Tuesday. It’s almost here.
Nobody knows the outcome yet, no matter how compulsively we check 538.
I know it has been a stressful, bizarre and seemingly endless election season. It has revealed our sins (particularly racism, bigotry, and sexism) in ways that feel new but we know they’ve been there all along. We must attend to those wounds, no matter who wins.
How to move forward? We can make new choices, better choices. It’s up to us.
If your candidate wins:
- Don’t gloat. It’s not flattering. On anyone.
- Remember the people who voted for your opponent are your friends and neighbors. They are even your family, the people who sit next to you in church, your co-workers, and the nice person who bags your groceries. Despite the caricatures of opponents with devil’s horns and blood coming out of their whatever, the people who voted differently than you are people you know and love. They will need your care and love.
- Don’t confuse your candidate with Jesus the Christ (or any other divine figure). Your candidate will not save humankind or solve all of our problems single handedly. He or she is as fallible as any of us and the level of public scrutiny under which they will live for the next 4 years is unimaginable to most of us.
- Don’t confuse your opponent with the anti-christ. They are just another citizen–one who was willing to spend the past two years trying to become President. The fact that they lost is not to be equated with the vanquishing of any dark lord.
If your candidate does not prevail:
- Don’t despair. Your vote still matters. Your voice still matters. Your participation in the process is what strengthens our republic.
- Take these next four years to participate in local and statewide politics. Go to town hall meetings. Subscribe to your elected officials’ newsletters and communicate with them about the things that matter to you.
- Don’t confuse your candidate with Jesus the Christ (or any other divine figure) either. Your candidate was not going to save us from our problems single handedly anymore than the winner could have. Our republic is bigger than any one person sitting in the oval office.
- Don’t confuse your opponent with the anti-christ either. They are just another citizen–one who was willing to spend the past two years trying to become President. The fact that they won is not to be equated with the ushering in of some apocalypse.
For all of us:
We are better together than we are divided. Let’s work to compromise, to seek common welfare, to lift up the condition of people around us. Let’s expect our elected leaders to do those same things–compromise, find common ground, and make lives better for people. And let’s vote out people who refuse to do their job. We deserve representatives who will work across the aisle for the benefit of the nation.
Pray for our next President. Pray for their welfare, their flourishing, their wisdom. May their work on our behalf build a better union.