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The Daily Tar Heel

Presidential Winner Must Have Support From All Americans

Presidential Winner Must Have Support From All Americans


The problem with the election system is not butterfly ballots but lack of patriotism. I'm not referring to the fact that only 50 percent of the nation voted, because, unfortunately, this year's turnout was higher than previous years'. I am, instead, referring to the growing division in this country.

The election is coming to a close, and I'm not asking Americans to show good sportsmanship. I'm asking for patriotism. Despite popular opinion, neither candidate is divinely good or inherently evil. Both arguably are qualified for the position of president of the United States. Regardless of whom you voted for, in January there will be a new president.

This new president might not sign the bills you support. But he will be leading this nation to the best of his ability. That act of civic duty deserves respect. If you cannot bring yourself to respect him, at least support him as your president until he has a chance to prove himself untrustworthy. We can either join together as a strong, unified nation, or we can complain and, as a result, accomplish nothing.

I've been searching through history books to find moments in U.S. history when the American people lost respect, support and genuine patriotism for the president. Many believe that the scandals of the Clinton administration generated this lack of trust. In reality, dissension by the American people stems back to the turmoil days of the Vietnam War.

Students, similar to you and I, protested their government's actions and refused draft notices. But these students were not like you and me. They lived in war times and they exercised their First Amendment rights in protests against fighting in a war to which they were opposed.

As students born into peace, we look for any flaw in the government which we can criticize. We haven't learned to "pick our battles." We complain at the drop of a blue dress.

The American presidency, however, is not blameless. Dishonesty and scandals mark the administrations of John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, to name only a few. These scandals justifiably evoked anger and destroyed the trust of Americans.

As we stand on the precipice of electing a new president of the United States, we have two choices. 1. We can assume the president's inevitable failure and decide not to trust or support any executive actions, or 2. we can assume the president's inevitable success and support and trust the American people's choice, with the reserved right to complain later.

We have this choice, and I choose the latter.

Meredith Livingston



The length rule was waived.

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