Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Difference

Last night, there were no tanks or armed soldiers roaming the streets of major American cities.

Foreign troops were not imported to ensure the safety of Americans as they lined up to vote.

While no election is 100% clean, when our politicians cheat, it's done under the table.  They're still afraid to do it where we can see.

When I woke up this morning, the incumbent losers of last night's election weren't assassinating the winners.

When I woke up this morning, the winners of last night's election weren't executing the incumbent winners.

As I look up and down my street, I see campaign signs for all of the candidates, regardless of party.  My neighbors didn't come to blows or gunfights over them.

The supporters of the losing side in this election did not riot, bomb buildings, set city blocks afire, or lynch anyone.

The winners of the races, for the most part, gave gracious acceptance speeches that didn't call for the ethnic/ideological cleansing of their opposition.

The losers of the races, for the most part, gave concession speeches that didn't call for the destruction of the winners.

The United States and other western democracies, either republican or parliamentarian, have been holding orderly elections, with some very notable exceptions, for several centuries.  We do not immediately go to the cartridge box if we feel we've been given a fair shake at the soap and ballot box, but still lose.  While we sometimes denegrate those who oppose us politically, we never stop seeing them as human beings with the right to hold whatever opinions they want to and to take whatever legal political actions they care to in order to further their causes.

We're not perfect and we're not pretty, but we hold a bloodless revolution every couple of years.  In the United States, we've gone almost a generation without major bloodshed or violence surrounding the democratic process, and every year the gap between Jim Crow and how we do things widens.  We have and mostly impartially enforce laws that define who can and cannot vote, and provide for the protection of this most basic right in a democracy.

I want to remind all of my fellow citizens and my readers overseas that the tree of liberty was thoroughly watered with the blood of patriots last night, as it was in each preceeding election since Washington, Adams, and Jefferson created our system of government.  While no actual blood was shed at the polls, the right to peaceful elections has been paid for in blood on battlefields both foreign and domestic.  We should never forget that the exercise we just went through is the most beautiful thing that our country does on a regular basis.  We may be the world's default aid giver, policeman, and guard dog, but we can do none of the good that comes from those things unless we continue to have elections such as what we had yesterday.


Old NFO said...

Well said. I've seen the other side of the coin and we REALLY don't want to go there!

DaddyBear said...

So have I. That's why I cringe when I hear either side use hyperbole to describe the other as monsters. There are monsters in this world, and I've seen a few.

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