Civility and the election

(From Oct. 22 bulletin)

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

In a little more than two weeks it will all be over. Are you as tired of this prolonged election campaign as I am? It started over a year ago, egged on by media which thought that they had to cover every minute of it lest other outlets scoop them on one story or another. Enough!

My first awareness of political elections came when I was 9 years old. My parents voted for Stevenson. Four years later, with the same two candidates running, they voted for Eisenhower. Politics and civics have fascinated me ever since. I have voted in 12 presidential elections. Three times I was truly enthusiastic about a candidate (and two of those three candidates lost). Three times I was so disgusted with the major party candidates that I voted for a third party.

It's easy to complain, especially when the system has given us so much to complain about. What can we do about it? Perhaps we can begin by treating everyone with respect. We are a very polarized society, but we have to live with each other. Can we do that? Can we disagree with people, and maybe even condemn some of their positions or tactics as immoral, and still respect them? Can we try to see where they are coming from? Can we grant them the same sincerity that we assume for ourselves?

Wouldn't it be great if the media, lobbyists, and politicians here and in Washington began to restore civility to our national dialogue? Why don't you and I begin to do that now!

Peace and every blessing,

Fr. Loren Connell, OFM
Detroit, Mich.

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