[Sorry for the length]
Finally this sad excuse for a presidential election is over. For many, their preferred candidate lost. For many others, their preferred candidate won. For many more, their preferred candidate was not on the ballot. And for a large percentage of voters on both sides of the ideological spectrum, they chose to vote for a candidate they despised, believing they had to choose between the lesser of two evils - in their view. That means that there are few who are truly happy with the results. For those that are, congratulations. I am one of those who wasn’t happy casting a ballot for either. As a conservative I stewed about who to vote for during entire cycle.
Today I find myself thinking more about how we dialogue going forward. Because dialogue is healthy. What passes for political discussion these days mostly is not. My fear is that we continue to build up figurative walls that prevent us from healthy dialogue. So we get sicker. We take our positions, then refuse to listen to counter points of view. It’s not that taking strong positions is bad, but if you were wrong, how would you know? If you’re a conservative and you get your information from the hundreds of websites based in foreign countries that post ridiculous stuff on Facebook for you to share, how would you know if you were wrong? Same thing goes for progressives. Do you realize how many bogus “news websites” are out there? Do you trust the non-context employments claims of Occupy Democrats for example? Is that how we communicate?
When did we go away from the concept that ideas and facts win out over fear? Instead establishing “safe zones” or “trigger-free zones” whatever that means, why not discuss ideas? If you are a progressive and want to convince me to change my mind, how is calling me a “hater” or worse (when you have zero idea what’s in my mind) going to help you do that? If you want to find out what’s in my mind, ask me! If I’m a believer in free markets, how does it help me to go around and tell the poor to “get a job”? (I don’t do that, just to be clear).
In the aftermath, however you feel about this election, we are all still neighbors. I am a devout Christian, and the Jesus I know tells me to “love my neighbors”, but also tells me to know the truth. I will love my neighbors with truth and ambassadorship as a communicator of His message the best I can. I know my neighbors and I will not agree on everything and sometimes my love for my neighbors will not be received as such. And if you think my faith is wrong, persuade me. If you think I’m wrong about capitalism, persuade me. I’ll do the same. God really did bless this nation because where else can we freely express our views and use our own power by voting. I rejoice today that I had a chance to participate, despite knowing I wouldn’t like the result (presidentially) either way.
God says, “Come, let’s reason together”. If it’s good enough for Him, it’s good enough for me. When we’re done celebrating, lamenting, or feeling however we do about the election results, let’s renew our dialogue. Civil dialogue about important things is worth something don’t you think?