Election day is upon us. Aren’t you thankful for the right to vote? Remember as you go to the polls that those voting differently than you aren’t evil. They are simply convinced that solving our collective problems is best achieved by a different means than what you believe. Democrats and Republicans aren’t evil and neither has a monopoly on the good, and certainly not on the truth. They are all Americans. We are all Americans. None more so than another. We shouldn’t seek to “destroy” others, but rather to understand one another. Only when we truly understand others are we adequately qualified to disagree with others. As John Stuart Mill once observed “The only way for the whole truth to emerge…is by the reconciling and combining of opposites.” By all means vote, vote with enthusiasm. But remember that our system allows for folks to choose to not participate as well. And that is their right. But when you return home and the votes are counted, remember that those who voted differently from you are your brothers, sisters, neighbors and fellow citizens, who happen to see things differently than you. But we are Americans all. So remember to love your neighbor as yourself.
I think that far too many are far more interested in having fights rather than engaging in arguments. The difference between fights and arguments is that when we engage in fights we fight to win, whereas when we engage in arguments we argue to “win over.” I believe there we need a revival of civil discourse and critical thinking in our world. We have become so polarized and tribal in our thinking that we forget the importance of engaging one another in thoughts and persuasion rather than knee jerk reactions.
I remember hearing someone talk about the difference between our congnitive and emotive/tribal centers. The analogy is one of a rider on an elephant. The elephant is far more powerful and predictive of the direction a person will go. Likewise the direction we tend to move is based much more in our emotions and tribal instincts than it is in our logic. This is especially true in the age of Trump, I feel like many people voted for him at the last moment and did so because they didn’t like Hillary Clinton and subsequently now feel obliged to construct a defense of their actions. Maybe this is what is happening again in 2020? I feel like Christians feel this way for numerous reasons, but by and large they feel this way because if they admit that they were wrong about him then they might have to admit they are wrong about other things. Perhaps these are some of the same emotions stirring in our collective hearts as we approach this particular election day?
How are you feeling now that this election day is only a few days away?