I am not surprised. No. Not in the least. Since the Bush/Gore election of 2000, the presidential elections in the United States have been contentious. The election in 2020 has been no different. I am not surprised. My spouse cautions me to “don’t harsh my mellow.” What does surprise me? The fact that I am pretty mellow about it.
Where does this feeling come from? I can’t say for certain. I have a lot of friends on the Right and the Left who are anxious. In the last few months, there had been no one more despised by my friends on the Left as Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Considering that his spouse Elaine Chao serves as the Secretary of Transportation in the Trump Administration, the Senator has always had a conflict of interest. When the Senator was re-elected, it was a devastating blow for those who wished for his defeat. I have no idea why they thought his defeat would happen.
My friends on the Right have indulged in similar fantasies for years now. The bete noir of the Right, Secretary Hillary Clinton, is still persecuted. She has never been prosecuted. I suspect she is relieved that Hunter Biden will take the focus off of her. My home state is as red as a tomato. For the last few months we have fought over shut downs and mask wearing. There has been less concern over death than there has been over destruction. And yet, the majority of people take reasonable precautions.
These anxieties represent a problem of theology for the people involved. One friend argues that this must happen before “the Rapture.” Another believes they know the Divine agenda for The United States. Somehow God’s purposes contradict among my friends which makes me think they don’t know what they are talking about. Then again, I am not surprised.
We like using the words “Common Sense” because we know a phrase like “popular wisdom” is an oxymoron. Knowing this, I am tempted to look down upon everyone else’s viewpoint and go hide in the social media echo chamber. Realizing this uncomfortable truth, makes me put the brakes on my own attitude. I forget that human persons are human. Common sense is the agreed upon myths for how we live. Other people are not stupid. Beliefs are either right or wrong. But beliefs are also personal. I remember that my best judgment has not kept me from my addiction. Nor has it stopped me from bad decisions. I tell people I like being right. It’s only because it does not happen as often as I wish.
All elections in a democratic society have consequences. But I have done my part. And I know what I will do next. I want our society to change. I accept the status quo remains for now. While I write this it appears evident that whoever wins the presidency is only going to do so by a narrow margin. We will see the courts involved. And we will wait. I will not cause harm to another person if I can help it. This is the source of my serenity. I will do no harm. I will do good where I can. And I will walk with God the best way I know how.