If we accept the judgement of the political pundits, Tuesday’s election of the President of the United States is a toss-up; too close to call. Dip into the news or polls, and it’s clear that even our expectations are quite polarized; we are believing what we want to believe and throwing our more objective sensibilities out the window. I write this today to ask you: Please cast your vote. Let’s get the clarity we need, and achieve a meaningful result.
Appreciate your opportunity, and have your voice be heard. When you cast your ballot, it’s all you — no one goes into that voting booth with you, and thus, it’s the closest we get to an accurate assessment of how most in our country really feel. As we know from our Managing with Aloha learning, it’s our 4-year check of what our collective values are as a country of United States citizens — or if there is much of a collective currently in play.
When I say, “cast your vote [so we] achieve a meaningful result” I am hoping for the result of clearly seeing and understanding what we must do to then go forward with our healing. Our vote will quantify the full accounting of the work to be done, and help us define its gravity.
When the election is over, you can be sure the man who lost will ask his supporters to stand behind the president, and say something like, “It is time we come together.” Yet it won’t be easy; we will need our ALOHA, and as strongly as we can muster it; tolerance is not enough. So let’s at least start from a place of solid reckoning and full awareness. Let’s clearly see each other as we must, so we can understand our differences more clearly, and then rally behind a common vision for our next four years together. United we stand.
There are certain times our values speak to us in groundswell voices. Election years are one of those times, so let’s listen.
Ever since I was eighteen, and first walked into a voting booth for myself, I’ve had this same election year consciousness, of being part of a point-in-time temperature taking, where we measure the temperature of our entire country. True that it only measures those choosing to participate, but I have always sensed that those who vote represent the vocal and energetic masses. They are those who are more involved than most, willing to be part of change, or alternately, of our collective stubbornness and tenacity with going the course. In the way our elections work, when we vote for someone, or for what they stand for, we also vote against something else. We effectively say, “Good job; keep it going” to an incumbent, or “Okay, let’s see what you will do instead” to a fresh face emoting ALAKA‘I energies.
Our values at that point in time of choosing, become more clear, and we reckon with honestly knowing what we really feel. Specific issues illustrate why we feel that way, and how important our views are to us. We all possess several values, and at these times their hierarchy of importance and relevance can shift.
Our values can, and will change over time: We can, and do choose them. They illustrate our core beliefs, and they serve us.
- Let’s Define Values and The 19 Values of Aloha
- Ethos: Be True to Your Values
- Trusting your Intuition and Intuition x9
Read more in our MWA Key 3. Value Alignment index.
Election years like this one are very unsettling because we appear to be so dramatically (and passionately) divided. 2008 was quite different, when Barack Obama won a decisive victory over John McCain in both the electoral and popular votes, but it was mostly different because of its historical significance. As noted in Wikipedia, “This was the first U.S. presidential election in which an African American was elected, having also been the first in which an African American won the nomination of either major party.”
Barack Obama still had to be everyone’s president, and he tried to be, yet it’s quite clear he has lost some ground, and this year’s results will not be as conclusive. Whatever way it goes, there will be many more people who will be unhappy, and feel their guy has lost.
“As the two rivals hurtle toward the finish, in many ways, Obama is rallying a coalition of transformation and Romney a coalition of restoration. For the third time in the past four presidential elections, these divergent coalitions might prove almost identical in size. That means the outcome will likely alienate almost exactly half of us.”
— Ronald Brownstein, National Journal Group. Brownstein is a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of presidential campaigns.
We have a tough time ahead of us, where we must work to come together as a more unified country. The task ahead is not solely the job of our president, though we certainly will draw our own energies from his leadership. It is undeniable that come together we must, and that starts with a willingness to understand and include those who differ with our own views. In our MWA ‘Language of We,’ it calls for the values of LŌKAHI (cooperation and unity), KĀKOU (inclusiveness and togetherness), MĀLAMA na ‘OHANA (stewardship of our communities and our country), and HO‘OHANOHANO (respect and dignity), conducting ourselves with honor and distinction — and always, with the unconditional acceptance of ALOHA.
All of that work will start with your vote.
Cast it and be heard so your values are counted.
It will be your first act in helping us heal as we will need to.