Thursday, November 10, 2016

Two Visions for America

Yesterday approximately 47.5%  (59,535,522 votes) of the American people celebrated a victory in the presidential election, while 47.7%  (59,755,284 votes) were grieving their loss.  According to CNN 92% of the nearly 120 million votes have been counted.  Hillary Clinton will probably become the second Democratic candidate for president of this century to win the popular vote but lose the presidency.   After Mitt Romney’s loss in 2012, Mr. Trump tweeted, “The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.”  I doubt he will want to tweet that opinion now, but 47.7% of Americans may want to repeat his tweet today.

We cannot declare a “mandate” (the authority to carry out a policy or course of action, regarded as given by the electorate to a candidate or party that is victorious in an election) because the popular vote says we are not a people of one vision.  We can, however, follow the lead of our current President, and insure a “peaceful transition of power…one of the hallmarks of our democracy.”  We can also declare with President Obama, “We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We’re patriots first.”  

This is not a time to gloat over a victory or to despair a loss.  The popular vote tells us that there are two very different visions for America among the voters.  A vision cannot be fulfilled or destroyed by an election.  I believe the vision of America I see—so different from what is at this moment—is real.  “Vision is the capacity to see that which ought to be but is not yet” and to see it clearly.  Because it ought to be, it will be.  This is a fundamental of my Christian faith. Do not despair, for even now, in this critical and disappointing moment, what ought to be is breaking forth from the bud.  

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