One great truth is that there is no room for hatred in politics, or anywhere else in civilized society. Anger, which has been aptly described as being “a slice of hate” masquerades now as partisan allegiance and fervor. The tenor of the times raises questions: What do we really want from our governing bodies and how much rampant tribalism must we tolerate as “the new normal” in our democratic process in general, and in our elected representatives in particular?
It is a challenge to be asked to forgo the “rush” of self-righteousness that can lead one to promote premature decisions or judgments, often arrived at without any serious thought. Is it even possible to expect that we — mere mortals — can rise to an elevated level of communication where the bellowing of would-be leaders (of any party) will melt away into a broader and more comfortable open-mindedness?
Whether we agree or disagree, accept or reject the need for a paradigm shift in our legislature, all involved must make the effort to rein in baser instincts, at least to the point where conscious and courteous attention can be given to the voices of all parties. Although the pendulum of American politics has (and always will) swing from left, through middle, to right and back, this is nothing to fear. The genius of the Founding Fathers has engendered for us a strong but flexible system.
Our even more difficult task is to sift through the partisan hyperbole of the moment and reject the intentional instilling of fear and confusion to reel in votes, or worse, cause us to sacrifice our franchise altogether. This is not a time for the faint-hearted. It is a time for action. Whatever your political leanings, one must engage with the machinery of the electoral process. As with any other mechanism, there can be no progress unless all necessary parts are present and working together.
While not a saint, it is possible for President Trump to re-mold himself and become a force for good. As I have watched him over the past year and some months, I have detected subtle cracks in the stone obelisk that was candidate Trump. A more visible willingness to listen, a desire to venture into the deep and treacherous waters of agreement with those of other political persuasions, and even better-edited daily tweets are at least a few signs that he has the intellect to know how to change and succeed. After all, he did win the election.
This does not lessen the need, I feel, for a catalytic movement by Democrats and independents (Republicans also welcome) to temper the current hard-line atmosphere and provide inclusion for the many, many protesters so disillusioned by the outcomes of 2016. I do not fear the “Blue Wave.” In fact, I welcome it. It would simply be the normal operation of a system that has weathered both extremes of the voting tally.
There is one point that must be made. While there may have been a time when an Electoral College was necessary, that time has long passed. The gamesmanship that created and supports a system that allows for the “stealing” of an election from the will of the people must end. The American voter no longer needs to be leashed, channeled or second-guessed. If there is a great cause, it is this: one person, one vote, one result.
In sum, listen, do your homework, vote!
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