Although most of us as responsible citizens and have a strong allegiance to one presidential candidate over the other (Obama or Romney), the ultimate success or failure of America is not held in balance by this one election.
The elected president at the helm of America for the next four years will have profound influence on our country’s direction; yet, most of the politics and programs (and perhaps even problems) in place will be untouched.
There may be some change in our lives but in all probability, these changes will be insignificant and far from immediate. If our president was an absolute dictator, operating in total autonomy (no Congress, no state government), we could brace ourselves for overnight radical changes, as liberating or confining as they might be.
Changing presidents is much like one of our mighty aircraft carriers changing direction. It takes a lot of space and a lot of time. The momentum of the United States in all its innumerable governmental facets, all going at full speed, has a compelling tendency to keep on going with the status quo for some time.
This might appear as a fatalistic mindset, dismissing the months of divisive political rhetoric to which you and I have been exposed. The steering impact of Obama’s continued presidency, or that of a new presidential regime of Romney, will take months to impact you and me. Both candidates seek the same thing — the protection and prosperity of us citizens. Although radically diverse in course in many ways, our two candidates have this one and same goal.
And so it is for months you and I have been trying to exercise our democratic duty by analyzing each candidate’s means and methods of serving (and saving) this great country.
It would be unfair and unrealistic for any of us to think that our candidate is a panacea for America’s ills. As an avid fan with political convictions, we might be tempted to lose our touch with reality making our candidate an idol with cosmic powers.
On Nov. 7, whether crying the blues or celebrating victory, may we respectfully support our elected president, knowing our country desperately needs our standing together as Americans.
For those of us who believe in Jesus and his resurrection, the victory has been won; being on course for eternal life. That reflection may keep our election in perspective.
“The government of the earth is in the hand of the Lord, and over it he will raise up the right leader for the time.” [Sirach 10:4]
The Rev. John Burkhart Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of psychology. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org blog at inspirationsandideas