by Ian Doescher
It’s finally here, the day we’ve been expecting and awaiting and dreading and fearing and anticipating. It is Election Day. Today, we will elect the 45th President of the United States, in the form of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
The old wisdom says you shouldn’t talk about religion or politics in polite company, but I hope you’ll indulge me for a moment. In my blog post a couple weeks ago, I mentioned the practice of focusing on what we agree on rather than what we disagree on. So, on this day when it feels like the country is more divided than ever, what can we agree on? Here are a few things I think just about everyone could agree on, if I’m not mistaken:
- We love the United States, and we want the best for it.
- We want our country to succeed and be prosperous.
- We understand that reasonable, well-meaning people might disagree with us.
- We believe in democracy, for better or worse.
- We wish we could find ways to disagree without so much anger and spite.
- We’re ready for this election season to be over.
What would you add to this list?
Today will be a hard day for some, and it may be a celebratory day for some. Today may not even be the end of this election, if the Bush-Gore election of 2000 is a precedent. So many of us are emotionally invested in the results of today’s election, because it matters. A few months ago, an acquaintance on Facebook said that it’s as silly to be upset with people who disagree with you politically as it is to be upset with people who root for a different sports team than you. I considered what he wrote, and decided it’s not the right metaphor. Politics matters far more than sports, because politics affects all of our lives whereas sports is, ultimately, about games. (Don’t get me wrong, I may still yell at the TV when I’m watching sports.) I’m not trying to make a case for why we should virulently disagree with our political opposites. Instead, I’m trying to make the point that we care about what happens today because the realm of politics matters.
Be kind to yourself today. Be kind to others today. We all need some positive thoughts and feelings after this election season. And remember, we care so much because we love this country. That’s something we can all agree on.