In less than 36 hours, the polls will be closed. Our Texas House and Senate races will be determined and we’ll know the outcome of what seems to have been the longest presidential race in U.S. history. Even as we enter the polling places divided by party and personality, we must exit united as participants in the great American experiment of self-government.

Even in the 21st Century, much of the world still settles political disagreements through bloody force. While some find the personal inconveniences of our political system to be annoying, they are far superior to the alternative.

Voting is the easy part. We must each commit to participation in the daily governance of our cities and counties, state and nation. We cannot vote and walk away; we must be vigilant and become even more deeply involved in the process of policymaking.

Even when our candidates lose, we can still shape policy outcomes through our diligence. As the late U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen would say, “I see the light after I have felt the heat.” The election is at a close, but our opportunity to advance our principles has only just begun!

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."