These past few months, heck, nearly an entire year have not been politics as usual. The run-up to this election has been anything but normal. While I’m certain we’ve never seen such outrageous behavior among politicians before, I’m hopeful that we won’t see it again.
But who’s to say that my wish will be granted. The landscape of our country is in disarray. There is total confusion on all sides. But, after all, this is a democracy, or at least, it is supposed to be. People of all kinds are entitled to their opinion. And in a democracy, just like in life, there are two sides to the story.
Perhaps, you’ve already voted or you are preparing to vote on November 8th. By all means, do cast your ballot. It is what helps to keep our democracy from turning into a demagogue. Let your voice be heard. Everyone else is seemingly allowing their voices to be heard loud and clear. At least, they’re speaking up even if they aren’t necessarily being heard.
Or maybe you’re not preparing to vote at all and are part of the squad that has resigned themselves to not cast a ballot. If so, suit yourself. But don’t complain when one person gets elected over the other or if the entire election gets hijacked.
The truth is, no matter who you are or which side of the tracks you’re from, November 8th will come to visit all of us. Conservative or liberal. Democrat, republican, or independent. Cable news junkie or binge Netflix watcher. One thing is for certain: After the election, the world will roll on.
Whether Donald Trump is president or Hillary Clinton becomes the next commander-in-chief, the clock will keep ticking for most of us at least. You’ll still go to work (providing your jobs haven’t been sent overseas). You’ll still take your kids to school or send your kids to college (providing educational dollars haven’t been cut). You’ll still go to worship on Sundays or whatever day of the week you choose (providing threats haven’t been carried out against religious freedom). And you will still have your head on your shoulders, I hope.
Maybe you will even recover completely from all that post-election stress that the APA reported. Democracy has its pains but these days, the brutality is more like being nailed to a cross.
The election will be over soon enough, just like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. The debris that will be left after the literal storm, in this case, will take some time to clean up providing our newly elected leader has enough stamina and strength to whip the country into some sensible shape.
But truly after our new leader is elected, we can hopefully go back to some sense of normality, civility, and perhaps, some morality. Maybe not, though. I wouldn’t be too hopeful. Our leaders are humans just like us and it isn’t safe to lose our sanity and sense of worth by putting them on a pedestal. They can succeed, but they’re equally as liable to fall, fail, and completely screw up.
Don’t be too sure either candidate will keep their promises. They are, after all, politicians of the highest order. And I wouldn’t be too sure that they have complete and total ability to turn the country around. Do give them credit, however, for choosing to be the man and woman “in the arena”. To “dare greatly” as one of my heroes Brene Brown would say, is to stick your neck out there and then your hand and then your foot and then your whole self. And hope that some good will come out of it.
So after the elections are over, let yourself breathe. Watch the sun go down. Fall sleep on the talking heads and pundits. And be sure to say your prayers. Because at the end of the day, in more ways than one, with all her faults, failures, corruption, and scandals, America will always be the greatest country on earth.
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