Election Day has arrived after an incredibly tumultuous year in politics. And I recognize that—at a time when our nation feels polarized and divided—we are all yearning for the opportunity to be together as a community, when instead we are dispersed throughout the globe.
Despite our physical distance, however, I continue to be inspired by the diverse political community created and sustained by our students. Whether they’re sitting at home or sitting in Gaston Hall, our students continue to challenge leaders and politicians with thoughtful questions during our forum events. During virtual meetings or those on campus, they continue to offer constructive suggestions for how to better work across the aisle while engaging with our Fellows. And whether over Zoom or over coffee in the Baker Living Room, our students continue to build connections with their peers—even those with views vastly different from their own—to break out of their echo chambers and better understand one another.
As important as our celebration of democracy is, it’s perhaps more important to understand how democracy works—and this week, we’ll see it in action. Part of celebrating our democracy is trusting it, which means being patient while it is at work. There is a strong likelihood that we won’t know the results of today’s presidential election as quickly as we all may like—and that is okay. It’s a sign that the system is working as it was designed.
We hope that GU Politics can be a space for you to ask questions and engage with one another in the coming days, in addition to other university resources available to you. In the coming days, we will continue robust, constructive conversations through discussion groups, to help the Georgetown community understand and process the election results in real time.
I believe that the mission of this Institute—to reconnect young people with the notion that politics is a noble vehicle for public service—is more important now than ever before. And I am deeply grateful to our students for remaining united in their desire to improve the political process.
Mo Elleithee (SFS ’94)
Executive Director, Institute of Politics and Public Service
McCourt School of Public Policy