I woke up early this morning — 4:30 a.m. clock time (body is still adjusting and thinks it’s 5:30 a.m.). Just one thought ran clearly through my mind as I opened my eyes: “Blessed are the peacemakers. This is an opportunity to rise to the occasion, and not to the provocations.”
Certainly this year’s campaigns have brought to the surface myriads of social woundedness on all sides that are in need of healing balm and bandages — and not more contentiousness. We must address our fears about one another — the old splits that again surfaced showing those deep divisions based on race, gender, generation, cultures, urban-suburban-rural, etc., have remained unhealed.
I still believe The Great Physician can best supply what we so intensively need. And this calls for us to embody hope, bind up the wounds, go deeper to the sources in attitudes that have fragmented us from one another. These are the peacemaking kinds of things we need so that *all*of us can move forward — together, with civility — if we are to avoid continuing contempt and uncivil wars of words.
And this is not a call to “YOU all should do this.” This is a call that I myself know I need to embrace. For my part, I know I need to continue to stand against social bullying from wherever its sources, shine the spotlight on corrosive political systems that benefit the few and harm the many, and explore creatively with others how best to be peacemakers in these troubled times. Those are ways I can make some contributions to the common good. (What are yours?)
So, as I seek to composite an MRI of varying perspectives on analysis of this election, I’ll also be assessing as best I can to see the hearts of hurt and considering what we can do together in going forward. Because so many were “voting against” rather than “voting for,” I’m not convinced that Mr Trump or the Republican party can claim a clear mandate, nor the Democratic party experience a total defeat. Instead, this is a time for all people of good will to hold our elected officials to a standard of “do good plus do no harm.”
My sense already is that the results are far more complicated than any election I can recall since 1980. That was when the Independent ticket of John Anderson (who was a moderate/liberal Republican) and Patrick Lucey (who was a moderate/conservative Democrat) received approximately 6.6% of the vote nationwide. That was more than all the total all third-party candidates for president received this election. I worked locally and regionally with that campaign back then, and expect to be revisiting that election in some forthcoming blog posts. I think I will reconnect with some wisdom found in my experiences of working in that bi-partisan situation … but it’s taken an hour to write just this, and I think I’ll get a cuppa coffee and spend some time reading and reflecting and praying.