Monday, November 03, 2008

Preparing for the outcome

It is now the night before the election and, even though the pundits claim to know how it will come out, many of us are anxious. Now is the time to prepare to accept the result, whatever it is.

Our country is dangerously polarized. When this election is over we must all be prepared to join in making the best of the result, even if we disagree with it. What makes democracy work is the universal commitment to consent to the will of the majority and to protect the right of the minority to retain their own voice, even in defeat.

Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Speech, brief as it was, delivered in the rain, captured the spirit that must prevail among us after a bitter contest.

The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” … Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue … still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, … to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

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