On November 9th, the most ardent supporters of the November 8th victor will be crowing that their collective victory will usher in a new age of hope and promise for America. They will rub the noses of the defeated and the defeated’s defenders in the dreary dirt of humiliation and despair, certain that the country is ruined, doomed to decades of economic depression and cultural Apocalypse.
Half of America may stand in stunned admonition of the ascendancy, again, of one of America’s most notorious crime families to the seat of power. Or else, half of America may stand in abject horror as the racists and aristocrats, as well as their sycophantic, white, working class hordes swing from White House chandeliers and muddying the furniture. Regardless of the outcome, half the nation will be certain that they are witnessing the last days of our once glorious republic.
There will be some, thankfully, who will wish to keep their wits about them, to assume our inevitable survival and look to focus on what they can do today, as citizens, to make America great again. These patriots will have to overcome a few predictable impulses. First, we must avoid assigning blame. Do any of us imagine that anyone we blame will be anything less than indignant toward our accusations?
Second, we must avoid replaying the tragedy of 2016 over and over again in our heads, reliving the moment. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Employing this serenity prayer will release us from the terrors of the past and enable us to embrace the challenges of the future.
Third, we must avoid the siren’s song of despair and gloom. As a nation, we have survived two world wars, terror, civil war, slavery, the persecution of our parent and grandparent immigrants, famine, depression and cities that make war zones look like safe havens. We can survive this election and we will survive it.
Having avoided these obvious pitfalls and forgiving our fellow citizens their votes, we will be free to look to our responsibilities as citizen sovereigns and begin the arduous task of researching upcoming legislation, encouraging our legislators to vote in accordance with conservative and constitutional principles, promoting a federalist and republican philosophy, and encouraging free enterprise and property rights locally, in our Commonwealth, and nationally too. There will still be much for us to do.
Treating our fellow citizens as enemies has gotten us absolutely no where. Reacting emotionally to every unprincipled step our governments have made, make us appear as though we’re the problem. If we are to have any chance of growing our ranks, it will require a re-dedication to objectivity and reason, two things which emotion, after a while, can have a tendency to corrupt. Rational optimism, compassion, kindness, forgiveness and a principled approach to political advocacy is the only meaningful path forward.
Ask yourselves, what has all your anger, frustration and anxiety achieved? Are we a more “conservative” country today than we were in 2008? Addicts define insanity as doing the same thing over and over again, whilst expecting a different result. I propose a categorical rejection of insanity on November 9th.
In all honesty, I really do care about the happiness of activists. I believe that happy people are more persuasive than angry people. As a Christian, I know that my hope is not in any politician or party, but in God. Therefore, why should my joy and enthusiasm depend on the current crop of political philosophies and present breed of politician? Aren’t these the very things we seek to change? If so, then there is no rational reason not to feel peace and joy in the process of doing so. So I say this – peace and joy to you dear activists. Let not your hearts be troubled.