Jerry Davich: God’s will? How about we all move forward.
Jerry Davich email@example.com November 8, 2012 4:14PM
Jesse Cruz looks on as his wife Grace affixes a "I Voted" sticker after casting their ballots at Valparaiso High School Tuesday Nov. 6, 2012. The couple, married for 54 years, said they always vote together. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 10, 2012 6:24AM
With Election Day now in the history books, are we back to being the “United” States of America?
Or do we still see the country through the red-colored glasses and blue-colored glasses of our polarizing politics? It comes down to idealism versus realism, and I think we all know the sobering state of our nation’s citizenry, despite our leaders’ insistence that we become one again.
Immediately after President Obama was re-elected on Tuesday night, I read several social media posts from his critics essentially saying the same thing — God pray for our country... it’s in God’s hands now... God help us.
So I piped in with the obvious counter-argument: “Obviously tonight’s election results are God’s will.”
If Obama lost to Mitt Romney, this is what many of Obama’s critics would have surely believed, right? That God played a key role in his demise and Romney’s victory.
Doesn’t it go both ways? God’s will is God’s will, I thought. Apparently not.
“Unfortunately, God’s will may be to bring down an arrogant country so His will can be done,” replied Mark McKee, of Portage.
So God’s will includes the demise of our country? Interesting viewpoint.
Jeremy Crawford of Crown Point added, “That may be one of the most cowardly jabs to make from a ‘journalist.’ I am done with you.”
Cowardly jab at who? Richard Mourdock, the failed U.S. Senate candidate from Indiana? Republicans? Conservatives? Believers? God himself? My “jab” was at the notion of God’s will regarding politics (and sports and relationships, etc.) and how we like to pretend the Big Guy is somehow involved in our voting process.
A few minutes later, I received a blanket email from President Obama himself, just before he gave his acceptance speech in Chicago. Its timing and topic were perfect.
“I want you to know that this wasn’t fate, and it wasn’t an accident,” he wrote, seemingly also disagreeing that his victory was God’s will. “You made this happen.”
If you, we, us, made this happen, then why are so many of us now raging against this outcome? The people have spoken, correct?
Yet I know region residents who have lost friends and even family members over the outcome of this election. I know voters who are spewing hate over this election. I know Americans who claim they are now “embarrassed” to live in this country.
Really? The candidate that you backed (who was likely not your first pick anyway) ended up losing and you’re now ashamed to be an American? Tell that to all the soldiers who died to allow you the freedom to vote and then to whine afterward.
It’s time to look ahead, not look back any longer. It’s time for bygones to be bygones, as the dusty adage goes. It’s time to realize — and for many, to admit — that the face of our country is changing. This realization is truly frightening to many of you, I know.
Obama wins, Romney loses. New legal marijuana laws. Same-sex marriage victories. The minority-majority reality is coming. Obamacare stands, and so-called “socialism” continues to seep across our once great country.
Good God, I’ll bet many Americans truly believe the Apocalypse is near, if not already at hand. It just may be, at least for those who also believe we will someday return to what we were in the 1950s.
This just in, doomsayers: We’re not going back to the “good old days.” Move on. Get a program. Get a clue.
No matter how hard some demographic groups try mightily to yank back the hands of time, it won’t stop the frightening future from arriving each new morning. The Election Day losses of many fringe candidates across the country should prove this.
The United States of America is a work in progress — it always has been — whether we’re united or not.
No sticker for you, too?
Of all the snags, gaffes, and complaints I heard on Election Day while cruising the region, the most common one had nothing to do with politics, partisanship or God’s will.
The majority of voters I talked to were upset they did not receive their traditional “I VOTED TODAY” sticker after casting a ballot. Petty? Maybe. Trivial? Possibly.
But it still was a hot topic of conversation on that day and beyond.
“I rely in my ‘I Voted’ sticker to shame others into doing their civic duty. I was crushed this year,” said Thomas Thies, of Gary.
“I asked every poll worker I saw for one, but nobody knew anything about their disappearance,” said Sally Burrows, of Crown Point.
Other voters complained they lost out on discounts to many retailers who offer freebies to customers who show their sticker. For instance, a scoop of ice cream at Culver’s, discounted rental movies at Blockbuster, a Starbucks bracelet and free dessert at Olive Garden.
Patriotism is one thing. Consumerism is quite another.
I heard numerous possible explanations about the lack of those stickers, from budget cuts to lack of organization. I still don’t know the correct answer.
Did you know?
President Obama’s social media tweet “Four more years” on election night was re-tweeted more than 687,000 times within 24 hours, a new Guinness World Record.
Sadly, but not surprisingly, it beat the previous record holder, pop star Justin Bieber, whose 18th birthday message was reposted 251,878 times on Twitter and Facebook in 24 hours.
Veterans Day story
My Veterans Day column this Sunday will tell the heartbreaking — and heartwarming — story of a teenage girl whose school assignment was to track the history of a local World War II soldier who died in combat.
She went above and beyond her call of duty and also visited his grave in France and, while there, to collect an earthly memento to bring back to this region.
Why? Because the young soldier got engaged before he left for combat and his now 87-year-old former fiancee still lives in this region, and she still pines for him after seven decades.
“I still pray for him every day, that he didn’t suffer when he was killed,” she told me.
Friday at noon, on my Casual Fridays radio show, I will chat on-air with the woman and I invite you to tune in at WLPR, 89.1-FM and call in at 769-9577.