It’s been a rough few weeks (months, years!). We have a lot going on. And “it ain’t over yet.” So:
- Take a nice deep, cleansing breath.
- In the domain of politics and the news media, remember that threats and conjecture (from officials and pundits alike) are not real—and don’t need to be dealt with—until if and when they actually happen.
- Acknowledge that in this very moment, you really are safe and sound (probably secure in the safety of your own home).
- Just let go of everything else and enjoy some P&Q (Peace and Quiet) for a bit.
Now, a few thoughts about the election and its aftermath . . .
(NOTE: Yes, there are a lot of critical issues right now like the pandemic, and I’m not dismissing them by any means. But this post mainly addresses the U.S. election.)
First, Kudos to Democracy.
Regardless of your political leanings, let’s celebrate that thanks to the systems and officials in place and functioning in each State (and thousands of dedicated poll workers and vote counters AND we voters), not only did the U.S. election run smoothly, but there was a massive, record-breaking turnout. Despite:
- a raging pandemic
- hours-long voting lines at the polls
- never-before-seen levels of mail-in ballots
- a broad spectrum of voter suppression efforts
- rampant disinformation, and
- threats of foreign intervention, voter intimidation, and violence
Even with all of that, an estimated 160 million Americans voted. Let’s rejoice in the fact that A LOT of Americans want democracy to work.
This is the beginning, not the end.
OK, we voted. But as I said, “it ain’t over yet.” I suggest that you take media news with a grain of salt but, yes, there are still controversies, disagreements, and litigation to get through. And because of that, we need to be vigilant and, if necessary, vocal.
Beyond that, the branches of the U.S. government will still have a deeply partisan split. So, more rancor and inaction? Maybe. But I posit that this split provides a perfect opportunity for us to co-create a new Path: we can insist that our elected officials work together and compromise IF “We the people” step up and pressure them to work for all our benefit, not just for their particular tribal “base.” I suggest you Bookmark the Contact page for all your representatives.
As I’ve said before, this is not a time of “business as usual.” The days of just voting and then dusting off your hands of any further action are over. I saw a post on one of my political blogs that was entitled “The American Experiment is over.” It was countered by another post (with a reference to Ben Franklin’s “Republic” quote):
“The American Experiment isn’t over. This IS the experiment. A Republic if you can keep it. If you fight for it. And I am going to fight for it.”
It may help to remember that this country has been divided since its inception. There was even great division among the Founders. The current partisan divide may feel insurmountable but it’s nowhere near the Civil War in which 2-2.5% of the population died (up to 750,000 soldiers and untold number of civilians)—in today’s population numbers, that’s equivalent to 6-7 million deaths!! Family members then didn’t just disagree around the Thanksgiving dinner table, they met on opposing sides on the battlefield. If we survived that tragic time, we can survive this chaotic time.
So now what?
There’s work to be done. We now clearly see what’s broken and needs to be fixed in so many domains. And, as I’ve previously said, I believe that no one person, political party, organization, or group is going to fix it for us. Rather, it’s all up to us. It will be a process and will take time and effort, but it can be done.
I also believe it’s time to remember that people of all political tribes love their country, and have similar fears, concerns, hopes, and dreams for themselves and their families. It’s time for all of us to listen to each other’s concerns, and meet somewhere in the middle. It will be challenging. I’m not even sure how to do it, but what’s the alternative?
But if this long and challenging year of 2020 has proven anything, it’s that clearly we’re capable of handling more than we thought we could.
And what about you?
Are you willing to fight for this democracy? Are you willing to step up and step out of your comfort zone ? To make your particular contribution in your domain of choice to co-create the future Path of your country and of Humanity? Think about it.
But don’t take too much time to think—we need to get started on our future ASAP. And we need “all hands on deck!”
P.S. I strongly urge you to not give in to the fear-mongering occurring on all sides. Otherwise, you only add to the swirling chaos rather than contributing to solutions. And maybe your first contribution can be to say a prayer for (or surround with Light) all of our leaders, all of Humanity, and the Planet. Every little bit helps.