Thursday, November 10, 2016

What Should We Learn from the Tuesday Election?

I arrive at my opinions the way most critical thinking people do. My opinions are derived from the study of History, the search for truth in the midst of clutter and personal experience.

Sometimes those opinions do little more than guide me from one decision to the next, and at times, they help me determine how I will react to a current event but again, not much different from anyone else.

Elections do a lot more than simply determine who will be filling a soon to be vacated seat, they tell us a lot about the electorate. Every once in a while, the results are so astounding and the reaction to those results so volatile that we get a peek at what truly motivates each and every one of us.

I recall sensing more than a little trepidation when I awoke after the election in 2008 to find out the most Socialist President in our History had just been elected.  I felt betrayal, anger, and concern for the future of my family, business and most of all, for the Nation.

Having spent a significant percentage of my life, living under the shadow of the Oath I had taken to safeguard the Constitution, I was now faced with the real possibility that in one day, all that I held dear could be threatened and the Constitution so fundamentally changed as to render it unrecognizable to those who fought for it.

Those were real concerns, about real, physical and ideological things; foundational things upon which the United States was anchored.

I remembered that overwhelming feeling of dread that all I had sacrificed for might be swept away by a flood of emotionalism which selected a man who would now occupy the White House for four, if not eight years; a feeling I carried again, all night Tuesday, the eighth of November 2016.

I recall the relief, the next morning when it was finally revealed that I would not have to endure the same sensations I had felt 8 years prior. I also began to consider how the other fifty percent of the electorate must be feeling having had their visions of a continuance of policies they wanted squashed, in one day.

That is truly the extent of my empathy however; simply understanding that when people lose something that large, what follows is a hollowed out feeling. And so, I resolved not to jamb my rhetorical or metaphorical finger into the collective eye of those who List a good deal further to Port than the Victors do. They will need time to come to terms with the loss, and time, to realize their lives will not change and certainly will not be as dramatically affected as our would have been, if Clinton had won.

It should also be a wake-up call to those who lost to consider what the 2008 loss meant to us and to remember that the Sun does not Rise and Set on one political ideology; it does so for all of us.

Collectively, we need to work a lot harder at remembering that we are all American Citizens from a wide spectrum of ideology and we still must learn to live together because there are real threats out there who do not care where we sit on the political spectrum; all they know is we are Americans and they want us all, dead.

To my fellow Christian Brothers and Sisters I would say this; we fell on unanticipated and opposite sides during this election. Maybe I was living in a bubble in 2012 – or even 2008; assuming we were all thinking together. This election taught me a lot, about how little I actually know about some people I simply assumed to know. I hope the rift I observed open up, is temporary because we, more than any other class of Americans, have more in common. We have watched this country move God further away from the Public Square than at any point in our History. Convincing people of that error will take more than high-minded shunning; it will take interaction and a willingness to accept that everyone has a history and sometimes, a lot of spiritual scar tissue.

Personally, I feel hope for the future because even though I tend to be that curmudgeon who hates change, this time around, I truly feel like there is a chance to dig our way out of the pit we have watched widen, these past 25 years. It is going to require that we all think differently than we have been – not like some hyphenated variety of organic cucumbers but an actual definable, like-minded, concerned, industrious, caring people.

You know; Americans!

Semper Fi;

John Bernard