By the time you read this …

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By the time you read this, I will have voted in the 2020 General Election. Likely, many of you will have done the same. 

So, how do we feel?

Do we feel confident that the voting decisions we have made up and down the ballot are rooted in our core sensibilities and reinforced by our independent research and careful consideration?

I hope so. 

Are we worried that the influence of cable television news network pundits and social media misinformation has preyed upon our deepest, darkest fears to the point where we lost track of our own moral baselines?

I hope not. 

Did we vote for local city council candidates for nonpartisan seats with the same political leanings that inspired us to pick a presidential candidate?
I really, really hope not. 

Like many of you, I am suffering from political fatigue. 

While watching the television ads for voting no or yes on statewide propositions, do you also squint real hard to try to find out who paid for the ad in order to decide how to vote while ignoring the content of the ad itself?
Same. I’ve even paused the ad to read more closely the small print. 

I write this on the eve of the final presidential debate, and there’s a big part of me that wants nothing to do with it. 

They’ve gone too far, we’ve been through too much. 

Admittedly, however, like a good non-injury car crash, it will certainly be something to watch. 

But in watching it, I know I won’t connect with it. Not really. 

What can only be said during this debate has been said before — at least tweeted — and will be punctuated with aggressive speech and threatening language. Doom and gloom will billow through the airwaves. 

At least from one of the podiums, the debate won’t be based on facts or data or heartfelt sentiment. It will be miring in low-grade, tabloid level gossip-mongering and blaming. 

The moderator will be lambasted, she has been already, even before the debate took place — which many call “working the refs.”

Is gamesmanship part of directing the health and wellbeing of hundreds of millions of people?

There will be talk of emails and foreign entities and false promises and untruths. We will be told of unimaginable despair that awaits us if we vote for the contender. We will be promised unthinkable wealth and prosperity if we mark the ballot of the incumbent. 

The incumbent will talk of recovery and unity. Of failures in the immediate timeline and victories from administrations past. 

But deep down, we already know, don’t we?

The lines are drawn and they’ve either been crossed violently or surpassed positively. The teams have been chosen, the season tickets purchased and the memorabilia donned. 

What’s left to talk about?

All we can do is sift the remnants of an American society divided and wait to hear what our future holds. 

As devastating as it may seem to have to push people away for their beliefs and who they support, I won’t regret it, those decisions were deeply rooted in my devotion to our nation and humankind in many cases. 

There are some moral stands that you must make, for when this life is all said and done, your life will be judged by what you stood for and who you stood with, while keeping in mind, life is never as bad as it seems and never as good as you’re told. 

And when Nov. 3 comes and goes, I will still be living here, loving those who will allow me to, and working to continually improve our station in life. 

By the time you read this, that’s all that will matter. 

Vote. 

Jeff Pack
Temecula