Bombarded is not too strong of a word. Radio spots. E-mails. Phone calls. Television commercials. Facebook ads. Signs stuck in the ground every couple of inches. Billboards. All of them demanding we take sides, and each side listing dozens of reasons that the other side is evil, un-American, and against you personally.
For the record, I am a registered Independent. I have never voted a straight-party ticket, though I do tend to vote more for one side than the other. And yes, I have voted in this current election, and did not vote straight-party this time either. I know my friends and co-workers may find that appalling, but it’s true.
I could tell you hundreds of reasons why I voted for President Obama a second time. I am passionate about them all. What I am more passionate about, though, is what happens next – what happens when we wake up on Wednesday, after the votes have been counted and the victors and losers alike have stumbled home after a very long night of celebrating or not. Because regardless of who wins what, we’ll still all be here. Neighbors. In-laws. Co-workers. Sisters. Parents. Citizens of a country built on a myriad of hopes and mistakes. Human beings who continue to build lives full of all kinds of hopes and countless mistakes.
Mary Oliver said once that the world doesn’t have to be beautiful to work, yet it is anyway. It’s easy to forget that in an election season, when too many seem intent on dividing neighbors rather than uniting us all for the common good of a world that is, indeed, in need of a change. A world that is, without question, in need of a people that want to move forward into a future that includes less of taking sides and more of sitting at the same table.