The headline in Monday’s Bristol Press caught our eye. It read: Plymouth mayor urges community to work together.
The campaign in that town, like so many others this year, had been divisive and, in some cases, deliberately hurtful. All across the region, we saw name-calling, anonymous attacks and disparagement of opponents.
While some of it was surely motivated by ambition and a desire to hold on to power, we realize that some candidates and their supporters were genuinely concerned about what the town might gain or lose by a change in leadership.
That said - and we know it sounds like a cliché - it’s time to come together.
We have seen, on the national stage, the chaos and damage that results when people of different political views segregate themselves and refuse to meet each other halfway. We have seen, at the state level, citizens hurt by a legislative standoff that resulted in a months-long delay in crafting a budget - a budget that still needs fixes to serve the interests of everyone in the state.
Of course, we don’t expect our leaders to abandon their beliefs but we do expect them to realistically compromise when the good of the city, town, state or country is at stake. We expect them to let go of the slings and arrows of the campaign trail and work together with their ex-opponents for a common good.
It’s a tall order and will require something special from our newly elected officials: integrity, humility and old-fashioned manners. And out of their actions, we expect that no one will get everything they want but, hopefully, citizens will get everything they need.