“In Unity” GOP Fil-Am leader Rudy Asercion ((left) and DEM Fil-Am leader Rodil Rodis (right) | Photo provided by Gus Mercado
CONSUMMATUM EST. IT IS DONE. LET HEALING BEGIN! The religious among us have a way of explaining our human failings and their consequences, including the fateful events of November 3, 2020, and January 6, 2021, in biblical terms. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” The voice of the people is the voice of God. The people have spoken, and democracy has prevailed. God has given us a new leader after ushering out the old. It took a failed rebellion for all the people to realize that our democracy, although frail at times, is fundamentally strong. The Constitution will survive threats of insurrection, physical violence, and human ambitions. “Things happen for a reason” is a common fallback rationale. God acts in unpredictable ways sometimes, but in the end, God shows that He cares about us and our future as a nation and acts accordingly.
“The voice of the people is the voice of God. The people have spoken, and democracy has prevailed. God has given us a new leader after ushering out the old.”
We just finished a year that we would rather soon forget, as it was fraught with suffering, rancor, and division. And we are still in one of the darkest periods in the history of our nation, where the mortality from a deadly pandemic is expected to reach 500,000 in a couple of months, where the American people are struggling with the worst health and economic crisis in modern history and the nation is still politically divided after a contentious election.
The elusive proverbial light at the end of the tunnel appears to be within sight, with new national leadership that promises to move mountains to beat the war on the pandemic and the untold economic hardships that it has wrought. Along with this hopeful promise comes a new and more optimistic attitude among the people that things will be better, buoyed by the timely advances in science that will quickly produce more vaccines and cures.
LET THE HEALING BEGIN – of both our bodies that have been hurt by the virus, as well as our souls and our emotions that have been wrecked by the political divide. Healing will certainly take time as the emotional wounds run deep. But in God’s good time, we will all come together again as one nation under God. The followers of the new President who promised to be president for all Americans, and the millions who supported the past president who unfortunately ended his reign in disgrace, will join together again in unity for the sake of the country. Surely, more things unite us than things that divide us.
The winners deserve to enjoy the euphoria of victory, which they have richly earned. But let there be no gloating, as gloating and arrogance will merely give fleeting gratification. Be humble and gracious in victory and be mindful of friends’ feelings on the other side who were also earnest and passionate about their candidate. After all, the former president garnered more than 70 million votes, a record for a sitting president. With more than half of his voters still loyal to him, he will be a force to reckon with for a long time to come. He and his followers will play a major role in healing and reuniting the country. Let us draw hope from the words of the new President Joe Biden, who said that “the days of rancor and division are over; it is now time to heal, to forgive and to reunite as Americans.”
Let us also pray for former President Trump, who undoubtedly was devastated by his loss. Even die-hard anti-Trumpers cannot deny that Trump brought some necessary ideas and accomplishments. He shook the tree and was a change agent, albeit in his trademark “bull-in-a-china-shop” style. He strengthened the military and held some clear and present dangers like China and Iran at bay. Unfortunately, he didn’t know when to stop and did not draw the line between legitimate reforms and power abuse. We should hope that he will still respond to the will of the people with dignity and grace and contribute his massive energy and clout to the nation’s rebuilding. God knows America is in turmoil and needs all hands on deck to cure and recover.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, a long-time Republican partisan recently turned statesman after the rioters at the US Capitol threatened to abduct and hang him, said: “I have faith that time will come when these challenges and divisions will be a thing of the past. We will heal our wounds and renew our strength, and our nation will emerge stronger and better than ever.”
“Humility, empathy, and understanding will heal the nation and restore friendships in the community, not pride, arrogance, or self-righteousness. PEACE!”
It was the greatest of presidents, Abraham Lincoln, who said it best when he was faced with the certainty of a bloody civil war: “We are not enemies, we are friends. We are all Americans. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched by the better angels of our nature.”
It is now time for both winners and losers to extend to each other the hand of friendship. To heal the hurt that politics had wrought among family and friends, I continue to say that friendship and family transcend politics, as they should. Humility, empathy, and understanding will heal the nation and restore friendships in the community, not pride, arrogance, or self-righteousness. PEACE!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gus Mercado is a Filipino business and civic leader in Texas for 40 years. While his wife, Honorary Consul Ethel Reyes-Mercado is a devout Democrat, Gus is a registered Republican who votes Independent in national elections. He served as State Chair of the FilAms for Biden in Texas, and the silent but large national “Republicans Against Trump” movements.