Thoughts on the US Election

161112_electionNovember 12 – Well it’s finally over, and I am really thankful that we will no longer be subjected to political ads that have become more and more hateful through these last few months. How in the world would any human being come up with the words he/she uses to knock down the other candidate? I would be more than ashamed to use the anecdotes and words that have been used in this campaign, words that most people have taught their children not to use. But these same words come out of the mouths of the candidates, neither being more guilty than the other in that area.

I still have a hard time wondering why in the world so many of the other candidates lost the battle to be the chosen one, the one who would lift high the banner of their party. Some of them were polite, soft spoken, keeping to the subject matter under discussion, and showing they knew what this election was all about. But they were not chosen!


[ Presidential debate on TV ]

As I have watched the political ads on TV, and have seen the expressions on the faces of the candidates, with former rivals pulling together to get rid of others, of so many disturbing gestures, I’m more than pleased that I was not part of the campaign. What happened to the old days when voters were special, when somehow the candidates tried to come up with something good, something that was needed, something that would assure the voters that their voices had been heard!

I was so proud when I cast my first ballot, when I felt I was a real part of the American dream, a citizen who would do what I could to make America truly great, a country that all the world would appreciate, one that could give them hope for the future. But that was way back in history! I was twenty-one when I first went to the voting booth to choose the candidates that, in my estimation would do their best to keep our country on an even keel. I so well remember even before I was old enough to vote that all of us high school seniors in our Problems of Democracy class discussed at great length why we were believers in one party or the other, or maybe even a third party candidate. I was able to vote for the first time just before I graduated from college, with, of course, a major in history! Later on, teenagers who were 18 years old were given the voting right.

Just once have I not voted in an election since then, and that’s because I was teaching in Zimbabwe at the time. On my birthday next year I will be ninety years old and hope that I can continue to represent this beloved country of America.


[ Chris at the polls ]

It is a real privilege to take part in an election here in our country. As we look around the world we can see that millions of those in so many countries would give all they have to change places with us, giving them the gift of choosing those who will govern them through the years.

On Election Day, I listened to bits and pieces of the election news, switching to various parts of the country. Those photos of the long, long lines of hopeful voters, some having been standing in line for several hours already, showed that the vote count would be higher than usual. First, one candidate was leading, then the other, and on and on. Both presidential candidates were waiting in New York, awaiting the results that took only one to the White House. Will those in the losing party be able to continue with their lives and accept the choices made by others? Will the winners think twice before letting everyone know that they are “really the best”?

Our beloved country will be undergoing a real change, and those of us who love it so much will have to do our best to make sure that our children and their children will grow up in a country that is still the greatest one on earth. May we think of the beautiful song sung by Kate Smith so many years ago, and while we are singing, let our prayers ascend that we truly will continue to be helpers of those who need us.

God bless America, land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night, with a light from above;
From the mountains to the prairies,
From the oceans, white with foam,
God bless America, my home sweet home.


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