Tuesday, November 4, 2008

When you wake up tomorrow...

Many good people all over the political spectrum are writing about the election. Good for them! Elections are important and we need to talk about them. This election is especially important to me. I was absolutely thrilled to wait in line to vote this morning. If you have voted already, huzzah! If you haven't and you are a registered voter in the US, hie thee to the polls! Your opinion is important, even if it contradicts mine. Of course, I'd prefer that people vote for my candidate. In fact, I spent most of last night fretting instead of sleeping.

I have to admit that I have been just short of terrified about the results of this election. My fears aren't so easy to name as economic destruction or global warming or any of the myriad other issues that are on my mind. My fear is more about me and where I fit into the American landscape. My fear is that too many Americans disagree with me about what America is and what our values ought to be. My fear is that I might become un-American as the definition of America evolves.

A few weeks ago, a Sunday morning homily put words to my fears and helped me to at least begin to form cohesive ideas about where my country is at and hopefully, where my country is going. I do believe that more than any other election in my lifetime, this election is about change. The only question is the direction of that change. Then Monsignor had the wisdom to point out that even if the election is a landslide, that very likely will mean that 45% of the voters will have backed the losing candidate. And we will have to live with the people who lost.

Take a look around your neighborhood. Chances are, you will see some McCain signs and some Obama signs. You might even see a sign for a third party candidate. You might see yards that don't have signs at all! Perhaps the residents are apathetic. Perhaps they are undecided or unexcited. Perhaps the household is divided and it's easier to put up no sign than multiple signs (that certainly has described my own household in past elections). These are the people who you are going to have to work with to effect change. Because no matter who wins, we the people have the power.

Tomorrow morning when you wake up, be the change that you want to see. What do you expect from your neighborhood, your schools, your state, your country? What are you going to do to meet those expectations? The election will be over. The work will have just begun.


Katie Alender said...

OMG, "windbagginess"--hilarious.

I love political Christy. I can just picture you standing in line, trying not to grin, looking around, holding your sample ballot. It feels almost like a holiday to me, in a way, and that feels "right". It should be a big deal. People should be excited. They should stand in line, if that's what it requires--and be glad of the chance.

It's true that nearly half the country will feel like they lost. I would love a good landslide victory one of these years! Let's hope there's a spirit of graciousness (grace?) on both sides, regardless of the outcome.

Look at me, on a mini-soapbox! What is the world coming to?

Christy said...

Stay on that soapbox, Katie! People need to talk about this stuff! If we don't, now are we ever going to accomplish anything?