Thursday, November 8, 2012

Unitas Per Harmonium (Unity Through Harmony)

I'm not sure I have ever been this invested in an election before. I've always followed the campaigns closely, always had opinions, always voted. But never before have I wanted SO BADLY for my guy to win. I cried, literally cried when Mitt Romney pulled out of the primary race heading into the 2008 election. Because I felt so strongly that he, over all other candidates was uniquely qualified to lead...especially in regards to economics, something that seemed extremely important seeing as we were in the middle of a pretty serious economic depression. 

Fast forward to 2012...I've watched this election closely with great anticipation, a lot of hope and a heavy dose of anxiety. Even more than 5 years ago, I feel with every fiber of my being that Romney is what our country needs right now. I don't care that he is a Mormon (the same religion I practice), I don't care that he is one of Utah's "favorite sons" because he saved our Olympics. It's the man....who he is, what he stands for, his experience and qualifications that makes me want to see him in the Oval Office. It was not to be. I find myself somewhat baffled that half of my fellow Americans don't see what I do. It seems so remarkably clear to me. And in the late hours of election night I wanted to rage and rant at the complete and utter idiocy of those Americans who think that keeping President Obama around for 4 more years is a good idea. I like President Obama. Truly I do. Overall I think he is a good man who is trying to do what he thinks is best for our country. I just don't happen to agree with him a lot of the time. 

What's done is done. And I'm glad it's done. I am tremendously disappointed, but also rather weary of it all. I'm not sure I've ever watched such a negative and nasty election season. In the candidates campaigns, yes...but also with Americans in general. We are truly a nation divided. I hope this is a wake-up call. I hope President Obama realizes that a solid half of the country does not like the way he is leading. I hope the Republican party realizes that if despite having a stellar candidate, they still couldn't win...well, maybe they need to do some inward reflection and figure out why. And I hope that all in Washington D.C. can stop the bickering and the blaming and the refusing to work with the folks across the aisle simply out of spite...and realize that democrats or republicans, we are all AMERICANS and we have got to find a way to work together, despite our differences.

I have a friend from high school who's husband penned this bit of opinion. I'm sharing it with you because it resonated with me. It's not pro-Romney or pro-Obama....just some unbiased thoughts about understanding each other and getting along. I especially like the final paragraph....brilliant!       

To My Red and Blue Friends:

I KNOW IT'S LONG, but I really don’t care if you read it. I needed to say it so that I could get on with my day and more cheerily work with Ohio University’s awesome students!

Please remember that while approximately half of the United States is elated at the results of the election, the other half feels acutely disenfranchised. It would have been so regardless of the outcome.

People on both sides of the aisle are genuinely – even profoundly fearful for the future of the nation – worried about their kids; worried about their ailing parents and special needs siblings; worried about fundamental physical and spiritual rights; worried about the planet; worried about spotted owls; worried about financial, social, and constitutional collapse. This fear is real, it is not paranoia, ignorance or lack of education and has precious little to do with whether our roots run red or blue – whether we prefer NASCAR or NPR. Instead, it stems from the legitimate concern that perhaps we “have” been on the wrong track – that things truly are no better than they were four years ago...or eight for that matter. Blame Bush, blame Obama, blame Vermont, blame Texas, blame Washington or Al Qaeda, blame me if you want, but here comes the reality check folks: Half of the citizenry thinks we may have just committed a grave and irreversible error. They feel the change, but not the hope.

Referring to slavery, Lincoln said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Our current societal division is stark and alarmingly acrimonious. We are still standing, but on such feeble knees and shifting sands. I have heard Barack Obama impugn Congress, but they have also blamed him. Many fingers have been pointed: black ones, white ones, old and young, gay and straight, herbivore and carnivore, godly and atheistic, but gridlock is gridlock. Sure, compromise can often be beautiful, but let’s be real here: there are precious ideologies that neither side will EVER be willing to surrender. I hold many things sacred. So do each of you. I will not relinquish my right to say and act accordingly anymore than any other citizen ought to do. “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

We are currently mired in the medium, and it is not a happy one. I guess we just go on agreeing to disagree....or is it disagreeing to agree? I’m just not sure anymore. I do know this: Our ultimate goal must be to love and serve one another while still fighting passionately and respectfully for what we feel is right. I need to believe that this is still possible. I hope we can do it. We certainly haven’t been. We know it and the world knows it.

Unitas Per Harmonium (Unity Through Harmony)...the motto of the Singing Men of Ohio. Dissonance, when correctly handled is what makes harmony so beautiful. We don't have to be the same to be in tune!

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