But we need to start seeing more than red and blue. We need to see each other (and our leaders) as more than representatives of our political identity and ideology and demand that our leadership work for all of us. And we need to require that of each other.
When I walk into church, I am a Christian first, an American second. When I walk into the voting booth, I am an American first, a Christian second. That isn’t because my faith doesn’t take priority over everything else, but because it is my duty as an American to vote in the best interests of my country, my whole country. I’m not voting to further the heavenly kingdom; I’m voting for the creation of a more perfect union.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t frightened about what will happen next week. I am the most frightened I’ve ever been about the future of my country and the most hopeful I’ve ever been about real, lasting, impactful change. The election won’t be over on Tuesday, November 3. Coronovirus won’t disappear on November 4. All of our problems will not go away on January 20. But I’m hopeful about the future because people not only want change, but they are fighting for it.
I will never choose to look backward to a time when America was great, because it can always, always be better. I will never choose to seek the perfect candidates down the ballot because that person doesn’t exist, but I will vote for the people with plans to move forward. I will vote for those with a plan for a better future, always a better future.
We are dealing with a generation of young people who spent several months at home. They had plans cancelled, they didn’t see their friends, and some have watched their families lose everything. They fearfully watched people get sick, they listened as their elders brushed off concerns about public health, their eyes were opened to the injustices facing their peers, and many of them found their voice.
Refusing to see things as complicated forces us to ignore human emotion and experience. It forces us to look past the pain and allows us to bypass empathy in our attempt to score a win. It looks at the imperfection of human existence and boils it down to a single issue existing in a vacuum, unaffected by the many things that regularly disrupt our days.