Today is Election Day in the US. It’s an “off-year” election. It’s called that because there aren’t any national offices up for election – mostly municipal level elections, with some statewide stuff thrown in, along with judicial retention races here in PA.
Most years it’s pretty non-controversial. As I’ve heard it said before – “there aren’t really Republican or Democrat ways to pick up trash.” The local level of politics deals with such day-to-day things – all important and having a direct impact on our daily life. And for the most part pretty non-partisan in nature. I’m really grateful for that.
This year there seems to be some races for school board in parts of the country that have become partisan in nature fighting over mask mandates and the teaching about race. It doesn’t matter what the reality around those things actually is at this point. They have been coopted by partisan interests and ideologies. In the end, no one really wins. We all lose when we’re more interested in being right, rather than acting rightly.
The partisanizing of the nation is extremely unhealthy – by that I mean making every issue into something of an epic battle between ideologies. It’s just exhausting to even listen to it. It never ends. And it’s unnecessary.
When we make things into a partisan war, the probability of resolving the issue decreases because people become more concerned with winning rather than solving the issue at hand.
So go vote and pray for the people who are running and who end of winning. They need your prayers. They aren’t doing it for glory, or money, or whatever power there might be. When people serve in elected office at the local level, they do it because they care about their community and the people of that community. They are our neighbors. We see them when we are out and about.
And when they are in office, communicate with them. Give them an encouraging word. They need to hear that too. Most often when they do hear from people, it is complain. Let them know you are praying for them and you wish them well. They will appreciate it. And do that not when you want something, but especially when you aren’t seeking anything. They will appreciate that even more.
And most importantly, be a good citizen – act respectfully regardless of what others may do. You can’t control what others say or do, but you can control how you act. If you go to a public meeting, act like an adult. If you contact an elected official – even one you don’t like – treat them with respect (even if you feel they don’t deserve it). That doesn’t mean you can’t be critical of decisions they make. You can. It means do it such a way that you are being a good citizen. Being a good citizen means that you have a responsibility to others, not just what you want.
Happy Election Day.