Published in the November 16, 2016 edition

The election of 2016 is over. We can all be grateful for that.

What we are not grateful for, however, is the force of anger this campaign unleashed in America. It is one that seems to include hatred of people who aren’t white. It is a place for bullies and mean girls, ruling the roost and making fun of others just to feel better about themselves. It is a place of haves and, mostly, have nots. It is a place where African American kids and cops get shot in an ever-narrowing ratio. It is a place that certainly has grown meaner, and its future is tending toward the bleak.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The question is, does President-elect Donald Trump have it in him to make the U.S. a better place than it is right now? He says he does and a majority of those in states across the land believe him.

With that said, we still have bills to pay and we still have kids to raise. There will be lawns to rake. There is still church to attend and you will always have the right to your beliefs because of how this country was set up by the Founding Fathers. You still have your friends and your neighbors and all the things that allow you to put one foot in front of the other each day.

As the Associated Press said yesterday, there is a huge hole to fill in the country’s heart. Are the Republicans — who will now have the White House, both chambers in Congress and soon a majority on the Supreme Court — strong enough to do the job?

Who knows? But we certainly pray they do.

There is everything at stake.