The day after the final ballots are cast, Americans will wake up to a changed nation.
If predictions and polls prove to be accurate, we will elect a new president on Nov. 3 and the four-year anomaly of a Donald Trump presidency will come to an end. The next few hours will be a time of closing arguments from Joe Biden and Trump to audiences who are largely decided on their verdicts.
The contentious nature of the 2020 election season will go down in history for the stunning level of aggression and ill will exchanged between people. Families divided over political sentiments. Facebook connections were broken as people hit the Unfriend button with no intention of rekindling the friendship in Real Life.
But what will Wednesday look like?
Will the political placards now sinking in a layer of wet, fall leaves, be pulled up from the yard? Will the bruised feelings between friends and relatives heal before the Thanksgiving turkey is set on the table?
If Americans are looking for an incentive to set aside their differences, they need look no further than the COVID-19 death toll announced each morning after hospitals across the country tally the dismal score. The enemy virus still threatens the lives of young and old alike, and containment remains elusive.
It takes strength and energy to bicker with neighbors and loved ones. Everything from face coverings to mail-in ballots are worthy topics for snipes and screaming matches. But at the end of the day, the voting booth is the place voters’ opinions matters most.
As the bumper stickers fade and the flags are taken down by those hoping for a second term, Washington will slowly gather its post-election wits and begin planning for the future. Allegiances to a lame duck leader always weaken as his or her time in office grows short.
So it will be with Trump and his entourage.
With Wednesday’s dawn comes the opportunity to turn away from partisan politics and focus on the business of fighting a pandemic. It’s going to take a united nation to win this battle.