Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A vocal fringe does not a mandate make

A co-worker summed up my feelings about the results of yesterday's election: "There's a reason I'm wearing all black today. I'm in mourning." Yes. What she said.

Not simply because I live in a very progressive metropolitan area and most of the national results do not reflect our local world view. I'm in mourning for the dearth of civility and logic, and excess of rancor exposed by the scrabbling on all sides during this last election. When did moderation, compromise and thoughtful consideration of differing viewpoints became epithets hurled at anyone unwilling to pick up a stone, real or verbal, and hurl it at the nearest person not walking in lockstep with those in closest proximity?

I was one of those at home cheering Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and their 200,000+ brethren at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear last weekend. I danced with my kids to the bands in hopes that they would glean some of what was being presented: that it's okay to agree to disagree and not have a kneejerk, angry reaction to anyone with a different perspective.

I know, the pendulum of politics and history will swing again (for perspective, read Robert Reich's piece "Why Obama Should Learn the Lesson of 1936, not 1996"), but for now, I may wear black for another day or two.

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