Politics – Ponderings on the Election and What Matters Most

It’s getting closer. Thank God and the rising and setting of the sun. In just days we will finally see the moment when the curtain falls and the election is over. Assuming there is no tie or contest in the outcome. Those of us in retirement have been through this experience at a minimum a dozen times. This year, 2008, most of us seniors would agree is the most historic of our lives.

At this moment, it appears the Democratic presidential candidate had the lead and will likely be elected. It may be time. There is something to be said for balancing leadership styles and political philosophies over time.

However, let us keep several pieces of advice in mind:

*People who disagree about political persuasions may do so without either of them being wrong or un-American. America is STILL a democracy. That means each of us gets our turn. When that is no longer possible, democracy has become a myth. Disturbing as it is to see and hear hate groups attempting to spill poison in the reservoir of our democracy, most of us are thoughtful, incisive and reasonable in our approaches. Our disagreements may reach louder and louder decibels, but, at length, friends and compatriots end up being civil with one another. It isn’t easy, particularly in our time when issues run either very hot or very cold…there is little in between and no luke warm.

*To get through all of this is not to decide that it is unimportant. It is to decide to be honest, to be disciplined. It is to choose to read and be exposed to something other than the routine sources that reinforce one’s perspective. Listen to a different television news show or radio talk show; read a different newspaper online; listen intently when someone with whom you disagree expresses her/his opinion.

*Lastly, be sure your participation in this election is from a position of living out America’s ideals and not the myths, lies and hype. Like religion, democracy is easily swayed and influenced by those who know more about the Bible or the Constitution than anybody else. Ironically, “sound and fury” do not equal comprehension and communication.

No person going into the White House today will be free of the agonizing anxiety all of us are experiencing in our very frail political and national climate. That is sobering. So think long, study earnestly, decide with some sense of recognizing what is at stake. None of us will be 100%, absolutely, unequivocally correct. We are still frail human vessels who do the best we can with the information we have. Integrity still matters.

Every senior citizen in the country needs to go into the polls, if you already haven’t, and decide. When you walk hold up your head, not in defiance, but in the conviction that you still have the right to express yourself. Hope that in four years, the same opportunity will be available.