'Malice toward none'
The following is excerpted from an editorial that appeared in The Portsmouth Herald, New Hampshire.
Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would be well within their rights to feel bitter after the brutal 2016 presidential campaign.
Both were savaged by their political opponents and neither hesitated to fight back and fight back hard.
And yet, in their final campaign speeches, both candidates struck conciliatory notes and both called for unity.
We greatly appreciated their calls for calm, mutual respect and unity at a time when so many Americans are feeling deep unease about the state of the nation.
In his victory speech at around 3 a.m. the morning after the election, President-elect Trump congratulated Secretary Clinton for her hard fought campaign and for her years of public service.
“Hillary has worked very long and vary hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country,” Trump said.
In turn, during her concession speech a few hours later Clinton noted: “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”
In his victory speech Trump also indirectly referenced Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, when he said: “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division to come together as one united people.”
Lincoln gave his second inaugural address in the waning months of The Civil War, four years of bloody massacre in which brother took up arms against brother and the nation was nearly destroyed. In that same address Lincoln uttered the profound phrase: “With malice toward none, with charity for all ...” to describe his approach to the Confederacy.
If we live the phrase “with malice toward none, with charity for all,” we have a shot at restoring some semblance of unity among the American people.
The American people have chosen their next leader. It is our deepest hope that under President Trump, “Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential,” as he vowed in his victory speech.