Can’t we all just get along: Reflections on 50/50 political returns

My Church and society professor in Seminary made an interesting observation about Jerusalem. Why would He have placed the most sacred places of three of the world’s major religions so close together if He did want us to learn to live with one another?   

Of course, that is not the reaction we are most apt to hear these days. “Get them out of my neighborhood,” might be more typical. Whoever “them” happens to be at the moment. 

Reading all the scores this morning from Tuesday night’s “Big Game” I was struck on how evenly divided the results were. Yes, there were some outliers, with wide margins between the candidates, but overwhelmingly the differences between winning and losing candidates were pretty razor thin, needing decimal percentages to report the difference between winner and loser. Percentage-wise we are not separated by much. Percentage-wise we are living in the same neighborhood, next door to one another. There is no mandate on one side or the other. The mandate is to not exacerbate the razor thin gulf between us but to work at strengthening those things we hold in common. “The other side” is not an irrelevant minority. “Them” is fully half of the nation, the state, our neighborhood. The mandate from this election is to struggle with the difficult task of leadership in an evenly split electorate. The most appropriate question is, what can we accomplish together? This takes creativity. I repudiate any elected official who uses a razor thin margin, on either side of the aisle, as an opportunity to wield a sledgehammer in the public square, no matter how high or low the office.