Some who follow these entries will consider the writer naïve in his outlook but we shall plunge ahead because we cannot give up on our belief that our system is worth working for. And on. And in.
Elation or disappointment in election results must be short-lived. Resignation is not an option nor is gloating. This week after the election is time to get back to work as citizens of whatever leaning. It is time to become even better-thinking, better citizens.
Don’t believe Janice Joplin’s 1960s claim that “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” Whether you have spent the last week celebrating or the last week depressed is immaterial now. Freedom requires effort—because it is in greater danger of being given up than being taken away.
Winston Churchill is often cited as the person who said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others,” although he admitted he was quoting someone else. Here’s something he DID say—in the House of Commons on December 8, 1944:
How is that word “democracy” to be interpreted? My idea of it is that the plain, humble, common man, just the ordinary man who keeps a wife and family, who goes off to fight for his country when it is in trouble, goes to the poll at the appropriate time, and puts his cross on the ballot paper showing the candidate he wishes to be elected to Parliament—that he is the foundation of democracy. And it is also essential to this foundation that this man or woman should do this without fear, and without any form of intimidation or victimization. He marks his ballot paper in strict secrecy, and then elected representatives and together decide what government, or even in times of stress, what form of government they wish to have in their country. If that is democracy, I salute it. I espouse it. I would work for it.”
The election is over. Our system of democracy, often ungraceful in its practice, remains. Now comes the time to “work for it.”