After election, hope still springs eternal

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

When I started my day on Wednesday, Nov. 7, the day after the presidential election, the story I was most interested in reading wasn’t a nationwide analysis of the election’s aftermath on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC.

I knew there would be plenty of time to analyze the numbers to death in the days, weeks, months and — yes — years ahead.

Rather, I went straight to the Shelby County Reporter website and found staff writer Christine Boatwright’s story, “Locals discuss election at Fran’s,” which gave a local, clear-eyed perspective on the election from Shelby County citizens.

I was heartened to read what they said. The hallmark of this election cycle has been a steady stream of negativity from both sides, and it left me — as well as pretty much everybody I know — with a sense of just wanting it all to be over.

But for the men at Fran’s, a well-loved home cooking joint in Pelham, there wasn’t much negativity. Sure, there was some concern, but more than anything I got a refreshing sense of resolve and gratefulness.

Each man seemed to be determined to make the best of the election results, even if they weren’t the hoped-for results.

Real estate agent Mike Phillips shared his worries about our national debt, saying he expects interest rates to rise at some point.

However, instead of complaining, he said, “Bottom line, we wake up today and keep doing what we’re doing. We keep pedaling.”

Neil Bailey, a Pelham businessman, summed it up best by saying that the fact the U.S. House of Representatives has a Republican majority and the U.S. Senate has a Democratic majority will eventually force the two sides to find common ground in the middle, “where we seem to be the best.”

“We’ve got to keep our country solvent and preserve our country for future generations,” he said. “When it’s all said and done, I’m still glad to be here.”

In this day and age of people totally decrying anyone with different political views, Bailey’s quotes were a breath of fresh air.

No matter what, we are all so blessed to be living in the United States. We should all be proud to be Americans, even if we didn’t vote for the candidate that won. Let’s hope in the four years ahead, we can all find some common ground. Even though this country isn’t perfect, like Neil Bailey, I’m still glad to be here.

Amy Jones is the Associate Editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 30 or by email at