The 2020 Election: If You See Something, Say Something
The author prefers to be anonymous.
A reminder: The Consistent Life Network doesn’t necessarily endorse everything said in its blog, since we encourage individual writers to express a variety of views. This is especially so when analyzing elections.
If you see something, say something.
That’s the mantra for those who want to work for social and racial justice.
When I first started seeing “Black Lives Matter” on lawn signs, I thought it was nothing more than an exclusive slogan. Why not “All Lives Matter”?
I don’t recall ever discussing racism and prejudice with anyone of color. I figured if I just focused on becoming a better person, then I didn’t need to get involved with social or political movements again.
I had been there, done that in college, complete with name-calling and anger directed at the opposition.
Now, I’ve come to loathe politics because of the polarized nature of the two-party system. I’m disgusted with the antagonistic 30-second ads the two major parties generate for public consumption, the length of the campaigns, and the millions upon millions of dollars it takes to become president.
In the 2016 election, not much would change for me, regardless of who became president. Where I live, there was no way Donald Trump was going to win.
I didn’t vote. I was wrong. I could have at least voted local and left the box for president blank.
President Trump doesn’t seem mentally stable. I worry about him. He’s not fit to command military forces or lead a nation. If he were a family member, I’d have staged an intervention. His lies, incompetence, and vengeful tactics have driven people apart, divided a nation.
Then…George Floyd. Almost ten minutes of a police officer’s knee on a helpless person’s neck, as he says “Please, I can’t breathe.” I can understand the outrage and protests.
Silence, I realize, equals compliance. I’ve been part of the systemic racism problem. I started paying attention and educating myself: Watching Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man; discussing racism with my wife; reading White Fragility; joining the diversity, equity and inclusion group at work; and speaking out about injustices I was witnessing in my own spheres.
Black lives do matter. Las vidas negras importan.
I’ve been digging deeper, and I don’t like what I’m learning about my country. We still want to ignore problems that rage out of control, such as normalized violence that is too often out-of-sight and out-of-mind while politics-as-usual commands center stage.
I also understand why some voted for Mr. Trump, again.
The Democratic Party has shunned Democrats for Life of America, for example. Kamala Harris had tweeted that she intends to not only defend but expand access to abortion. Nowhere have I read about Joe Biden or Ms. Harris wanting to decrease the number of abortions. At least Bill Clinton favored this while defending a pro-choice stance. Ms. Harris has a 100% congressional record on voting pro-choice. I couldn’t find any evidence that she’s willing to compromise on this issue.
This resistance to compromise on such a divisive issue reminds me of the National Rifle Association (NRA), an organization that touts itself as “diligent protectors of the Second Amendment.” Also causing me to despair is the persistence of some Republicans to denounce pro-choice people as baby-killers and to condemn abortion providers to a special place in hell.
Despite the rhetoric and name-calling that gets us nowhere, changing your mind is possible. There are people who have changed their minds on abortion and reproductive rights over the years. Jesse Jackson once wrote a piece for the Right to Life News (January, 1977) arguing that the right to privacy does not outrank the right to life. He changed his opinion when he ran for president in 1984. Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump have changed their minds. Whatever their positions might be, people aren’t always set in the same positions forever. Sometimes they can change dramatically: Dr. Anthony Levatino, who performed more than 1,200 abortions of pre-birth humans, had a change of heart.
Black lives do matter. However, not all black lives matter to Black Lives Matter, the political organization.
In his victory speech, President-elect Biden’s said he would represent Americans who voted for Mr. Trump, adding, “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric. To lower the temperature. To see each other again. To listen to each other again.”
As I look outside the political realm for inspiration and continue to do my own soul-searching, I will think kind thoughts of those who disagree with me and promote civility, kindness, and non-violence.
Can we put the labels and laws aside for a few minutes and find common ground? Are you open to discussing the consistent life ethic?
For more of our posts reflecting on elections, see: