Last night our lovely son was up in the middle of the night sick, so naturally I was up in the middle of the night with him. After I had gotten him settled, my mind was racing a bit, so I turned on the news. I watched as an unprecedented number of women, people of color, Native Americans, Muslim women, and other dedicated servants were sworn in to the House of Representatives.
Now, let’s stop here for a second, and let me beg you not to auto-fill this conversation. I absolutely hate the auto-fill function of my web browser, when it tries to guess who I am and what my address is and automatically fill in forms for me. I would guess it is successful 45% of the time, which usually means I have to re-write everything that it’s filled in, which actually winds up taking more time, not less. This to me is a fitting analogy for how our nation handles politics. Everything get’s auto-filled. If I say “Trump,” you probably already have an opinion. If I say “Liberal,” all kinds of ideas come to mind. Here’s what I’m asking, if only for this post, that you suspend the auto-fill.
Because what I saw yesterday had little if anything to do with politics. What I saw yesterday was what I have always pictured America to be: a beautiful tapestry of wildly different and differing people coming together for the greater good. When we’re at our best, we remember that all of us by the very nature of the idea of America come from someplace else, and yet we claim this idea of freedom and democracy as what defines us as citizens. Auto-fill has distorted and dare I say perverted this idea a lot. We assume that diversity belongs to one side of the isle and not the other, and if that’s true well then I want out. We’re all in this together.
It’s not hard to see that our politics is a big flaming mess. I know that. I know there are issues that need to be resolved. I know that we have come to a place where each side has dug in to it’s ideologies and won’t let go. I know that compromise is a dirty word. And believe me I know that we are horrible in how we treat each other or talk about those with whom we disagree. I know all that. But in the mess of our politics, I was able to see some beauty yesterday, and if only for a moment I would like to celebrate that. Yesterday I saw America being America. And it was beautiful.
God Bless America, and may God’s mercy ever be at our side.