As I am sure everyone is aware, tomorrow, Tuesday, November 3, 2020, is the day that Americans have the opportunity to vote for the next President of the United States. In full disclosure, this post is not going to include opinions or statements about Republicans or Democrats, nor Donald Trump or Joe Biden (although it is very tempting) 😉
Rather, I have a few reminders and simple requests:
- As Americans, we are blessed to live in the longest continuous democracy the world has ever known. We are fortunate that our Founding Fathers put together an amazing framework that has enabled us to become a truly amazing country.
- The opportunity that we as Americans have to elect the leader of our country is a privilege that citizens of many countries do not have. In fact, many of our fathers and grandfathers have fought in wars to protect this sacred privilege.
- A two-party (or multi-party) system will almost always result in significant differences of opinion as to what are the best decisions to make as a country going forward, whether regarding taxation, national defense, health care, etc. The key is to find ways to discuss these differences in a respectful way without alienating one another. Extreme partisanship results in discord and the inability to make progress.
A few simple requests:
- Please take the time to vote. Both of my grandfathers served in World War I, and my father served in World War II. They served so that all Americans could continue to have the opportunity to live in a democracy and choose their own leaders.
- Regardless of your religious preference, or even if you don’t subscribe to any religion, please pray for a peaceful election day. In the 231 years since George Washington became president on April 30, 1789, we have had peaceful elections. I pray that this trend continues this year.
- NO matter who you vote for, please respect the process. Try to avoid saying “I don’t understand what you are talking about.” When I hear this statement, I usually respond with a question: “Do you want to understand?” If so, I try my best to explain. And as you most likely already know, I often like to quote St. Francis: “Seek to understand before you are understood.”
I am very proud to be an American! Have a wonderful Election Day!!
Thank you Harry. Practical, balanced, and on point.
Like you, with some doubts in the air about the integrity of the election I think about how invaluable the moments when we come together to vote are. And like you, as a liberal arts major, it reminds how important is to remember our shared history.
Even more personally, I have two uncles who served in Viet Nam when it was a hot war, and two great uncles buried in Arlington from WWII. My father was fortunate to fall between Korea and Viet Nam – he served in the Army reserves. They did so for their families and the idea of America. (Although I didn’t serve I did care for patients at the VA and was registered to serve since I was 18)
There are many others who have served America in other ways over the years. Of course, there is the Peace Corp, The Voice of America, the State Department and other federal programs who did so because they wanted to support democracy, a better life, and just doing good by the people of the world – the humanity.
I will think about these things and encourage others to do so.