I woke up this morning wondering how to express my thoughts and feeling about the election. Our nation, and our state, are truly divided with the difference in the popular vote of around 150,000. I was reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s quote:
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
I understand Donald Trump referenced this quote in an interview this morning, as well.
So what does this election mean for Greater Twin Cities United Way, for us as staff, and for me personally?
Greater Twin Cities United Way is, and should always be, passionately bipartisan. We have worked effectively with Republican and Democratic officials in the house, senate and governor’s seat on issues that align with our mission: creating pathways out of poverty. I am hopeful we will continue to find strong partners in public office that will work with us on some of the most pressing problems in our state.
Based on the “I voted” stickers in the office, most of our staff voted yesterday. Most certainly there were votes cast for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. One person said to me this morning, “As a conservative I feel a bit uncomfortable in the office today.” I am hopeful all United Way staff will reach out to each other with kindness and respect.
And how do I feel? I am sad for my children and friends who seem to think only bad things are in our future. I remain proud to be an American and a passionate believer in our constitutional democracy. This is our century and our democracy and our future. I look forward to working with United Way staff and so many caring Minnesotans on the issues that unite — not divide — us. I believe that common ground exists.
I do not expect the house to fall.
I am hopeful.