MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The days, weeks and months leading up to Election Day have been stressful to say the least and there is strong concern about what’s going to happen the day after this historic election that determines where America goes as a country.READ MORE: New Daily Virus Cases In Florida Lowest Since July
At the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens, there is no evidence of the bruising and brutal election season. Instead there is music, hope and love. But talk to Associate Pastor Dr. Walter Robinson, a clergy member since 1969, he says the election has taken a toll.
“This election compares to nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life,” said Rev. Robinson. He said it’s because of the language and “the temperament of the persons that are running for office.”
In one speech, Donald Trump said, “Hillary’s corruption is a threat to democracy.” In a speech by Hillary Clinton, she said “I am sick and tired of the negative, dark, divisive, dangerous vision and behavior of people who support Donald Trump. It is time for us to say ‘No, we are not going backwards’.”
It’s all very negative. Robinson says, “It’s all different. Seems to be a cultural difference.”
One Trump supporter even told a Wall Street Journal reporter, “There’s going to be probably a movement where we will go and them out of power.” When the reporter said, “It sounds like you’re saying it would be acceptable to assassinate a President?” the Trump supporter replied, “If she’s corrupt, why should she be able to stay in office?”
When Rev. Robinson hears comments like that, he knows “we have some real tension in our communities now.”
Political division in the U.S. is nothing news. Floridians remember all too well the hanging chads and court battles that decided the winner in 2000. But this year, it’s different, it feels more personal.
This past Yom Kippur, during the Jewish High Holidays, Rabbi Howard Needleman of Temple Kol Ami Emanuel in Plantation felt the need to talk to his congregation, not about Election Day but about the day after. CBS4 News Anchor Rick Folbaum was there.
“One of the things I said is, many of us have had disagreements with friends, family, on Facebook with people who’ve had different feelings than ours.” It was the elephant in the congregation and Rabbi Needleman felt, better to talk about it than ignore it.
“Whoever’s elected President, will be all our president. So I think we have to put down the partisanship of this election and get back to being a people, an American people,” said Rabbi Needleman.
Back at the church in Miami Gardens, Rick Folbaum asked Pastor Robinson about November 9th and whether the winning side has more of a responsibility to reach out to the other people whose candidate lost?
“I don’t think the responsibilities are different,” said Rev. Robinson. “We both have a need to talk and whether we win or lose, everybody loses when we don’t talk about love thy neighbor. Everybody loses, regardless of who wins this election.”READ MORE: Spacex's 1st Tourists Homeward Bound After 3 Days In Orbit
Rabbi Needleman agreed.
“As Jews, we take a step back when we pray for peace. Take steps back, acknowledge that we’re all in this together,” said Rabbi Needleman. “The hostility when we feel when we don’t win, doesn’t allow us to heal or move forward. Let us come together and heal.”
No one thinks Floridians are going to be able to walk out of their polling place, content with the outcome no matter who wins. But at some point, we’re going to have to make peace with it and with each other and the sooner the better.
Kevin Toomer is a youth minister.
“I have some members of my family who are not where I am politically, but I’m confident that at the end of it all, we’re all striving to have a better nation, community, better church. So even though there might be some divisions here or there, we have the same overall goal,” explained Toomer.
And yet, there are the polls. A USA Today/Suffolk University Poll released in late October shows more than four in 10 of Trump supporters say they won’t recognize the legitimacy of Hillary Clinton as President, if she wins.
The Republican nominee has preached doubts about the integrity of the electoral process.
“It’s a rigged system folks,” said Trump, repeatedly.
“The black community has been here before, we’ve been here before. We’ve always responded with love, forgiveness and open arms. We’ve always done that. This would be no exception. The black community has always been very resilient. The one thing we have going for us is our faith. It’s been that way since slavery, Jim Crow, our saving grace has always been our grace in God,” said Rev. Robinson.
As for Rabbi Needleman, “A difference of opinion does not have to be someone is wrong, or evil or different in nature. We are entitled to them. Their opinion might not be the same as ours, but they are valid and I believe we can move forward as a nation. We have to. We are a nation of immigrants and diversity. We are stronger because we come together when things are difficult. And that’s what we’re going to do.”
A lot of people are talking about Al Gore’s concession speech, after the Supreme Court’s decision in 2000, as paving a way for the country to heal.
We’ll have to wait and see if the candidate who doesn’t win on Election Day is able to be as gracious in defeat.MORE NEWS: Report: Miami-Dade School District Misused $6M For Driver’s Ed Programs
It would certainly help.