“I am of the firm opinion that we should be more fearful of America’s future if most Americans believe that Clinton or Trump and their potential election to the Presidency is stronger than the principles of American democracy.”
A new Harris poll commissioned by the Associated Press says that fifty-two percent of American adults find the 2016 election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress.
I don’t need a poll to know that it is doing that to a lot of my friends – on both sides of the aisle.
While I deliberately chose not to support either major party candidate for President this year I do understand that my friends are legitimately concerned about the fate of America.
Those who support Donald Trump are convinced if Hillary Clinton wins the Republic will fall.
Those who support Hillary Clinton are convinced that if Donald Trump wins the Republic will fall.
Thankfully, they are all wrong.
The United States and its future are not the sum of the election of one man – or one woman – to the White House.
Nor is it the aggregate of who controls the United States Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives or the ideological makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Yes, I know it seems like the end is coming.
Trust me, I can feel the stress of it all myself. I cringe when I turn on the television. I grit my teeth turning on the radio. My eyes narrow when I turn on my computer and the internet pops up with a picture of one politician or another pointing their finger at someone or something.
The country has challenges. It has problems. It has obstacles in its way.
We need serious political leadership at every level of our government. We also need serious conversation with one another about what our responsibilities and obligations are as Americans to build a better nation.
Elections come and go in this country. So, too, do politicians.
Elections do, of course, have consequences.
But, the consequences to America if Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton are elected President are not the destruction of our country, our values, beliefs or the better days we all want to come for current and future generations.
Oh, I know that there are whatever percent of Hillary supporters and whatever percent of Donald supporters who are convinced I don’t know what I am talking about.
That’s okay. I’m not looking for validation for my perspective.
I am convinced that America is going to be okay because I believe we’ve seen worse days than those we live in today. I believe that we’ve seen worse choices in our body politic than those we have today.
I also believe in the pure genius of America that this moment in time will – as all crisis do – pass.
Earlier today I commented to a friend that if America was capable of surviving Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and far worse than any of them we will most certainly survive Hillary and Donald.
America has survived a Civil War. Depression. Recession. Terror attacks. The scourge and immorality of slavery. The viciousness of war. Disco.
To me this election is just that – an election.
Yes, the impact of a victory by Clinton or Trump will have ramifications for America’s future. It will change the course of history no matter which candidate becomes President.
However, I am of the firm opinion that we should be more fearful of America’s future if most Americans believe that Clinton or Trump and their potential election to the Presidency is stronger than the principles of American democracy.
This is what I believe about America: We are exceptional.
Exceptional nations don’t rise or fall because of the results of an election. They rise or fall when its people believe the existential fate of the nation rests on the results of an election.
If I believe that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton deliberately intended to do harm to America – hated our country – and were focused on destroying the very country, they live in – raise and raised their children in -then I would put all my eggs in that election two weeks from today.
I don’t, thankfully, believe that either of them has designs on the destruction of the United States of America.
Being enormously flawed candidates for President doesn’t equate into being an enormously dangerous President for America.
To my fellow Americans I must tell you that we’ve seen worse days in this country’s history – much worse – and to be sure – we’ve seen worse candidates for President in this country’s history – much worse.
The bones of this nation are strong. Our democracy was built on those bones. We may bend those bones but they will not break.
There are other things we can and should do to continue to strengthen America. Volunteer. Run for office. Support our men and women in the armed forces. Stand up for things you believe in. Have your voice heard on those things you don’t. Be a problem solver. Seek solutions. Contribute something. Somehow. Somewhere.
Loving America is my unconditional commitment to the future for my children. I cherish its existence because it is home for my family. It’s not perfect. But, it ought to be the goal of every American to make it so.
So, go ahead and vote for Hillary. Vote for Donald. Vote for or against anybody you choose to in this year’s election.
Someone will lose. Someone will win.
America will go on.
It always has. It always will.