Today is one of those days, as I've been running full tilt and nearly on empty to promote Paper, Scissors, Death. I've spent most of six weeks alone in a car on highways with frequent breaks at yucky gas stations, highlighted only by meeting old pals, new readers and new author-friends.
Yesterday, I talked about my exhaustion with my friend, Vaughn Kohler, a youth paster at Grace Baptist Church in Manhattan, Kansas, and Vaughn stroked his chin-hairs before answering solemnly, "There's a reason God says to keep holy the seventh day." The delightful teen who worked in my office has grown into a thoughtful, wise young man, whom I call friend.
But I cannot rest today. Over the weekend, I've heard increasing reports of attacks on my family for our choice of presidential candidates. First, my husband was at a neighborhood bonfire, and after good-natured disagreements with our close neighbors, a woman from several blocks away attacked him for his presidential decision. When he tried to defend his position, she sloshed her martini in his face and screamed at him. When he tried again, she screamed louder and shook a finger in his face. Finally, he gathered our dogs and started for him.
She came after him.
So...David spent all day Sunday canvassing for our chosen candidate. It was his way of responding.
Yesterday, I talked to my Aunt Shirley and learned she, too, had been harrassed by fear mongers. They were sending her threatening emails. Shirley is in her 70s. Certainly, this is upsetting. In fact, I'd go further--it's downright disgusting.
A free nation is free because we are free to disagree. Sometimes passionately, but always respectfully. In disagreeing, we sharpen our arguments, we are forced to dig deep and re-think, and smart people often walk away determined to further educate themselves.
We have no room in this country for uncivil disagreement. Indeed, the stakes are so high, that uncivil discord will only plunge our country further into thise huge morass of doubt, indecision, and bad choices. If we are to regain the high road--to again be the shining beacon on the hill--we must learn to listen to each other, to disagree without being disagreeable, and to emerge thoughtful, not angry. We must build accord rather than discord.
Because as Abraham Lincoln said, "A house divided cannot stand."
And now, I'm going out to canvass votes for my candidate. I will NOT let hate-mongerers decide for me. I will NOT be frightened into staying home. I will NOT sit idly by while some scream in my face, my husband's or my aunts. That is NOT the America I choose to live in, and so it is incumbent on me to help rebuild my country, one household at a time by respectfully urging occupants to vote--and if they are undecided to offer them what information I can.