By Gino Blefari
This week my travels found me in Northern California, working from my home office, and on Tuesday afternoon in Los Altos at the Montclaire Elementary School, exercising my right as an American citizen to vote in the 2016 election.
For those reading my words now, holding your breath, don’t worry. This isn’t a political post … per se. I know far better than to talk politics or espouse one person’s opinion as more sound than the next. But my weekly messages are all about leaders and I’d be remiss not to mention that one has just been elected to lead the United States of America as our 45th president.
It was a stunning electoral season, filled with passion, perseverance and purpose shown by both sides of the aisle. And now, it’s over. The time for divisiveness is through. We must once again be not red or blue states but a red-white-and-blue nation built on unalienable rights—life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. We must determine to be stronger together in order to sustain the democratic principles that make us so great.
In his First Inaugural Address, delivered in 1801, President Thomas Jefferson spoke to a crowd of Federalists and Republicans recently divided by a historically close election. “Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind,” said the Founding Father. “Let us restore … that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.”
If you watched Donald Trump’s victory speech or Hillary Clinton’s concession, you’ll recall similar thoughts echoed by both: Let us move forward and let us do it as one nation.
“I still believe in America and I always will,” Secretary Clinton declared Wednesday morning in New York City. “Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. And we don’t just respect that, we cherish it.” She later added, “I believe we are stronger together and we will go forward together.”
The night before, as Trump accepted his election to the U.S. presidency, he stood behind his podium and declared something quite similar: “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division … I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”
So, what’s the message? The idea of forward movement is nothing new to those in the real estate industry—we help people move each and every day—or really to anyone in a business set on positive growth. With this familiar idea in mind, we must all step together, move forward as we’ve done so many times before, as we’ll do so many times after this, not as isolated parties in a nail-biter of an election but as one people, united, who believe in democracy, liberty and justice for all.
GINO BLEFARI is CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC. You can follow Gino on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
2 responses to Thoughts on Leadership: Stronger Together to Make America Great
Thanks for your words of wisdom Gino!
Thoughtful and well put, Gino! I might respectfully make one change. Rather than refer to “the democratic principles” that make America great, I would apply the term “constitutional principles”. This has nothing to do with political parties and everything to do with governmental rule. I was pleased to hear Mrs. Clinton refer to our “constitutional democracy” in her eloquent concession speech. Without our cherished Constitution, we would become a “pure democracy”, i.e. absolute majority rule. Pure democracy has been characterized as two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Ancient Rome was an example of a pure democracy. Yes, they had a senate but what they did not have was a constitution or an arm of government protecting the rights of the minority. Julius Caesar, for example, was, in fact, a dictator.
Some might say this is a minor point or a matter of semantics but I believe it’s a crucial factor that does, indeed, make America great.