I sit today in a state of tension. As a member of a family that was always interested in politics, who believed that compromises were a necessary part of the process, I looked forward even as a child to Election Day, knowing that either elation or disappointment would be the result – likely some of each depending on the year, but appreciation of the democratic process was a given.
Much has changed in our world in recent times and we are now in the midst of the most dangerous “moment” in our modern history and of the political process. Becoming part of a world in which technology plays a major role, we are also open to interference on an international scale, especially, at this moment, in our elections. Gone are the days when we could count on trusting the process – or the outcome as a simple result.
Last night as I listened to statistical projections on the television, I could feel the cheerleader in myself preparing for wild joy or deadening disappointment. Those feelings are still with me, and will likely remain through the weekend and the days to come. Just before I turned off the TV, however, I saw something on the screen that restored my hope. There were a number of images, flashed consecutively every few seconds, from different places across the country. They each depicted a polling place where lines of people stood silently moving toward the goal of casting their ballots. It was a striking image of the best in us as a country: people standing – likely for a long time, moving very slowly, peacefully, toward the fulfillment of the sacred duty that is part of the bedrock of our nation.
The phenomenon of participation unrivaled ever before in a national election in our country urges me to have hope in this time of turmoil. Now I can only pray for a transition of power equal to that hope in the days ahead.