I know it’s not official yet, but the projected results say that Barack Obama will remain our president for the next four years. He’s worked hard for it, as did Mitt Romney and every one else who ran for the national election. I say, congratulations, Obama. And good game to Romney.
Most of all, though, I’m grateful that our nation’s system actually works. Whatever discrepancies or critiques you may have of how our government or election program operates, we are truly very blessed to have such consistency. Other countries don’t always have the same luxury. We know that whoever wins, will be president. We don’t have to worry about civil-war, or mass take-over by one group or another. Though perhaps the system and its people are not without flaw, the system works. I believe it’s inspired.
During the last few months, and especially right now during this time of high spirits and also bitter disappointments, I think it’s important to remember that we are all Americans, and as Americans, civility is a key element we must adopt and consistently apply. We might not agree on every topic, but somewhere there is common ground. The mere fact that we’re human beings existing and eking out a living on the same earth should be enough to provide at least that basis for understanding each other.
A wise man said: “Whenever your politics cause you to speak unkindly of your brethren, know this, that you are upon dangerous ground” (George A. Smith, Conference Report Apr. 1914, 12).
Mark DeMoss, an evangelical political adviser to Mitt Romney, launched what he called the Civility Project after seeing how Mormons were treated during the 2008 election. His project included a pledge with three simply stated, but powerful, points:
1. I will be civil in my discourse and behavior.
2. I will be respectful of others, whether or not I agree with them.
3. I will stand against incivility where and when I see it.
The pledge was sent to members of Congress. Sadly, only three signed it, and the project was discontinued.
Civility and respect are lacking and desperately needed in our nation. What are you willing to stand for? I know I definitely have a lot to work on in understanding and being more tolerant of views different from my own.
Let’s stand, and fight for what we believe. But let’s do it with dignity, respect, and civility for those who feel the call to stand for something different than we do.
I love these pictures (courtesy of BBC). They’re all people too, you know?