Ponderings on the Election

Oct 25th, 2008 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

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.

Frankly, my intuition is moving toward the victory of one candidate. I am of the opinion, with the help of trends in polling, that the victory will go to the Democrats. It may be time. For those of you who do not share that view, I don’t apologize, I just am reporting what I am reading, seeing and hearing. You may not like my conclusion, but then, I didn’t particularly enjoy the outcomes of the previous two elections.

I don’t categorize people who disagree with me as evil or wrong or vengeful or “un-American.” I believe and presently enjoy the assumption that 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 of KKK and other 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, the friends and compatriots with whom I talk, 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 lukewarm.

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. Much of what I have heard in the past week over the car radio, while in East Texas, alarms me. With little exception the airwaves were full of disinformation and hype. There was no pretense made toward fairness or balance. It was as if there were a huge dome over that geographic section preventing any other message from penetrating it. Rush Limbaugh was on at least four to six stations, both AM and FM; there were other lesser known right wing radio show hosts, plying their wares. When you tried moving from one station to other, with the seek button, most of what you found was shyster preachers trying to separate people from their money, automobile advertisements or swap shops. Not much in there for people who like to spend some time on the road having some kind of intellectual stimulation. I gave up Rush years ago. Anyone who has all the answers and all I have to do is be a “ditto head,” turns me off immediately. I am, I confess, a free thinker. If that makes me a liberal too, then I guess I am.

What I would like to see before I vote for the very last time, is that this country is living out of its ideals and not its myths. 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.

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.



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