan and rhetoric delight half the nation and disgust the other.
No middle ground there.
“I think, in those cases, I think there will be a lot of rancor and continued arguments and anger and frustration,” yet another person said.
But many still hope that the end-result isn’t a country more divided – but a nation that remains whole.
“This is one election cycle,” Warnock said. “And we’ll continue to put forward our divergent visions of what it means to be a more perfect Union. But we have to stay committed to that fundamental idea that we are, out of many, one people.”
It will likely be the moment that our best selves are put to the test.
“E pluribus unum,” he added. “That’s who we are.”
Some of your answers:
What do you think? Post your thoughts on our Facebook page or tweet #OneNation.
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