Election Reflections: What's Next?

The campaigning is over.
The election is today.
For most, the response is probably “Finally!”

At this point, people have made their decision, and they’ll vote that choice.
Or they won’t vote at all.

I don’t know who’ll win. The polls are all over the place, to the point I imagine odds-makers in Vegas are dizzy, pundits have migraines and even the Psychic Friends feel like Sybil has been living in their heads.

I had a conversation earlier this week, and someone commented: “Regardless of who wins, it’s the will of the Big Guy in heaven.”

Hogwash! (That's the nice word I chose to use here!)
On the surface, the statement looks like a confidence in the sovereignty of God, but I see it as fatalism. It takes free will and human involvement out of the equation. (i.e., I do nothing, then blame God for the results.) It elevates inaction and indifference. That’s not faith, it’s spiritual laziness. We are the divine instruments of change in this world. 

Obviously, I have a favored candidate, and I’ve clearly and respectfully presented my reasons for supporting her over Donald Trump. Throughout this long campaign season, I’ve talked about the issues important to me. I’ve shared how my faith and my values determine my vote.

I read an article yesterday where the writer postulated that in the long run, it won’t matter after today. Well, I beg to differ. I know people who’ve lost friends and are alienated from members of their family...because of this election. It matters to them. I know I’ll have a difficult time healing from what I’ve heard, what I’ve seen, and the things that have been said to (and about) me. I won’t be able to look at some people within my own faith the same way, knowing they passionately and unapologetically supported a man who’s the opposite of Jesus’ example, as well as everything Jesus taught. It matters to me!

In all the years I’ve been voting...which dates back to Nixon...I think this has been the most contentious, petty and downright bizarre. An arrogant reality TV host, who’s a failed businessman with a penchant for lying, is the Republican nominee! And even when his lies are exposed, it didn’t matter; his poll numbers would actually climb. He’s had multiple adulterous affairs, three marriages, and admits to assaulting women, but he’s the overwhelming choice of the “Family Values” and Evangelical GOP. When challenged, he reverts to schoolyard antics of name-calling rather than utilizing mature attempts at consensus-building. Human decency has been overshadowed by demeaning other humans. (And again, his poll numbers would climb.) Hubris and hyperbole carried as much credibility as proven experience. Rumors and innuendos were more newsworthy than qualifications. Solving actual problems took a backseat to scare tactics.

This is the man who could be our next President?
I admit: I’m baffled by it all!

Long before we had only two Presidential candidates, I made some “campaign promises,” particularly that I would not un-friend anyone merely because the candidate they supported. For the most part, I’ve been true to my word. (I have un-friended/blocked/banned some who were abusive.)

Today, I have one more promise for this election: if “my” candidate wins, I won't be a sore winner. I’ll be pleased, of course, because I think she’s immensely qualified and best represents my values. However, that doesn’t mean I'll remain silent about Trump followers who vow continued opposition—who are promising violence, who will claim a “rigged” election and refuse accept the outcome. I will call out such actions and individuals!

Conversely, if Trump wins, I will accept the outcome. I won’t challenge it, nor will I vow armed antagonism. (I won't move to another country, though I will move to a state of disbelief!) However, if I’m being candid, I cannot guarantee I’ll be gracious. In fact, in the spirit of transparency, let me just say it: I will be deeply hurt by friends and family who voted for him. There will be an indelible “question mark” about their actual acceptance of me. Indeed, I will have serious doubts about the integrity of their "christian" beliefs.

Perhaps this confession paints me as a small-minded person, but Donald Trump has promised to nullify my marriage. This isn't about a difference opinion about taxes, it's about my rights as an American and my dignity as a person. Yes, I take that personally!

Moreover, I will be afraid for our country from the leadership of a man who’s clearly not qualified, and who has shown he doesn’t have the temperament to endure online criticism, much less the intimidation from hostile world leaders. He has proven himself to be a demagogue, a racist, a misogynist, a pathological liar and a xenophobe. The policies he proposes would hurt the most venerable in our nation: the poor, the sick, the homeless, people of color, the old, the LGBT community, and all those considered “the other” and the “less than.” As a person of faith, I must stand up and speak out about such discrimination. My tolerance has limits!

When this is all over, regardless of the results, I will call on my faith for perspective, for strength, for forgiveness, for grace and for healing. That’s what I do in difficult times.

I may be silent for a season, but I’ll regain my equilibrium. I will never stop promoting love over hate, dialogue over division, equality over exclusion and freedom over oppression.
My faith and my values demand it.
My humanity requires it!

This campaign has revealed an ugly, painful truth: our country is deeply divided by race, religion, gender, economic status, geographical location, heritage and more.
After tomorrow, the campaign slogans will be muted, and we’ll have a new President.
Then what?

It’s won’t be about making America Great, but about making America...America again!!
We will be Stronger Together when we are America Together!

No President can do that. It will require all of us.
We the People...