The peaceful transfer of power from one duly elected head of state to another, especially when considering the often stark contrasts between the two and the human condition which strongly desires to hold on to power as we routinely see around the world, should always be celebrated and highly regarded. It is a primary tenet of our republic and what makes the United States of America a truly unique experiment in governing.

The right of a free people to vote and elect leaders who they feel best represent their own personal convictions and beliefs in their time and condition, and the responsibility of those elected leaders to respect, honor, and adhere to the wishes of the people following an election, is perhaps the best, most visible symbol of the importance every American voter plays in the life and future of our republic.

Personalities come and go. Party majorities wax and wane. But America’s strength can always be seen in our people and their willingness to accept the results of elections by honoring our duly elected leaders while being ever diligent to challenge them when necessary and then change course by way of the ballot box rather than murderous riots and coups.

Refusing to show our elected leaders their due respect, not committing them to prayer, and refusing to work alongside them for the betterment of this nation is an affront to every American who exercised their right to vote as they sought to have their voice heard.

Every citizen of this great nation – whether you supported the candidate who is now assuming the office or not – should look on a presidential inauguration or the new term of local and state officials with hope in our collective futures and with faith in our people and its institutions, for it is only through our sharing the burden of self governance can we continue to be that shining city on a hill the world envies, our enemies fear, and our posterity will one day enjoy thanks to the fruits of our collective labor today.