It is almost over

Hopefully we will know by next Wednesday morning, Nov. 4, who won the presidential election. For many the end of the campaign can’t come soon enough.

We say ‘hopefully,’ because with the surge of mail-in and absentee ballots in states around the country, results may not be fully known until days after Election Day. The coronavirus pandemic has moved most of the campaigning to the airwaves and social media. Later this month regular advertisers will get their TV slots back.

Politicians and pundits alike say the 2020 election is the most important presidential election in the history of the United States. That contention is debatable, but the outcome of the election will undoubtedly shape the course of the nation for the foreseeable future.

The two candidates for president have very differnt views of what kind of America they want to govern. Regardless of the election results, Americans will have voted for a president—either returning the current officeholder or giving his opponent the opportunity to lead a country that is politically divided. In the end, the United States will have a president. This is what America does, it elects its leaders; many nations in the world don’t give that choice to their citizens.

Some are certain there will be violent reactions in the streets of America once the victor is known. We don’t have a history of massive civil unrest after a national election. This is an important election and certainly one that elicits passions. 

The United States has elected 44 men to serve as our leader over the past 230 years. There have been great men and mediocre men who have served as president. During those two centuries the nation has faced crises and triumphs, and yet it still stands. 

The American people will always choose their leader and they have the chance to make a course correction if they don’t like what is happening. 

Elections matter on the national level and especially at the local level. For those who think that their vote doesn’t count, or all politicans are the same so it doesn’t matter, haven’t been paying attention. With enough votes the people can have the governmentt they want; every vote counts. As of earlier this week more than 40% of Marion County voters have returned their ballots. We may yet see 2020 as a record year for voter turnout here at home and around the country. That is a good thing.

Elections are a contest between competing candidates and competing views of how the nation, the state, the county or the city should be run. One of the candidates will be declared the victor and in our democratic system we need to accept the results. 

Not all will be happy with the results of the presidential election. Whichever candidate wins, we need to be respectful; we respect the rank not the person. That should be for all elected officials. The opportunity to make a change is part of our Constitution. 

The 2020 campaign is almost over. There will be time for celebration and analysis come Wednesday, Nov. 4. However the election turns out it is best to be just as gracious in victory as in defeat. The people will accept the results and realize, that if their candidate looses, they can fight another day.