Lately, I’ve been in a kind of melancholy frame of mind: according to the dictionary, “a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.” I suspect that it might have something to do with the endless incivility of the campaigning for office we see everywhere. Then it again, it could be a result of unrest among my clergy friends as they seek to do ministry in an ever more difficult cultural milieu. Or maybe I’m just not adjusting well to this seemingly endless summer of pollen and mold. Even my passion for college football or the World Series is diminished. No, really, I think it is the effects of political campaigns that spew forth misinformation, innuendo, and even outright falsehoods.
I was reading John Opsata’s blog earlier and, like him, I am finding it difficult to write these days about the things of which I most concerned without becoming too political. Yet, the cacophony of candidates’, commentators’ and self-acclaimed experts’ voices makes it hard to focus on much else. Everyone seems to be entangled in the mess of this election. Friends are “unfriending” friends on facebook. Colleagues are drawing lines in the proverbial sand and some younger voters are just too disillusioned to vote. November 8, cannot arrive soon enough. One of the things I am most concerned with is the effects this incivility will have on the nationally and locally. That we are even considering not accepting the results of the election is frightening to me; are we becoming a Third World Democracy which validates election results through intimidation and violence? The history of our Republic testifies to our determination to be united after elections in purpose and in support of those elected.
I will have voted in 12 Presidential elections on November 8. I have voted for candidates in both of the major parties. I have been in the majority and I’ve been in the minority. I have seen my candidate of choice become President and I have watched as my candidate has given a concession speech. Never have questioned the integrity of the system we use for elections. According to independent sources voter fraud in America is near zero (26 cases in three years of FBI searches out of 197,000,000 votes during the George W. Bush Presidency.) Of greater concern could be electronic voting machines and the ability of hackers to actually change the tabulations, but that is unlikely. So we vote and hopefully are committed to being a supportive citizen afterward.
Posted on Tue, November 8, 2016
by Doug Meister