After a very long, angry and bitter campaign; it is now up to us citizens. Now, my wife, Peg, and I voted last Friday, at Beverly City Hall; the last day for early voting in Massachusetts. The first floor was set up for voting, using old fashioned voting booths. We checked off our preferences with a pencil; sealed our ballots in envelopes; and deposited them in a ballot box. Even though we had to wait on line; everyone was friendly, and helpful to each other.
What will happen today; what kind of country we will have at dawn, remains a mystery. After I saw a report on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” I am still worried. They hired a pollster, (worked for Republican campaigns), to form a focus group. He brought together a diverse group of individuals; who promptly went after each other’s throats. No civil discussion, just anger came out against each other. Even the pollster expressed fear over what he was seeing, and what it meant for the country.
The preamble of our Constitution begins with: “We, the People..”. We cannot lose sight of the fact, that each of us, in small ways and large, contribute to the ongoing experiment in democracy, that is the United States. We may chose to build it up, tear it down, or let it whither on the vine. This is the “choice,” we face; not just tonight, but in all days to come.
Over a cup of decaf (ugh!) coffee, I will let you know that I have some worries over this upcoming Election Day, and it’s aftermath. Donald Trump’s statement at a rally that he will accept the election results as legitimate, only if he wins; really concerns me. Now, he has tried to tone that statement down; saying he is only keeping possible legal challenges open; but his followers are already convinced the election process is rigged. And there is a very angry electorate out there, on both sides. And we have seen how easy it is for protests to get violent.
Our national elections, with its smooth transfer of power, has been an inspiration to the rest of the world. And many experts, Democratic and Republican, have spoken out about how hard it is to actually rig a national election. There is no central control, but each state has its own election organizers and governing boards. It is hoped that some of these facts filter through to the Trump followers.
This may be, on many fronts, the most challenging election the nation has faced, since the time of Lincoln. But what gives me hope; what keeps me on a more or less even keel, is this phrase from a psalm I remember: “Why are you downcast, my soul? Why groan within me? Trust in God, I will praise him still; my Savior and my God.” Whether things go well, or go bad, I trust that God will be with me: with all of us. And with his help, as one nation, we will see things through.
The cup is empty, I am ready for bed. See you all next week, over a cup of coffee.