Tuesday, November 08, 2016

There Are No Simple Solutions: Election Day Thoughts

It's fitting that it's rainy and overcast on this most unusual of Election Days. This presidential campaign has been long and bitter, and exposed rifts in American society that cannot be ignored and have no simple solutions.

One of our presidential candidates is counting on voters seeking the simple solution—"I alone can fix it"—to carry him to the White House. But democracy, especially our unique American version of it, is anything but simple. It's messy and resembles a Gordian knot at times. It allows for rational and irrational voices to be heard in equal measure, in the hope that we can find consensus to move the nation forward together.

I believe that the United States is a progressive nation, despite its stumbles. It always has been and always will be. (If you're unsure, read the Preamble to the Constitution.) We don't look back; we move forward and, hopefully, hand over a nation to future generations that was better than the one we received.

Radical conservatives are fond of quoting Thomas Jefferson: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." But they omit the next sentence: "It is its natural manure." Jefferson wrote that when the tree of liberty was merely a sapling. 240 years later, that tree has formed deep roots and boughs capable of bearing the weight of a modern nation. But it does need watering and sunlight to remain strong. Our votes provide that sustenance and deter the pests that seek to do it harm.

Don't succumb to the siren's call of simple solutions today. And reach out to those who do, empathize with them and let them know that it gets better and you're there to help.

Yours for the motherfucking revolution, always.

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