Please follow and like us:

I went to bed at 7:30 last night.

I couldn’t stand to look at one more Facebook brawl or Tweet.

In spite of my bold blog snark… I hate confrontation.  Political debates are my water boarding. But, at 1:00 am my husband came to bed and said, “I will never be able to sleep.”

My oldest daughter, away at college texted me right after that and said: “That last question made me cry.”

So, I got up to find out what was keeping them up into the wee hours of the night.

“Can you name one positive thing you respect in one another?”

Can you name one positive thing you respect in one another?

I cried too.

At our core, I believe we all want our nation to be grand.[Tweet “At our core, I believe we all want our #nation to be grand. #debate2016 #karlbecker”]

We as voters want to get behind someone we can believe in, and maybe that is why I went to bed early. I couldn’t bear to watch everyone joining in the tearing down, simply because we are desperate to make what is visibly wrong into something that looks like if you squint real hard and tilt your head to the side, something right.

And then…

“Can you name one positive thing you respect in one another?”And I wished I had stayed up for the debate.

The goose bumps and chills of the innocent crowd when John F. Kennedy hummed: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

The hope and pride of a nation when Reagan demanded “TEAR DOWN THAT WALL!”

The collective rush of cries for help from the broken Ground Zero.

And the communal heartbroken sobs begging for the restoration of our peace and safety.

“Can you name one positive thing you respect in one another?”

When I was five my parents had a dinner party, it would have been Election Day because they were watching results come in for the Presidency race between Carter and Ford.  Innocently, I asked my Grandma Mickey who she voted for that day. My dad gently squeezed my knee and my mom escorted me from the room and explained, “We never ask someone who they voted for, it is too private and too important.”

The reverence.

The pride.

The hope.

The faith.

“Can you name one positive thing you respect in one another?”

I should expand, later when she tucked me into bed I said, “I can’t even ask you who you voted for?” and she answered, “Your dad of course!”

I cried myself to sleep, everyone I loved was upstairs waiting for the results of that election… they would have most certainly voted for my dad too. And that meant – we would be moving to Washington.

The innocence.

The mystery.

The majesty.

[Tweet “The innocence. The mystery. The majesty. #debate2016 #allisnotlost”]

The small and simple mind of a child who didn’t know the massiveness of her country or the pure significant power of a vote lead me to believe in the simplest answer. I believed for a long time it was important to vote. I still believe that but until I read that question, “Can you name one positive thing you respect in one another?”

president-3

I didn’t believe in the dignity of the vote anymore.

I believe we all want to know our vote will matter. Believing we don’t have to justify nasty behavior. Maybe we hope we can vote with the poise and vanity voting once had. The hush of etiquette, the grandeur of courage for the future.

Not the least common denominator, or minimally repulsive – the most effective and real person to give us something back – something our children can have confidence in and believe. It is the waves of justified superiority at the announcement of the Star Spangled Banner and the urgency of expectation when we step into that voter’s booth.

Take off your hat.

Put your hand over your heart.

Embrace the mortality of this pledge – this song – that flag.

I believe the question “Can you name one positive thing you respect in one another?” was a carnal cry for decency.

Before hanging chads, DNA stained intern’s dresses, taped phone calls, FBI investigations, rape culture,  an American prince and princess in a convertible in Dallas, those slanderous political ads, planes flying into towers, and juvenile sand kicking – we believed.

“Can you name one positive thing you respect in one another?” is the most genuine question I did not hear.

Can you name one positive thing you respect in one another?

Are you real?

Do you care what happens to my children?

Do you bleed?

Do you get goose bumps when the anthem swells?

Can you please show me who to vote for, instead of who to vote against?

Now I have watched the clip a dozen times. And I cannot sleep. I know who I will vote for, and it remains a last resort, but I am proud I get to do so. Two of my children will vote for the first time this year I want to say to them, “We never ask someone who they voted for, it is too private and too important.”

It is important.

It is a privilege.

It does matter.

Maggie and John, I pray you ask the most genuine of questions when it is time to make your decision.

More than that, I pray you get goosebumps, that your heart swells with the joy that comes from participating in your right to pick a candidate. Furthermore, I pray that those rights continue and that your country is blessed for generation upon generation.

Cast your vote and then cast your worries on the Lord.

And when all else fails, just vote for my dad and we will all just move to Washington.

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami

 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7 

You might also like: An Open Letter to My Children: You’re Not That Great and Go and Don’t Believe Everything I Taught You

 

Please follow and like us: