So, this post will go up on November 3rd. Here in the USA, this is Election Day.
It’s not a holiday though probably it should be.
It’s only not, because historically there have been groups who have actively wanted to keep some others from voting. Probably because it is way easier to keep oneself in power if one can do it without actually making a case for it among the voting population. Why bother to have plans to make the country better, if you can instead just keep some people from pointing out when you’re actually not? Or at least keeping them from being able to do anything about it.
And there have been plenty of efforts not to count some votes.
Not just historically. Like, right now.
I requested a mail in ballot and filled it out and it was dropped at the election board. They confirmed receipt on October 3. My state starts counting on receipt, not after polls close, thank God. Even so, my stress level was very high right up until I got the “Accepted” status update on Oct 29, because I know that there are those who did not want my vote – and maybe not yours, either – to count.
I’m a suburban white woman. I’m not the usual target audience to see my vote suppressed. (Not that it is or ever was okay to suppress anyone’s legal vote in America!)
That said, the fact that they don’t necessarily want my vote to count might seem surprising on its face. The side most likely to want my vote discarded, is hoping that they have frightened enough people who look like me into voting for them.
But I am not drinking the Qanon koolaid. (With deepest apologies to Koolaid – a staple of fond childhood memories.)
I am not breathing deep the deep-state-fallacy, nor the transference approach to campaigning (in which one accuses others of their own crimes).
I never watched The Apprentice to be fooled into thinking the intro to that show was a representative biography (it was self-aggrandizement, and also, it was TV, people!) And I lived squarely between NYC and Atlantic City – two places where most people realized Donnie was the king of bankruptcies and a reality TV / game show host, not so much the successful titan of a real estate empire.
I am a suburban white woman who was a member of an evangelical church. Surely that makes me a prime target to vote for President Turnip. Surely.
No. Decidedly not.
Because I believe in Jesus.
I believe in America and democracy.
And I believe people of every kind are made in the image and beloved of God.
I believe Black Lives Matter.
I believe police have authority that requires a higher standard of behavior, such that there can be no room for bad actors to stand – and that the current police unions enable these to operate to the detriment of communities they should be protecting and serving.
I believe that there are places where over-policing is used as a weapon against some communities, which then sets up an unfair narrative that absolves bad cops when they harm or kill members of those communities.
I also believe that there are many very good police officers, who took their roles because they care, and risk their lives to that end, and are overburdened to handle situations that need deescalation for which they are not adequately trained or equipped, where a gun or a badge is not needed as much as a medical professional or a social worker or what have you. And that sets them up to fail in ways that end up deeply unfair to both them as people of conscience and the communities they strive to serve.
We need to do better, all the way around. I hope we can set aside rhetoric to try.
I believe that valuing life means striving to ensure access to safe/healthy affordable food and housing and education and healthcare and childcare needs are met for as many as we can, so that the born feel as cared for and as valued as we would like the unborn to be… and that when we give women more not less options across the whole of their lives, we enable them to make better choices for themselves, and for their families.
I believe that the more of science we understand the more deeply we may marvel and wonder at the creator God — and that prayer and science together are a better path out of pandemic than gatherings and rallies.
I believe I have freedom in Christ that surpasses anything even these lovely United States can provide, but that I can be called to lay aside that freedom for the good of others, to wear a mask and limit my engagement, to keep another safe.
I love this country. I believe we have to fight for and strive for its highest principles, because there are some we could lose, and some we have yet to fully achieve.
I believe we can do better, if we are willing to work together toward that goal. If we could stop demonizing “the other side” and allow for the idea that most of us want the best for this country and our neighbors across this land even if we don’t always agree on the best way to get there – if we come together, talk together, and work together – we can achieve so much.
I believe there are plenty of external forces that would rather us continue to fight one another and tear ourselves apart, and we need to find a way to rise above that.
I believe in the first amendment, and in a free press.
I believe that my one vote matters and should be counted.
I believe that if you are an American and a registered voter, so should yours.
Even if you disagree with me politically.
If you are a registered voter and you haven’t already sent in, dropped off, or early voted – today is the day.
We may not get the final counts for a bit, which is normal even if it doesn’t feel that way, but every vote matters.
Let no one dissuade you.
Let no one discourage you.