One might say it’s all been building up to this. This is the last editorial you will read from me before the Election of 2020. I make no pretense toward profundity; I want only to give my perspective.
I am no oracle, but I believe the sun will rise and the world will continue to spin on Nov. 4 regardless of who this country elects. America will still be governed according to a constitution that guarantees and protects our ability to think and speak our minds. We have experienced 45 exchanges of political power in 244 years. We’ve endured many social maelstroms through the years, even a civil war. The country is divided now in a way that hasn’t been seen in a long time. No matter what happens on Nov. 3, what we as individuals do matters more than what the White House does.
This is not to say a vote doesn’t matter. A vote does matter. Our system would not exist without a vote. However, we vote for a president once every four years. Do we only get to speak one day out of 1,460 days? Absolutely not! We should be speaking up and speaking out every day of the year for our rights and the rights of our neighbors. Every day we should test the boundaries of the First Amendment. Every day we should be advocates for equity and justice. And the day we don’t is one step further away from the values expressed in our founding documents. Every day is election day.
Democracy is a daily exercise in thought and discussion. It’s forming an opinion and running it by a friend or someone whose perspective you don’t know. It’s disagreeing with grace, and explaining why an opinion needs reworking. If democracy is a government by the people, then its processes should reflect the mental development of a person. We learn things and change our behaviors. We grow in maturity and wisdom. Our elected officials should represent this, and should not pander to our passions or vices.
If you read this far to find the perfect candidate, then please accept my apologies. I can’t tell you who to vote for; that is not up to me. But I can give you a few prompts to guide your decision.
Vote for the person you think will best serve this country.
Vote for the person you think will best improve the sorry state of conversations.
Vote for the rights of the downtrodden, and amplify the voice of the minority.
Vote for someone who will protect the freedom of speech, our right to protest, and our ability to speak our minds.
Vote for someone who knows the sins of our history and has a plan to heal old wounds.
Vote for someone who wants to take the country forward, who is for progress and development.
Vote for who you want to vote for, because I don’t know who that is.
Once you’ve voted, prepare to be a gracious winner and a gracious loser, and regardless of the results, treat each other with decency and respect.The election will anger some and please others, but our rights do not end at the feet of a president. No matter who wins, we can and will still speak our minds.
Every day is election day.