The changing tide is something coastal dwellers are keen to recognize. It tells us where the moon rests in her phases. It determines our course of direction during hurricane season. It stands as a constant reminder that the ebb and flow of our lives is quite natural, and to be expected. And while coastal communities exist at every corner of the world in different time zones, we have, for centuries experienced the same phenomena of the incoming and outgoing flush of renewal. It happens effortlessly.
Then there is the bewildering changing tide of the political arena. While I am quite comfortable engaging in the electoral process and have had the opportunity to appreciate how it plays out in local, regional and national arenas, I am in this current election cycle, disheartened by the evolving divisiveness of our nation's people. What happened to embracing our narrative as an eclectic assortment of individual hopes and dreams? At the end of the day what makes this country rich is our differences and our ability to govern this nation recognizing the value and necessity of our diverse makeup.
The primary season of election cycles is intended to vet out the options, make plain the candidates' views on governance, and create solidarity around key issues. However, in the 2016 rendition of the voting process there seems a direct intent to demonize a citizen choice to engage time and effort with any specific candidate. I was raised to and continue to believe that to endorse a candidate that clearly emulates the values and platform held by an individual simply denotes a willingness to place confidence in the process. Understandably a process and a legislative agenda that many will agree is fraught with problems, but it is owned by us, every citizen of these United States.
In the months approaching Election 2016 I have come to realize how naive the assumption is that society holds "respect" in high regard. As a nation, the United States is beset by war, poverty, hunger and a constantly shifting economy. Clearly, our people want and need change. Change that is long overdue. But is casting our neighbors and other citizens aside for choosing to believe differently worth it? The generations to follow will recognize the disproportionate nature of "acceptance" in these proceedings and become disillusioned with the process, perhaps even giving up on it all together.
What we experience in nature happens effortlessly. What we envision for our country takes work, understanding and a willingness to agree in our disagreement. To do otherwise will divide us. Our nation of differences must stand beside each other to ever truly become great again.