May 21-22, 2016

Friends,

I thought I might reflect upon the current presidential race. I know it's a controversial subject but I am trying to figure it all out and sometimes it helps to put your thoughts on paper. I hear a lot of people speak about how disgusted they are with the entire process. I am not disgusted, but I am disappointed and sometimes shocked by the rhetoric. I believe one of the reasons we have so many unenrolled or independent voters is because many are not happy with the 2-party system, and feel betrayed by their former party. I was brought up on a family that has a longtime affiliation with one party and I continue to be registered in that party. There have been a few times in my long life when I have voted outside my party. In some cases even if I was not attracted to my party's candidate I would still be able to vote for him/her because of the party platform. In those cases I would try to list all the issues that matter to me and came to the conclusion that those issues were more important to me than the individual candidate. 

We live in a 2-newspaper city: most of us who still read the paper choose 1 newspaper over the other for a reason: we identify with the issues and the approach. That doesn't mean we agree with every article or enjoy reading every reporter's work, but overall it resonates with our choices in life. It is probably the same for many people who watch television news; we consciously or subconsciously like the way news is presented (others may be drawn to personalities). 

Like many people, I am not happy with the overall tone of the presidential elections. We may have seen a major shift in the way campaigns are waged. We have lived to see what was once unacceptable become acceptable. For years we have attempted as adults to set the bar higher and lead by example when it came to dignity and respect. We knew that the next generation was watching us and we hoped they would emulate our behavior. 

I have to admit I am worried about the conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia. We pride ourselves as Americans on a smooth transition from one presidency to the next. We have accepted the results as the will of the American people (even though there is a lot of discussion and disagreement regarding the Electoral College vs the popular vote). 

I hope all candidates and their followers will be able to accept the results of our process between now and the November election. 

We have come a long way from worrying about the religious affiliation or the marital status of a candidate. These are steps in the right direction, I believe, but we still have a long way to go. 

There is a lot of anger out there and that can lead to violence if we don't face it honestly. Like it or not, the democratic process is one of the things that makes America great. I haven't always been happy with the results of the process, but I don't know a better system. 

Enjoy Life 
Fr Coyne

 

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