SE Cupp is a CNN political commentator and the host of “SE Cupp Unfiltered.” The views expressed in this commentary are solely hers. View more opinion articles on CNN.

(CNN)”This is the most important election of our lifetime.”

It can be a useful, if hackneyed political promise, often delivered with great gusto and sanctimony.SE Cupp SE Cupp SE Cupp It’s made every year, usually by the candidates themselves. But, by countless metrics, it isn’t always true.Certain elections stand out more than others. After all, we’ve voted in times of war, both civil and external. We’ve voted in times of economic depression and collapse. We’ve voted in times of national tragedies. This year, 2020, is, by those standards, not one of those times. It is not 1860, when America was facing a Civil War and the potential demise of the Union; or 1932, against the backdrop of the Great Depression; or 1964, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy Jr. Read MoreAnd yet, because of both national circumstances and popular sentiment, it feels as though that statement has never been truer.Because of the global Covid-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty, racial and civil unrest around the country, a Supreme Court vacancy, two presidential candidates with very different views of what America should look like and a populace that’s more divided than ever, it’s not surprising that more voters say it “really matters” who wins the presidency than at any point in the last two decades, according to Pew Research.And perhaps because 2016 and President Donald Trump brought such a noticeable disruption to American politics — in ways that were both intended and celebrated by his base, and lamented by his detractors — it feels like what happens next will have another seismic impact.But what will that look like? A Biden victory wouldn’t be a magical turning pointThere’s a sense on the left that a Joe Biden victory in November would bring about some kind of immediate and lasting relief, an end to the Trump era of anger, rancor, division and bigotry.That could certainly be true where Biden himself is concerned. Since he has gotten into the race, he’s been promising to bring the country together, to heal and unite us.”It’s time we come together,” Biden tweeted on October 3. “It’s time we see each other as fellow Americans, who don’t just live in red states and blue states, but who live in — and love — the United States of America. That’s who we are — and there is nothing we cannot do if we do it together.”For many of us, that sounds like a tidy and deeply reassuring encapsulation of everything that could be — and that must be after four years of Trump.But November 3 is not a magical turning point where a Biden win makes all our problems disappear. His promise of unity may be well-intentioned and sincere, but there are seemingly insurmountable political, cultural and practical barriers to delivering on that promise. And as we all focus our energy on getting to the election itself, we haven’t yet begun to scratch the surface of what comes next for whomever is elected — and for America herself. Our country is tearing itself apart. Here's one way to bring people togetherOur country is tearing itself apart. Here's one way to bring people togetherOur country is tearing itself apart. Here's one way to bring people togetherFor starters, if Biden wins in November, how, exactly, do we come together when nearly half the electorate who didn’t vote for Biden is left disappointed, angry and, if Trump has his way, maybe even believing the election was somehow rigged against them?How does Biden move past a defeated president who may not admit defeat? Or, if he does, who will still carry an enormous clout among his base of voters? How does Biden attempt to appeal to these voters who felt so aggrieved by American politics that they voted for Trump not once but twice?How does Biden begin to heal racial tensions when some factions on the left and the right, among Whites and Blacks, find him to be a problematic arbiter of race relations? How does he pass any of his legislative promises if Congress remains divided? How does he find compromise opportunities with Republicans, as he’s expressed interest in doing, when his own party may insist on pulling him leftward?How does he combat a Covid-19 culture clash over everything from vaccines to mask-wearing when some Americans refuse to trust science and medical experts?In short, how does he bring together a country that may not want to come together? A Trump victory raises equally meaningful questionsConversely, those questions are different but just as meaningful if Trump wins a second term. Will he double down on four years of division? What will that mean for the very real problems he and Congress will have to tackle, especially if the GOP loses control of the Senate? How will the electorate respond? How do we end the violence in major cities over racial injustice and police brutality? How do we combat Covid when the White House undermines the science? How do we fortify the checks and balances that Congress and the Justice Department have systemically weakened? No matter what happens in November, what comes next?The reason America's two sides can't agreeThe reason America's two sides can't agreeThe reason America's two sides can't agreeIt’s an overwhelmingly complicated, loaded question if ever there were one, and it’s where we want to start a series of conversations.The systemic and institutional problems America is grappling with will not be resolved in November with an election or January with an inauguration. They may not be resolved within the next year or four. And the way forward is remarkably unclear. From race to criminal justice, immigration to gun violence, reproductive rights to LGBTQ rights, tax policy to trade policy, education to climate change, Russia to China, a distrust of science to a distrust of news — it’s imperative that we start having conversations now about tackling these issues that go beyond talking points and political slogans.Each week CNN Opinion will feature an essay by an expert voice outlining how we can move ahead on one of these crucial problems facing America. Following that essay, I’ll host other expert voices to engage in a larger conversation, which you can watch on CNN Digital, about tackling those problems in real ways, that don’t gloss over the cultural, social, political and economic barriers either administration would inevitably encounter. Get our free weekly newsletter

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Each week we’ll also ask you, the viewer, to weigh in. What do you think is the path forward for the week’s particular problem? Is it new legislation? Community action? Public advocacy? New leadership? Or a combination? And we’ll try to address those ideas in our discussions.These conversations — what comes next? — will continue through and past the election, and will be continually reshaped by the news as we learn more about what the next few weeks, months and years will actually look like.As you prepare to vote in November, it’s important to not only weigh the issues that matter to you and the candidates who are promising to make your lives better, but to ask how, exactly, they plan to do that? What will change in November? And what can you do to impact the changes you want to see? We hope this series helps facilitate those kinds of discussions now and after what could be the most important election of our lifetimes.

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https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/09/opinions/us-hurtling-crossroads-what-comes-next-cupp/index.html

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