Why I won’t accept the election results

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God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

- Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

Let’s get my inflammatory title out of the way first. I will grudgingly accept the results of our presidential election in the short term as the best our degraded, dehumanizing, twisted system can produce as of now. And, to be clear I didn’t vote for either of the major party candidates. So, partisan sour grapes are not on my table.

Here is what I cannot accept.

• Our rigged two party system & media that shuts out and minimizes other vibrant political views. The traveling circus side show we label debates are one concrete example.  

Are you aware that the League of Women Voters used to conduct these events?  In 1987 the party duopoly created the Commission on Presidential Debates. The Commission chose the League to sponsor the last presidential debate of 1988, but placed so many rules and restrictions on the format that the League refused to participate saying, they had “no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”

• A corporate political system where money has replaced the vote.

• A voting system that inhibits and suppresses voting - especially for the elderly, people of color and low income.  In 2015 Global Democracy ranked the quality of our democracy as 15th in the world.

• A system whose soul is rotted with a passion for weapons and war over everyday people’s basic survival not to mention cultivating our divine hu-    man potential.

• A system that produced two of the most despicable candidates perhaps in American history.

• A system that has once again in 16 years has “elected” a president who lost the popular vote. The electoral college exists because our aristocratic founding white male fathers didn’t think we groundlings had the smarts to vote properly.  

A woman on Facebook posted this bullseye comment a few weeks before the election.  

“We sat back for years and watched two parties and the media hijack our government for their personal gain and we did nothing to stop it. Now we have a garbage sandwich and we have to eat it.”

Listen to Niebuhr’s concise tap root truth.

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

I can’t change this election debacle.

But I do have the courage to dedicate my life force to change the things I chronicled above.

In my view the Trump election got it half right. It is a resounding victory for populism.  Part of that triumph blames pluralism for our woes. This falls frightfully short of our lofty ideals.

I intend to commit myself to a nation that enhances and celebrates populism and pluralism. I invite you to do the same. This is the only antidote I know of for utter despair and cynicism. You might even call it serenity.

I close with a life giving sentiment from Unitarian Minister Edward Everett Hale.

“I am only one, but still I am one.

I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.

And because I cannot do everything,

I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

Chuck Freeman is the founding Minister of the Free Souls Congregation in Round Rock, Tejas - www.freesoulschurch.org.  

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