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This is democracy 

After this election, I reflected on the enormous process our country went through in the past year. Divided as we may seem in our politics, we must not overlook the tremendous outpouring of participation that occurred in this past election.

Our country was founded on this active participatory role that allowed citizens their ability to choose their leadership. Though there are still countries in the world whose governance is determined by monarchy or dictatorship, we have stood the test of time. Let us not be resigned by the loss of our chosen candidate. Let us not be arrogant if the candidate we chose won. Let us work together for the common good of that which lies before us — the future of our children and our children’s children.

In the coming days, may we chose understanding over being right, real compassion over using compassion as a selling point, connecting with our humanity instead of our partisanship, trusting each other over fearing each other, building over destroying, truly unifying over being exclusive, reaching out to others over waiting for them to reach out to us. We must generate that spirit, not from the righteousness of dominance, but for the common good of all. We may have to roll up our sleeves, we may have to aside our differences, and we may have to give up being right, but let us begin this work to be a brilliant example to the rest of the world how responsible citizenry and leadership works.

Phil Cisneros

San Luis Obispo

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