Midterm election voting over, now we pick each other up

Ever notice how football players collide violently, crash to the ground — and then help each other up or shake hands after the game?

It’s a useful model for voters, especially after the most heated, hard-fought midterm election in memory, if not history.

It’s certainly a better example than that of campaign ads that depict one’s opponent as having horns and a tail.

This election was a test of many things, including vastly varying visions for your country and community. But as the votes continue to be counted, it’s also a test of whether we can get past our profound differences, pick each other up off the ground and shake hands afterward.

A group of Fort Worth friends with extremely divergent political views met Tuesday morning and, among other things, toasted America’s peaceful transfer of power.

Even if you can’t toast the opponent, you can certainly acknowledge a system that, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, hands the mantle of power forward like a baton to the next runner. How much better off the world would be if this process were the rule in history’s zigzag procession of human affairs rather than the exception.

In addition, as much as any election any of us have witnessed, voters should salute themselves for a game well-played. You put your hearts, souls, money and time into it, for weeks and months at a time. Win or lose, you gave it your all.

This was certainly the sentiment of one Fort Worth partisan who posted on Facebook before the polls even closed, “It’s all on the field. So if we lose, I know we did our absolute best.”

That’s the spirit. The American spirit.

As we write this, returns are still dribbling out and results are uncertain in many races. But, with the knowledge that we did, indeed, play our best, our job in the days and weeks ahead is to come together and support those we’ve collectively chosen to lead us.

That’s what we do here.