By Heather Scheiwe Kulp, Clinical Instructor and Lectuer on Law, Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinic
You roll out of bed, seeking coffee and your morning news. Groggily, you realize it’s Wednesday morning, November 9—the day after the presidential election. S/he’s won.
You may be thrilled. You may not be. Either way, you have to go to work/the dinner table/a church potluck/your kid’s soccer game today with people who may not feel the same way.
It’s morning in America, and it’s time to repair the vast breaches this election season created.
In the lead up to the election, we’ve spent too little attention and energy on what will happen the day, week, and years after the election. By “what will happen,” I don’t mean whether or not the election results will be challenged. Instead, I mean how we will live our daily lives with neighbors and citizens who differ from us.
This campaign season’s bitter rhetoric has not been reserved for—or coming only from—the candidates. We may try to distance ourselves from the violence at campaign events (instigated by both Trump and Clinton supporters, by the way) by saying we would never engage in such behavior. But I have heard and read (and have uttered) uncivil, verbally violent words from people across the political, ideological, and educational spectrum.