Monday, November 03, 2008

Post Election Perspective

CaDh8 and I (BRD) have just about burned out on election commentary. Luckily, just in time, TheUkieVillain, straight from the Ukrainian Village section of Chicago has stepped up to wrap up our issue debates. As we curl up to watch election returns, we are glad to hear some good reminders about the realities of the situation.

Hopefully, we will all move forward from this election with a renewed spirit of vision and willingness to appreciate the talents and value of the winning candidate.

Welcome to Letters-and-Surveys, UkieVillain!

Dear Self, Post-Election Day,

I hope you get some sleep Election Night, and don't stay up too late to watch the election results trickle in.

I'm writing to remind you of a few things from this side of election day, when hopes run high on all sides: the hope of change with one candidate, or the still-clinging-to-hope of the other.

Reminder 1: Whatever the outcome, God is still in control. We have just voted to elect the President. As my pastor said this week, Jesus is still Lord and Messiah, whoever may be on the throne at the head of our country. God will still be in control of the nation, of the economy, of the war, of the unborn, of the world. He can still change hearts and minds regarding policy. And HE is the one who raises kings up and deposes them.

Reminder 2: If the guy you want to win ends up losing, it does not imply fraud. While the voting process itself is increasingly under scrutiny, what with hanging chads, and e-voting mishaps, the voice of the people is still the voice of the people. Our representative democracy is still based on the concept that our representatives are elected each year. So go out, vote, and resign yourself to the results, for better or worse. I'm all for honesty and transparency, but given the system we've got, my opinion is that it'd be better to get the next guy in office instead of drawing out election night for 30+ days the way we did in 2000. That just leads to further resentment and rancor among the people.

Reminder 3: Your influence in government didn't end when you left the voting booth Yes, that's right! Despite what you may think, your representatives DO care what you have to say. Call the offices of your Representative and/or Senator and/or the President, both on the state (I guess they're called governors on the state level, huh?) and federal level (they treat that as representative of 10 of their constituents). Better yet, take the time to write a pen-and-paper letter expressing your opinions (that gets counted as 50 people!).

Or, if you think the government is bunk and can't get the job done, work on getting things better without them! Join a community group that supports actions in your neighborhood, city, or state. Join up with a cause that you believe in. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.

And, don't limit yourself to talking about politics and important issues on your blog (guilty of this myself) or with close friends and relatives. Blogs are likely to be read only by people who already agree with you, and its likely that you will hold similar opinions as many of your friends and family (although that's not always the case).

By encouraging reasonable discourse in the public square, you're helping bring back civility to our political realm, and helping understand those who are different than you, which is the start of changing yourself and the world.

Reminder 4: Read and remember! Make yourself more knowledgeable about the things you care about. That way, the next time you vote (local elections in 12 months, congressional elections in 2 years, presidential campaigns start in 3…hours?), you'll have the knowledge to back up and defend your positions and influence those around you with the truth.

So, Self, remember these things, and don't despair about whatever happens in this election or the seeming futility of politics sometimes!

Remember these things!




cadh 8 said...

Thank you Ukie Villian! I think we all needed to hear that, especially after such a tough and long election. We can never expect the change we need to come from Washington, like some kind of trickle down plan. But it must come from us. Thanks for the reminder!!

brd said...

Jimmy Carter once said:

"The best way to enhance freedom in other lands is to demonstrate here that our democratic system is worthy of emulation."

At the end of a very long election season, I think that, if nothing else has been accomplished, the world is looking at this democracy today, and seeing it as worthy of emulation.