Election Day is Tuesday and who knows when the final results will eventually come in the combustable contest between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
One thing is clear. One side of our vast political and cultural divide will be overjoyed and the other side will be distressed — to say the least.
Our collective goal after the election should be to find ways to bridge our divides and divisions — especially at the community level.
There are so many reasons for our community to come together — for local nonprofits, local schools, local jobs and businesses.
There are definitely two very different Americas out there in 2020 — including here on the Eastern Shore. A recent poll of Maryland voters by Gonzales Research & Media Services shows those deep divides.
In Maryland, 82.5% of Democrats are worried about the coronavirus compared to just 35.6% of Republicans. That canyon shows up in our various views about re-opening schools and the economy and other responses to the virus. It shows up in our underlying views about masks and social distancing.
Republicans and Trump supporters are more worried than their Democratic counterparts when it comes to social media censorship by Facebook, Twitter and Google. More than 87% of Republicans worry about social media giants’ restricting content and viewpoints compared to 52% of Democrats, according to the poll.
We need to remember these divides when we are talking to others about the virus, our responses to it and the economy and jobs. We need to keep these differing views in mind as we navigate the rest of this year and into 2021.
It also imperative we find common ground for the good of our local communities, no matter who we vote for on Tuesday, Nov. 3, or before.
Our nonprofits — especially those serving the homeless, domestic violence and abuse survivors, as well as our neighbors with mental health and addiction challenges — need our help and support. We have a mental health, substance abuse and addictions crisis here on the Shore and elsewhere because of the pandemic and its shutdowns.
We need to see more community financial support for those crucial causes.
The restaurants, shops and small businesses in downtown Elkton, North East, Perryville, Rising Sun, Port Deposit and across Cecil County need and deserve our support. The coronavirus pandemic has hit small businesses the hardest here in Cecil County and it has been a slow uphill climb to try to return to normal following the shutdowns earlier this year.
It is incredibly easy to see the differences in our politics and communities. Just flip between Fox News and CNN.
But we have to remember those folks who might be in different political camps from us and might have very different views on the virus are also our neighbors and coworkers. We need to remember that they are not the enemy if we are to move our communities forward following this election.
We all live in the same community here. It is a great and beautiful place to live, but we need to work together to help our neighbors in need, our small businesses who are struggling because of the previous shutdowns, our artists and our nonprofits.
Those goals are easier to accomplish if we can focus on what unifies us locally instead of what divides us.