As of this writing — Wednesday morning before the newspaper’s print deadline — it’s not clear who will win the presidential election.

That’s a question that may take some time to answer, but we can safely assume that either way about half the country will be disappointed, frustrated and possibly angry.

To be fair, Horry County won’t be evenly split here (more than 70% of the votes cast went to President Donald Trump), but emotions will still run high as they have throughout the campaign.

That’s why it’s important that we treat those who disagree with us in a respectful and kind manner — regardless of which political party they support and regardless which leader is in power. Politics is by its nature divisive, but in the era of social media it is increasingly a team sport. Finding common ground is considered a sign of weakness; compromise is a betrayal of conviction.

This, of course, is ridiculous. We support the marketplace of ideas and hope more people in this area would embrace this concept rather than become rigid ideologues — bitter diehards with an irrational fear of “the other.”

One reason this company has traditionally avoided candidate endorsements is because we don’t believe public service should be partisan.

Horry County struggles with insufficient infrastructure, frequent flooding and an economy that is far too dependent on seasonal tourism.

We need smart, effective solutions, not partisan bickering.

In some ways, it’s easy for folks to bemoan a loss of civility. It’s convenient to reduce our problems to the personality flaws of a single candidate or party.

Yet if we’re being honest, our elected leaders are a reflection of us. If we cannot face our challenges without churlish behavior, we should expect more of the same from our officials.

So regardless of whether we welcome a new president or witness an incumbent’s second term, we should try to engage the marketplace rather than dismiss opposing viewpoints.


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