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The common good

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This year's elections were not like what we've seen in most other years. There were sharper differences between candidates than there usually are. There were also higher stakes when it came to issues and initiatives. And, there was a much more strident -- and not infrequently caustic -- tone about everything. Most of us will be happy to have the whole thing over, even if we are disheartened by some of the results. We will all try to move on, but there is something that, unfortunately, will linger.

As a nation, we are more divided than we have been in a very long time, perhaps more divided than one nation can be and remain one nation. But it is how we are divided that concerns me. Things that used to be our common ground not so long ago are now the fault lines along which we become adversaries.

Faith, volunteerism, patriotism, civic duty, personal responsibility, pride in honest work: these were values shared by everyone. Free speech, free exercise of religion, and yes, the American dream were what we knew we could count on as we looked to the future. We also knew that even if we didn't agree on politics, we could count on each other. That is now no longer the case.

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