No matter what our political affiliations, we, I think, will all be glad when the current campaigning comes to an end tonight. Whether local, state or national votes are being cast, it does seem as if someone has been running for office forever, doesn’t it?
In my small city the burning issue is a vote to move some city services to a preferred building just over the city line. Fevered editorials and letters to the editor give some sense of how strongly folks feel about this. Looked at in the light of our national campaign, you might sniff at our concerns, yet they are as real and divisive as Clinton-Trump on a bigger stage.
Did our Founding Fathers foresee where politics might take us? We know they did not quite trust the common man (we ladies were excluded from the process altogether). So they set up that strange mechanism, the Electoral College, which can contradict the popular vote.
This distrust had its birth in the fever and fears that accompanied independence from England across the sea. So many predicted that this short-lived revolution – wasn’t it bound to fail?—would see the colonists begging for readmission to the arms of Mother Btitain within a few months. Give the paucity of communication by boat, it is still amusing to read that on the night of July 4, 1776 King George III wrote in his diary: “Nothing of importance happened today.” Little did he know the panicked words that were already en route to him.
I trust that we have all prayed as we voted and I have confidence that, no matter what the outcome, there will be adjustments in the length and financing of future campaigns. It would be a tragedy if only the wealthy can afford to seek higher service to our republic. We often have to live through something before seeing that a process needs fixing.
We have been proud to speak of ourselves as “one nation under God”. Let us trust that we still mean those words, even if some of us are bound to be disappointed by the results. The end of the world is not in sight no matter what happens. My political faith rests on the Constitution. Spiritually, I hope to be able to pray with the psalmist: “... hope in the Lord from this time on and forevermore.” (Ps.131:3).