For this Wednesday is a “wonderful, happy, blessed, very good day.” Back in October, I shared a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day,” but today the sun is shining, the trees are ablaze in color, the air is fresh, and yesterday the people chose wisely.
My president, Barack Hussein Obama, was re-elected for another four year term as America’s and the world’s leader! That makes this day a day to celebrate.
For a time the rancorous, venomous, and vicious converse of contempt finally has been silenced; the political campaigns are ended. As I said, I’m delighted with the results. I supported and voted for Obama in 2008 and also Tuesday. I believe all America will benefit from his wise leadership throughout his second term.
Yet regardless of the outcome of yesterday’s election, I would make the same appeal and be writing the same words.
Can we all pause, take a deep breath, give thanks that we are Americans, and again at least attempt to come together in mutual respect, mutual regard, and mutual reverence as fellow citizens of the greatest nation on earth?
There is so much more we share than there are things that separate us. Whether native born or immigrant when we share allegiance to the same flag, to the same Constitution, to the same heritage, and to the same hopes we are one people.
Though we may differ in color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or spoken accent we are Americans!
Whether Democrat, Republican Libertarian, or anarchist, we are Americans.
The voting is over; can we not now come together and again be “one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”? Surely that common dedication is what makes us unique, and that is what makes us great.
Something truly sad happened in recent years. I’ll admit my naiveté’, but it’s hard simply to forget a time when Americans had political opponents, never political enemies, when we patiently listened to each other and spoke calmly with each other and not heatedly at each other.
I was elected to the Senate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1964. It was at the height of the Civil Rights Movement; a time of passionate differences, of intense debate, of heated exchanges between those struggling for social change, and those committed to maintaining what had always been.
Yet there remained enough of us committed to our oneness that once the Senate was seated, the political ideologies became totally secondary. The legislators concentrated upon the “best for the most people”, and recognized that valid and creative possibilities were equally available from members of the other political party. We listened until the speaker had concluded, then spoke to each other “in all due respect.” Then through a give-and-take compromise, the people were served. The campaigning for this year’s election is now over. Let us learn from the painful experience of the past two years.
Page 2 of 3 - Let us take this moment to reflect and rededicate ourselves to a true unity of spirit even if we continue to disagree on particulars.
In the days ahead, each of us can rededicate ourselves to honesty, civility, courtesy, and decency toward one another.
We can demand our elected representatives do the same, and call them on it if they fail.
We’ve been through a long valley of shadow and hurt. If we’ve learned anything, we can now emerge into the light of truth and brotherhood, the stuff of which America is made.
I reiterate, I would be writing this appeal no matter who had been declared victor of yesterday’s balloting. America needs to be healed, reunited and renewed.
Of course, there will remain strident voices who will only be satisfied, assuaged and quieted when “their will be done.” They will continue to “disturb the peace” with lies, accusations and threats.
Sadly, their voices are loud enough to be heard. Karl Rove, who had a melt-down on FOX News after his own network declared the President the victor in Ohio, is one example of the intransigent closed mind.
I certainly hope that his voice steadily wanes by being ignored. Of course, the most egregious of these “sounding gongs and clanging cymbals” is Donald Trump.
His public and published call for a revolution in this country against the president is sedition: The advocacy of a violent over throw of America.
Then Trump’s direct threat against Obama: “Obama start panicking when you look out your window and see an army of un-convincing comb- overs coming toward you!” is a violation of Federal Law.
Donald Trump should be arrested, charged with sedition, making a bodily threat, and imprisoned. If we can’t silence his voice legally, perhaps we can simply ignore another super ego poor-looser having a tantrum.
Prior to Tuesday, I expressed my concern that a “perfect political storm” was gathering over America.
The amount of money expended on both sides has been obscene and an embarrassing scandal.
The emergence of radical ideologies and unbending commitment to absolutes with no recognition of any valid alternatives stymied our Federal government for two years.
Finally, the tragedy of racism threatened our whole electoral process. But we weathered the storm, we voted in peace, and we’ve made our selection.
I know that my dream in the 1960s is still only a dream, but it might be a dream worth remembering as we begin a new era in our history.
Maybe someday we can truly know the age of Aquarius:
Page 3 of 3 - “Harmony and understanding; sympathy and trust abounding.
No more falsehoods or derision. Golden living dreams of vision
And the mind’s true liberation! Mystic crystal revelation
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius.”
Fr. Bob Layne is a Episcopal Priest-retired, living in McPherson. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.