When I was 17 years old I went to a rally for Al Gore in Little Rock. I wasn't old enough to vote for him, but there's still a Gore-Lieberman sign hanging up in the bedroom I occupied at my parent's house.
I remember driving home from that rally in amazement that so many people (probably only a few hundred) gathered together in one place to support something that was only an idea. No rockstars were present, no high school football teams were scoring touchdowns-- this was a gathering of people connected by a few small strings made up of something so much bigger than themselves.
To me, that's what America is-- an idea. A big, huge idea. America has always just been an idea, a fluid, in constant motion idea.
To watch the past 500-something days of this election unfold, I've clung tightly to the hope that America is bigger and greater than any candidate or political party. I've watched and waited and prayed that America would prevail on election night and in a way, it did. The political process worked. People voted, a guy won, the sun came up.
America works because the thing that has always brought us together is the thing that has been driving us apart for 240 years-- differing ideas and opinions.
America still works. Don't give up on it.