“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you'll never understand what it's saying.” - Sarah Dessen
We can’t help but notice the 2020 national election is underway.
Here, in the opening hours of 2019, and already candidates – and lots of them - are announcing their run for President and the attendant rhetoric grows and, as they say, prospers.
Now, let’s be clear: We have our opinions on who should be President, we even have our opinions on who should not. We expect you have the same opinions as well, and perhaps even now, this early in the game, are itching to get in the booth and make your selection. We, for clarity’s sake, don’t care.
You will vote for whom you feel deserves your vote, as will we. Here, from a newspaper office on the shores of Greers Ferry Lake, we will not stick our neck into national politics – at least as it stands today. We’re a local paper, not national, and we leave the pontification on such matters to those who have to wear ties to the press conference. What we will speak to, however, is the rhetoric, the attendant rhetoric, as floats around a presidential election.
Yeah, that stuff is horrible, and getting worse.
And let’s step back from the “You guys suck!” stuff of social media posts. Let’s dig deeper.
It’s a given, now assured by various national security agencies, that foreign governments work to hack our election process by various means, but mostly to upset the electorate. They do this, long story short, by two ways: First, to form us into tribes, into “Us versus Them,” in a modern form of Divide and Conquer. Second, and this is a new-age twist, is to get a voter so disgusted with the choices that they don’t show up to vote.
Now, it’s possible, we admit, that you thinking the other side is so unerringly wrong that your being a member of us allows you to castigate them. And, even, we’ll admit, perhaps you are justified in thinking the candidates are so awful that you might as well just stay home and complain. Both of these things are possible. This is, after all, a free society with free-flow of information and we are able to make these decisions on our own, the information which leads us to this is right there in front of us.
But (and here’s where we ask for caution) who provided the information? And why?
Meanwhile we’re divided and disgusted, and easy pickings for entities which like us that way so they can exert their own agenda away from our attention.
And it is, the intel agencies tell us, a was, a “hot war” where instead of bullets flying it’s the data stream of silly pictures and bold-type declarations, of fake news stories planted by fake news agencies, of accusations and screaming at the camera.
Speaking from experience: In the mayhem of war, nobody asks you about your political affiliations. The old saying being “There are no atheists in foxholes” applies here, in that there are no political parties in foxholes. We have more important things to do.
And let’s do those important things. Let’s, instead of proudly disdaining those who aren’t on “your side” (whatever that means) lets work toward a common ground. That would mean, of course, rejecting the engineered disgust, but nobody said it’s easy, but then nobody ever said war is easy.
But if you don’t fight back, you get swept away, and a country united is worth the fight.
1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.