god bless noisy, messy democracy!

Daniel came home from school happy and proud with this sticker firmly affixed to his t-shirt.

He was so proud to be able to participate at his school. But he had to clarify that while he did vote, his vote didn’t count…but it will some day.

I like that!

I like that a lot.

I also liked that he wanted to watch the election returns come in. Part of me was dreading it a little as it was clear that it would be close. I was having a sense of deja vu  remembering watching the election returns with eight year old Zoë back in 2000. But as I prepared my it’s-time-for-bed-even-if-we-don’t-know-who-will-be-our-next-President talk it was announced that President Obama was re-elected.

And now you know who Daniel voted for.

Just like the numbers of the popular votes reflect, about half of my friends and family were happy with the results and about half were not…were royally pissed…were damning our country to hell or something awful like that…or were beginning to pack their bags to move to some place like Chile or Canada. Should someone explain to them about Canada’s healthcare, gun control and marriage equality?

But some, while disappointed, were not willing to run away or lash out angrily. I have to say that I enjoyed a healthy dialogue with a friend last night who was definitely disappointed with the results.

Can you imagine??!!

Two adults agreeing to disagree??!!

How crazy is that??!!

Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.
That won’t change…and it shouldn’t These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did…
But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizens in our Democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.


The election is over. The votes have been counted. The political ads are FINALLY off the air. Let’s get to work America.


One thought on “god bless noisy, messy democracy!

  1. I just feel frustrated sometimes when we put in 16 hours at an election polling place to ensure everyone gets to vote and then come home turn on the tv and find out the election is over and our votes have not even made it to the registrars office yet!

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