In matters of style, swim with the current;
In matters of principle, stand like a rock.~ Thomas Jefferson
There were so many subjects I loved in junior high and high school. I loved my literature classes, algebra classes, and my history and political science classes. I had been raised to develop a sense of history. Thomas Jefferson was one of my favorites. I am sure you, too, were raised with the adage of “those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. ” The more I tutor, and the older I get, the more this adage proves to be true.
We are down to the final 2 weeks in the national election process. Now, I am not posting today to lecture anyone about a particular candidate or position. We cannot even begin to think about candidates or positions until we know within ourselves and a society that we are a nation of laws, not of men. By that I mean that principles and truth really do matter.
Throughout our lives we struggle with wanting to fit in, wanting to be compassionate and caring. All of those things can be quite wonderful and desirable. But, in today’s parlance, at the end of the day, we have to be able to look ourselves in the mirror.
At the end of our lives, we must account for our lives. Even if the majority wants something, if the thing they want is wrong, and intrinsically evil, it is still wrong. Casting our vote for particular candidates or on particular issues is not always as simplistic as the candidates would have us believe, is it?
So as we continue to prepare our minds and hearts to vote, let us be careful and full of care for each other. Let us remember that we are on this well-traveled road together. We must be able to move forward and work together. However, there are principles that reign supreme in the hearts of many. I know that is true for me. Yes, compromise is essential in order to have laws that have some of what each of us want. But laws are supposed to protect the weak and powerless from the strong and powerful. Again, there is a difference between a democracy and a republic. We actually are a republic, so “majority rules” is not sufficient justification for policy, laws, agendas. For example, if we examine the separation of church and state it should be a two way street, not a one way street. Otherwise, it is the destruction of the rights of a whole lot of people.
Yet sometimes, compromise is impossible. Some issues are like that. Sometimes it really is an either or. For instance, either women would have the right to vote, or they would not. Some decisions really are “either/ or”. I am not saying that in those cases you just cave in and give up your principles. I am saying instead, that it is important to be compassionate, not strident. There is a difference between being determined and strident. Standing on your principles does not require that we kick someone else’s door down!
I hope that as we stagger through the final rounds of the prize fight that we will try not to damage each other. I truly hope that as we move beyond the election, and get back to the business of legislating, that we remember that we should protect the weak from the strong. I hope that in your corner of the world that the cacophony of politics does not tear at the precious fabric or your heart and soul.