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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Our Long National Nightmare Will Soon Be Over

I should begin this by saying it is a totally non-partisan post, lest you should be avoiding those! I mailed in my absentee ballot recently. I probably could have sent it weeks ago but it's a lot easier to find out about and determine your preferences for national candidates than things like the school board!


On November 8, those who didn't vote absentee/early or those who are not too frustrated to vote period will head to the polls to make their choice. When all is said and done, a good chunk of us will be pleased, angry or resigned. This feels like the longest, sleaziest and most hostile campaign I can recall -- and I can recall a lot of them.


I think of election day as ending our current "long national nightmare." We don't know the next bad dream, but at least this awful campaign will be over.

Those of you old enough to remember Watergate, Richard Nixon and the swearing in of Gerald Ford after Nixon's resignation might remember this quote from his inaugural address.

"My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over... Our constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule. But there is a higher Power, by whatever name we honor Him, who ordains not only righteousness but love, not only justice but mercy."

Digging out the whole of this quote reminded me of Nixon and of a letter all the students in our graduating class at J.W. Sexton High School received in June 1969 from the then-President. It was sent to the school and a copy was made for each of the students by the principal.


Nixon not only congratulated the seniors but acknowledged the differences between the generations and the similarities of our 1969 graduating class and his from 1930.

"Your high school years have been historic ones," he wrote. "When you entered high school man was making his elementary steps into space. In your senior year, three brave Americans journeyed around the moon. When I graduated from high school, only three years had passed since a man flew for the first time across the Atlantic Ocean. Despite the obvious difference in years, we have this in common: we all know what it is to be young at the start of an age of adventure."

There is little difference between what was written here and what I see around me -- young people in high school in college or slightly older starting out their lives as voting citizens, able to make their first choices in a national election. They, too, have seen changes in their lifetimes (and certainly in mine).

Who could imagine we could talk on the phone or text or check the Internet from any place in the world? That those very expensive little pocket calculators (which weren't so pocket-sized) that we bought for our statistics classes at college would one day cost under five dollars -- with more basic versions at the dollar store?

Nixon was between wars, but we had our Vietnam. Now high school kids hear about the Middle East. We had the Civil Rights movement. Today's youth must deal with racism and xenophobia in more ways than I can bear to think of. It breaks my heart that these issues are still at the forefront of our lives.

The long national nightmare that Gerald Ford referred to was Watergate and the Nixon presidency. For me, that national nightmare is the election. I hope that my candidate will win, just as you  hope yours will. And I'm probably wishing a wee bit that both the major parties had different choices for us.


But they don't. So I will vote. And I hope you will too, even if you are discouraged. I don't know that I will vote for every candidate on the ballot -- I don't know all of them. But I do know some and for those, I will check my ballot.

I leave you with the words of Richard Nixon. Remember, these were written in 1969, several years before all hell broke out with Watergate. They are ironic but I think they are very true.

"You will discover, as I did, that each person must make his own exploration of the world, make his own discoveries, shape his own triumphs, endure his own tragedies. Each of us is an explorer or himself, of history, of knowledge, of the intricate and beautiful and wonderful varieties of experience."


Triumphs and tragedies. Who knows what we'll see on the morning of November 9? (Or 10, or 11...) But whatever it is, it will take us into the new year. A new year with families we love, a world that is not without its problems but is exquisitely beautiful, diverse and unique. It's up to us to celebrate that world and cherish it every single day.


And remember, Pie Fixes Everything. Or it should.

32 comments:

Rita C. said...

It is a very troubling time. I am trying to learn as much as I can to make informed decisions. I will vote, but I will not watch the aftermath unfold on FB or any other social media. Too many naysayers.

I need orange said...

I fervently hope it will end the nightmare. I fear the nightmare may just about to begin................................ People keep saying they will be glad when it's Wednesday -- I only hope I'll be glad....................


Working on being grateful for every person who has takes the high road. Every person who concentrates on the positive. On hope, on beauty, on peace, on justice, on a level playing field, on GOODNESS.

I have lived long enough to be clear that hate and violence only lead to more hate and violence.

If we want love, peace, justice, beauty, fairness, we must practice them, and share them.......................

Thank you, Jeanie, for flowers and birds and art and delicious things to eat. Thank you for thoughtful words. Thank you for sharing goodness with us.

Anne said...

Wonderful post, Jeanie.

Carola Bartz said...

Jeanie, what a great post. Like you I hope the nightmare will be over soon, but one part in me is afraid that it might go on. We will soon know. I have dropped off my mail-in ballot a week ago. It's my first presidential election since we have become US citizens. It feels good to have a voice. I wasn't too excited about the choices on the federal level, but our state and local measures and propositions, school board and city council made me quite excited. My father who grew up in Nazi Germany always told us that the right to vote is the duty to vote, and I follow this to the T. There are too many people in the world who don't have this privilege. Not exercising it just feels wrong.

Valerie-Jael said...

I hope you are right and that the nightmare will be over on Wednesday. This has really been an awful campaign. Hugs, Valerie

Stephanie Faris said...

I'm with the people above! Some of us are actually in serious fear for what will happen AFTER Tuesday is over. I've never been this afraid. But hopefully we'll all be able to breathe a big sigh of relief Wednesday morning.

Mae Travels said...

Pie might help Tuesday night. Good suggestion. Scary night!

trembling... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Janet said...

I do hope the long nightmare will be over but like many others I fear it's only just beginning. I hope someone is baking a lot of pies!! We're going to need them.

Jennifer Richardson said...

I love your perspective, Jeanie.
It will be alright even if it's not all right.
I'm grateful for our constitution and will vote for the candidate
that I believe will best uphold it. And say no more:)
And then i'll be joining you for pie!
Love to you and yours,
Jennifer

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I've never been so glad to see an election cycle end. I just hope we don't start a new nightmare on Nov. 9. I have to remind myself that I have no control on the outcome. I can only do my part by voting on Nov. 8.

My name is Erika. said...

I can't wait for the election to be over. BUT it is also scary to think of what could be our country's future. I think pie does fix everything, so Tuesday might be a good day for a slice. :) Hugs-Erika

Esme said...

I cannot wait for the name calling and insults to be over. I agree it has been a sleazy one. We visited the Nixon Library-it was quite interesting.

Arti said...

Jeanie,

In 1969 I was still in HK, form 3 (gr. 9) but by Dec. of 1970, I was a teenaged immigrant into Canada. Although I grew up half the globe away from you, what you've posted here, I was aware of even as a teenager, watched Neil Armstrong make that small step down to the moon surface, followed the Watergate sandal, watched Nixon's farewell speech, etc. etc. The world is so small, that the quake you're experiencing down there now, the ugly campaign, we feel the aftershock and ripples up here too. But I'm afraid Nov. 9 will not only end an ugly chapter of campaign history, but opens a new era of a different America. Of course, Gerald Ford's speech is ever relevant, if only the country remembers that Higher Power, and stays reverent, follows His mercy and righteousness. "Keep Calm and Carry On" is the credo I have on my desk. We were raised half a world apart, but we are ever so closely tied together, the connection is awesome. Thanks for an inspiring post!

Sally Wessely said...

I loved reading this. Thanks for the perspective that comes from the letter that Nixon wrote clear back in 1969. We have traveled a long ways since then. Who would have ever thought that politics could become so bizarre? I tried to explain to my granddaughter of 14 just how I felt about this election. Finally, I said, "I'm embarrassed that you had to witness this nastiness and innuendo that has characterized this election season." I will be so glad when this election is behind us.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

My friend Sally keeps saying how she wishes the election was over. She voted by mail and I voted last Tuesday at a polling place. Personally, I didn't care for either major party candidate. I can't believe out of all those candidates, we got stuck with those two. I was more interested in the down ballots than anything else.

But I'm with you on hoping everyone votes. I know there's been a bigger turnout in my state where the latest poll showed Trump was over Clinton 47% to 36%. KS is definitely a red state.

I've been studying past elections and reading about racial tension back in the late 60s. Reminds me that not much has changed, other than now we have even more ways to distribute the hate.

I've also been thinking about all the advances in my lifetime. When I was a teen, women had no way of knowing the gender of their unknown baby. Now it's yours for the asking when you get your first ultrasound. When I was a teen so many advances in science and medicine had not been discovered. The internet was only on college campuses, and we used a card catalog to look up books we wanted to check out. And THOSE all lead to positive changes. The not so positive are the nasty hate mongering, bullying, and rapes that still occur. You have really pushed my buttons with your post, I fear, dear friend.

Joanne Huffman said...

I am hoping things go well and we succeed at healing the wounds we have been rubbing salt in.

The French Hutch said...

I can only vote once but I pray a lot for our country! Thanks Jeanie..........

shoreacres said...

Unfortunately, I see the election not only as an ending, but as the certain beginning of even more troubles. Whichever candidate wins the election, the American people have been the losers in this one, and to some degree, we're responsible for the unhappy choice before us.

Nonetheless: your reminder about pie is a good one. Perhaps we should be sure there's some humble pie on the table, and enough for everyone to have a piece!

Katie Clooney said...

I've already voted and can't wait til tomorrow is over. This is the first election that I have said prayers about, which says a lot. Great post and I hope that you have a good week, dear Jeanie.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

It was really neat to read that letter. My parents graduated in 1966 so they were in school at the same time that you were. I had heard about the events they experienced but those events became even more alive when I watched CNN's documentary series on the 60s and 70s. I think there is a great sense of despair in our country right now for several different reasons but watching those documentaries gave me a bit more hope as our country went through some really awful things in the 60s/70s, but we came out on the other side and things felt like they were more ok for awhile. Now we are in another challenging time and I hope that in a couple of years or maybe a decade, we are breathing a sigh of relief that that era is over and things are better.

Jeanne Washburn said...

I voted early..the end on that...whoever will be the next president better buckle down and do what's right and fair and just for all...without personal bias or gain...the end. :)

Sandra Cox said...

I hope you're right, but I'm not sure the ugliness will end with the election.
Hugs

Danielle L Zecher said...

I am so ready for the election to be over. Like you said, it may be a different nightmare, but at least it will be different. I live in North Carolina (a swing state), so it feels especially ugly between all the ads and Facebook rantings.

Pie sounds nice! :-)

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

I voted last week and I have done all I can do.
I pray for our Country and no matter who our President is the world has changed so rapidly and I miss the one I grew up in.
Thanks for this post, Jeanie!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest Jeanie, I can't wait for this to be over, however, I fear (for the first time in my adult life) what will happen next. I can't believe how this entire process truly has stressed me. We'll just have to wait and see, but since we are both old enough to remember PATTERNS, history often repeats itself, and our "great" country is founded on and operates on IDEAS. I just wish those ideas would truly flesh out and that we were truly a country run by and FOR the people, all of us, every black, white, brown, breathing soul.

Lynne said...

Meaningful post Jeannie . . .
Nixon's letter and comparisons reminded me of past, elections, pros, cons . . .
I have lived through many . . .
Non like this . . .
My hope . . .
May kindness, regard, civility return to our days . . .

Sandra Cox said...

Here we go.....

Tamara said...

Oh Jeannie, as much as I wish I could ignore your nightmare, but I cant. Its affecting us all. May there be some hope and light in it. Xx

Jann Olson said...

Watching the news right now. Looking forward to it all being over. Sad to say that I don't want either one. :( Never thought I would see the day! I will support whoever wins simply because they are our President. But if being a bully is a President it's news to me. lol! I felt like the debates were just a big bully fest. Good example for the younger generation, don't you think?
hugs,
Jann

Marilyn Miller said...

Wishing pie would fix everything, but I fear for our country. Terrified in fact.

Tamara said...

Jeannie, here in our home down under, we are speechless and in deepest shock. Im not sure Pie will fix it now.

Bella Rum said...

We now know the results of the election. Even though I knew he could win, I'm still speechless. There's nowhere to go but forward, and forward we shall go.

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