NOT WRITING RELATED: The electoral college certification won’t be the end of our divisions in America, but at least the articles in the news about legal challenges to the election will slow down. In most election years, for those of you not invested in American politics, the agitation between liberals and conservatives cools down after the first week of November. People sigh in relief that political commentators don’t have much more to talk about, and we’re collectively saved from the deluge of media advertisements for candidates for a year or two at least. That wasn’t the case this year, and although I avoid talking about political beliefs as much as I do religion, I have to point out the unusual divisiveness after the election this year.
It was pretty bad in 2016, liberals were shocked at the outcome of the Presidential election (some conservatives were too). This year, the opposite is the case, but the wailing and gnashing of teeth about it seems even greater to me. Instead of setting aside partisan differences and looking towards a new year with new possibilities, the wrangling after the election has prolonged, and perhaps deepened the divisions in the 24 hour news cycle.
In general, that means very little to people NOT caught up in the political machinations that guide our shared republic. The problem is, this environment pulls more people than usual into the armchair debate. When people feel the institutions they depend on are corrupt, unresponsive, or fail at their essential function, anarchy of one kind or another is never far behind. This summer’s protests against systemic racism are just one more sign of that sense of failure growing in cities around the country.
I don’t have any solutions for any of this, but I hope that we find a way to heal the rifts between people in America before calls to dissolve the republic gain enough traction for more than idle talk. There are already calls in Texas for secession movement, not that I expect that to happen. Calls for secession in the south have happened before, and the outcome was decidedly not good for the states that joined that movement. Those who ignore the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them…