Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thoughts for Election Week

Barack Obama is our President now, and barring unforeseen circumstances, he will be our President for the next four years.

I don't intend to come across as angry or abrasive at all, and forgive me if I do . . .  but let me express my opinion for a moment.

I suggest we all find a way to accept and to respect our leadership, whether we like it or not, and to stop complaining about it. Doing something to effect change is welcome; whining and bemoaning how the next 4 years are going to be terrible is not going to change a single thing. Acting as if it's doomsday is not going to help--but calling your representatives might. Anger, complaints, and hatred are not going to help--but supporting the causes you believe in most deeply might.

I am not a strongly "political" person and political debates with people are not my thing. With the exception of my closest friends and family, I never even tell people which way I vote. But I have to say that election day always reminds me that as Americans, we have the great freedom not just to vote, but to . . . gasp . . . disagree with each other!! And we have the responsibility to do so respectfully. If we can't learn how to disagree with each other more appropriately, we had better not have anything to say about it if we lose that right entirely in the future. I'm serious. If we can't disagree without personal attacks, maybe we should just keep our opinions to ourselves.

Be classy, fellow Americans. I'm tired of people attacking each other verbally and on the Internet because they disagree with each other's politics. I'm tired of people acting as though the only individuals who should exercise the right to vote are those who will vote the same way they do. I'm tired of the pettiness, the ignorance, the arguments, and the assaults on people's intelligence, religion, and credibility on the basis of who they vote for.

I don't know who you voted for, but I voted for the person I believe is best equipped to lead our nation into the future. I voted for the person who I believe best embodies the values and principles I hold dear. Does that mean I 100% agree with that person? Not at all. But there will never be a perfect candidate. (And if you think there should be, try running for President yourself. Rumor has it that it's not exactly a piece of cake). I know that many people I am very close to would disagree strongly with the candidate I chose, as I would with theirs. But I'm not going to let that disagreement place a divide in these friendships--because some things are more important than having the last word.

The presidential election makes me proud to be an American and proud of the freedoms we have, but it also makes me sad that every time, the disagreements are more heated, the attacks are more personal, and the complaints are louder.

When did we lose the ability to disagree respectfully? When did we start buying into the idea that everyone has to feel the same way we do about serious issues? When did we start refusing to allow others to entertain their own beliefs without heavy backlash? When did we start believing that complaining, whining, and worrying changes things? When did we start thinking it was ok to indoctrinate and coerce others into embracing our opinions?

I'm praying that God will bless and transform this nation as we go into the next 4 years. I resolve to respect our leadership whether I agree with it fully or not, and to support the causes I believe in the most.

Whether you think those actions will help or not is up to you. But I'm pretty sure they will help more than dramatic Facebook statuses, arguments, and complaints.

God bless America.

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