A few days ago, a good friend of mine asked me if I had received any grief about the Gary Johnson sign in my yard. I responded that I had not received any grief over it—though it did spark some important conversations. In my answer I also shared my thoughts on current politics as well as my thoughts on the 2016 election. Here’s an encapsulation of that e-mail:
Americans are so culturally, ideologically, and physically varied that two political parties do not adequately meet their needs. Limiting debate to two general views limits Americans’ unique voices. The issues we grapple with are not just “conservative” or “liberal” so the lowest common denominator of “party” is inadequate. The lowest common denominator should be the American people… who govern themselves the way they select and believe.
People matter, no matter what they believe. They have a right to choose for themselves because they matter as living, conscious beings. People deserve to be respected regardless of gender, race, or belief. Government should protect peoples’ individual rights by facilitating a national collaboration where they are protected and empowered. When people feel secure, valued, respected, and when they have a voice, many societal problems often fade.
I believe this all boils down to love. Whomever is elected President, the power to shape government rests with people who choose to love others well. Daily decisions to be selfless, respectful, and open to listen are how we shape the way forward.
I hope next election, we’ll see a more balanced and respectful conversation about how we should govern ourselves. I hope we can avoid personal attacks and harmful speech. I hope we can have a national conversation about how we can empower all Americans. This discussion won’t happen unless Americans speak by voting the issues—and votes are a loud voice because we all get only one.