Nation’s founding documents show us way forward

In the last two weeks I was worried that Donald Trump could win the election.The key for me was the lawn signs. Not how many, but where they were. In many yards I saw the usual array of Republican lawn signs — congressional, gubernatorial etc., then, at the end of the display, almost in the neighbor’s yard, was the Trump/Pence Sign. It seemed to say, “I’m for them, but I’m not proud of it — this sign could be in my neighbor’s yard, and not mine.”
I was worried that 24 million votes — 18 percent of the total — were castin the nine days that the FBI Director interfered with the electoral process by announcing that he would review thousands of emails that “appear to be pertinent to this investigation.” They were not. CNN states that, “Comey’s initial letter to Congress … gave Donald Trump’s team a surge of momentum at a time when Clinton seemed to be coasting toward victory.”
And, of course, I was concerned that Hillary left herself open to criticism— the private server and the Clinton Foundation were the key grievances. However much this election result stings to the majority of Americans who support President Obama’s worldview, Donald Trump has won the election. Given our country’s division, where can we find common ground?
I suggestthat we look to our founding documents — the pillars of our democracy. Our Constitution tells us that “We, the people,” are the ultimate source of all political power in this land. Our Declaration of Independence tells us that it is “self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”
Together, wemust insist that “all” truly includes all: African Americans, Latinos, LGBT persons, Muslims, women, the poor or underemployed and people belonging to any other group that has historically been treated as less than full citizens.
Together we must insist that Supreme Court Justices are confirmed whounderstand the intent of our Constitution and read it in light of our contemporary world and not vote on predetermined ideological lines, whether liberal or conservative.
Together, one way or another, we must insist that every citizen has thehealth care they need to be able to enjoy “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” fundamental protections that our Declaration of Independence gives as the very purpose of government. “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” also demand a healthy environment in which to live.
Together wemust insist that our Country, the earth’s second largest greenhouse gas emitter, lead the world in reversing climate change. The iconic 1972 Apollo 17 picture of the earth from space can’t be erased by fear of globalization — in fact, we are one small and precarious planet catapulting though space.
Our common values are derived from the documents that define us as Americans.We must fight for them with unshakable resolve.
Harry Yeo Chaucer
New Haven

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