Tuesday, November 3, 2020

It Makes a Difference

Today’s election is more than a local election and this post is more than a local post. It has to be. 

I saw a meme circulating yesterday to the effect that, no matter which Presidential candidate wins, the poster will get up tomorrow and lead a peaceful and happy life. I’m guessing it was well meaning. Perhaps it was meant to be brave in the face of possible chaos in the aftermath of Election Day. 

It was hard for me to swallow.

In this election the choices are clearly defined. If you can look at them and think you’ll be fine either way, then you have a privilege that many Americans do not. If you, or people you care about, are:

  • Muslim
  • Have pre-existing conditions
  • Black Americans
  • Refugees
  • Immigrants
  • Women
...then it will not be fine either way. 

Only one candidate for President, Joseph Biden, is running with a commitment to govern for all Americans and not a select few. The other, incumbent Donald Trump, has made statements and taken actions that promote actual harm to those I listed above, and more. 

It makes a difference who wins. We will not be fine either way. 

Now, God willing, we will all still be alive - - and feel the need to work for a better world - - no matter who wins. But there is a difference between working as a part of a greater team and working in the face of outright oppression. If you know people who are experiencing terror and dread right now it is because they clearly understand the difference.

Positive thinking, certainly not a force to be ignored, is not enough to overcome organized oppression after the fact. 

It is, however, a strong motivator to get people to vote, to stay in line, to volunteer for candidates, to work at the polls. The power of positive thinking says your vote makes a difference, your efforts make a difference, your caring and helping make a difference. If you have not voted yet: today is your day. Do not miss your opportunity to create active good. 

There are many choices to be made on this year’s ballot, from the Presidency to the Howard County Board of Education. All of those choices call us to think of others as well as ourselves. “We, the people” is not a proclamation of “me first, by myself.”  It’s an important distinction.

Our choices show whether we define ourselves by who we include or who we exclude. 

Please vote, and please encourage family members and friends and anyone in your social sphere to vote. Encourage patience as votes are counted. Postive thinking and positive actions today are a valuable investment. Do not underestimate their value.

I don’t have a readily-shareable meme about how I will feel tomorrow. I only know that today will be a long day, with a long night to follow. 

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