Why would people threaten to riot if Mitt Romney is elected president?
Why would other people promise to leave the country if Barack Obama is re-elected president?
Both attitudes reflect our nation's extreme polarization and division.
And both attitudes provide an insight into the radical reactions to an outcome other than what they want.
Given that background, I was asked by a reader to take a more positive approach to the upcoming election.
So positive it is.
The sun will rise in the east the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 7, as it always has -- nothing will change.
People will go to work. Babies will be born. Funerals will be held. Classes will get under way.
One welcome change will be the elimination of the endless barrage of political commercials. There's some welcome and positive news.
And regardless of the outcome, the business of governing will continue to move at the normal snail's pace -- again, as it always has.
But, God willing, the business of governing will continue regardless of the outcome.
Half of the nation will be elated. Half heartbroken.
But as I have said before, the real work begins after the election.
Facing a host of tough decisions, governing may not be easy. In fact, it's likely to be very difficult.
People of civil judgment on both sides of the political spectrum will be tested to accept the result with respect and unity.
For many, let's face it, that will be difficult.
But civility and respect will be essential to begin bridging a gap unlike any time in our history.
There is no need to pretend this upcoming election doesn't offer the most polar opposite visions for our nation's future.
Given that vast divide, the election results will be emotional and passionate as any in our brief history.
The measure of this great nation will be found in our ability to accept the outcome with an eye toward unity and shared solutions.
We've seen throughout the world, unruly reactions to unpopular election results.
I hope one of the values that separate us from them is our ability to accept peacefully the results and move toward healing those many divisions.
To riot or abandon this country -- as some have promised -- is far worse than an unfavorable election outcome.