Rob and I voted this morning after the older kids went to school. When we pulled up to our polling place, the line was already out the door and Sally announced, "I no like voting."
Thankfully, when we got inside, we saw that the line was due more to cramped quarters than actual volumes of people. We seem to have a preponderance of people with last names A-L. The M-Z people zipped right through. I'll let you guess which line we got to populate.
Rob and I got our fancy computer key cards and we exited our voting booths at the same moment. Synchronized voting, pretty cool.
While we were getting everyone zipped into jackets, Sally asked, "All done?" Rob said, "Yep. I know, it seems anticlimactic, doesn't it?"
The poll volunteer chuckled and said, "See? Didn't hurt a bit. Quick and painless."
His comment has been popping into my head at random times this morning, and I started wondering, "Was it? Did it really not hurt a bit?" I don't know about that.
Of course, I know he was just being friendly, making some small talk with his neighbors, but I don't know that this election season has been quick and painless. In many ways, it has been the antithesis. The divisiveness and rancor that has flowed freely, especially around the internet, has been something of which I have never seen the like.
It has been felt in families and between friends, in communities and churches. "I can't believe you are voting for him, Aunt Betty! Yes, well, only an insipid moron would vote for the other guy!"
There have been many evenings where I have read an article from the internet aloud to Rob, and then finished with the question, "What is going on with our country?!" Rob would warn me not to read the article's comments, but I would because I am a glutton for punishment. The hatred that is emboldened by the veil of anonymity is astounding. Things that people would not say to another's face are the first things that are typed under the name Anonymous.
And that is why I have assiduously refused to talk about the election here. I like dialogue, conversation, debate, even a good old fashioned civil argument, but I don't like enmity. And I won't have it.
Maybe that was wrong, maybe I should have been talking about it all along. Maybe I should have been putting my ideas out there and hoping to change a few minds and hearts, although I truly suspect that anyone who reads this blog either a) knows my opinions well, since in real life I talk about the election all the time, or b) is on the same page with me anyway. Preaching to the choir is the phrase, I believe.
I made my decision about my candidate a long time ago, and I have not seen one thing from the other candidate that has made me think for one minute about changing my mind. If anything, it has only distanced me farther.
Whatever happens today, I know that God is still working. He is still in charge of the Big Picture. His Word is still the truth, and in Him my hope rests, not in one man or one political party, but I don't think quick and painless was ever part of the bargain.
(Oh my heart, I just love this kid. He was practicing his pledge for school, and he ad-libbed the last line.)