Our View: Join the call for post-election unity, healing

From the editorial: "We're all needed now — whether Democrat, Republican, or something else — to commit to reuniting as local communities, states, and as a nation."

Cartoonist's view on election civility
R.J. Matson/Cagle Cartoons
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A week after the end of another ugly election season, the hard work to reunite, to come back together and to work together, in the spirit of strength and healing, demands to be done.

From Duluth to St. Paul to Madison to D.C. and everywhere in between, we can call on party leaders and those elected and reelected to lead the way, to see the necessity of soothing their wounds so the rest of us, too, can salve ours — so we can get back to compromising and focusing on common ground and our shared future.

Faith leaders, political leaders, the media, and others all can be called on and looked to in the wake of the election for guidance and direction, in the name of refinding commonalities. We can all work to put the nastiness of negative campaigning and cutthroat politics, which seeped even to the local level this year, behind us. We can focus, not on what’s best for either party or the special interests that think they may have just bought themselves a little favor with their campaign contributions, but on being better. On rising above, with attention to our shared dreams, goals, and needs.

There's critically important work to be done. The pandemic is still with us, with the threat of a more-dangerous strain of coronavirus ever-present, even if many of us are losing or have lost our vigilance against COVID-19. Inflation and increasing tax burdens continue to challenge family budgets and day-to-day spending decisions. And threats like war, terrorism, mass shootings, violent unrest, and more remain omnipresent.

As we get to doing this important work, we can also pause to appreciate those who put themselves out there this election as candidates, for opening themselves up to the public scrutiny, for being willing to give back to their community. Because of them, important issues were able to be raised and publicly debated, and real choices were able to be offered at polling places.


We can appreciate those who voted, too, who showed up and weighed in. In Minnesota, that was quite a few of us — as usual. Turnout last Tuesday was a “respectable” 60.66%, as the Minnesota Reformer characterized it . Although shy of 2018’s record-setting midterm turnout of 64.3%, when Minnesota DFLers got out the vote to demonstrate their displeasure with President Donald Trump, the turnout this year in our state is expected once again to lead the nation. Only Maine and Wisconsin joined Minnesota in cracking 60%. Some states saw mid-30% turnouts, and the national average is expected to come in at just under 50%.

No matter what the turnout, the wishes of the electorate must be accepted and respected.

We're all needed now — whether Democrat, Republican, or something else — to commit to reuniting as local communities, states, and as a nation. In the wake of another election, we can remember the drawing of the snake, chopped into bits in Benjamin Franklin's political cartoon of 1754. Each piece represented a different part of the whole. "Join or die," the editorial cartoon implored at its bottom. It's a sentiment as true for us following Election Day 2022 as it was then for the colonists.

Even after an ugly or nasty campaign season, the promise of a fresh start can be realized. We all can begin the hard work.

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Like all communities, ours regularly faces critical moments and important decisions. Helping to lead robust, healthy, and civil conversations about important issues — everything from mining to land use, preservation to economic development, and schools to tourism — is an important role the Editorial Board and the Opinion page play in our community.
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