If Only…

If only we learned to compete and honor our opponent along the way.

If only respectful discourse was the highest law of the land.

If only you both could make your points without denigrating the other.

If only collaboration was more lauded than conquest.

And as Mitch Albom so elequently put it, if only a president sounded this way

Whoever wins the presidency on Tuesday, this is the acceptance speech I dream of hearing:

“Thank you, America.

“And I’m sorry.

“I’m sorry this election turned into a campaign of hate. I’m sorry every ad was dipped in venom…


“The truth is, the guy I ran against is not a bad man. He’s not a total fraud. He’s not the death of all good ideas. He’s not the devil incarnate.

“He wouldn’t have ruined the country. He would have done the best he could. He would have picked smart people, and they would have tried the way most of us try…


…now that the voting is over, let’s get this straight: Not everyone who earns money in this country is the devil, and not everyone who doesn’t is a freeloader.

“We pitted you against each other to try to win the election. It was wrong. It was disgusting. America is the land of opportunity — for everyone. That’s what we should celebrate. Instead, we painted a picture where you were on one side of the 47% or the other. We encouraged the poor hating the rich and the rich resenting the poor. We used class warfare to get us to this office, not because it is right or decent or moral — but because it works.

“Shame on us.

“Shame on me for being a part of it…

For the full ‘If only…’


  1. Nelson Mandela, my hero, is truly someone who exemplified these qualities. I met him
    three months after his release from prison in South Africa.

    I wish I could remember these ‘if only’ comments in the heat of the experience.

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