Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Presidential Election 2020 & The CCHS Community

The 2020 Presidential election illuminates a deep division in American society.  Discussing politics with friends, family members, or even strangers, is a delicate matter that, if not handled gently, can ruin a Thanksgiving dinner quicker than a burnt turkey.   The delicate nature of these conversations is not new or atypical, but nothing in 2020 seems typical, including the presidential election. 

This election is emotionally charged, featuring individuals with passionate positions on both ends of the political spectrum that are well-entrenched. Sometimes, those emotions do not reveal our best selves.  

I have no intention, nor do I have the ability, to eloquently compose something capable of relieving well-grounded anxieties about the presidential election.  The reality is, one-side of the political aisle will be disappointed, and one will be jubilant. 

Our political affiliations do not define who we are as human beings; however, how we handle the aftermath of the election will provide a glimpse of our character.  

It is normal to be happy or disappointed with presidential election outcomes. How these emotions are processed and expressed matters, so if you are pleased with the result, express that happiness with humbleness and proper etiquette. If the outcome saddens you, express that sadness in a healthy way and not in a manner that demeans or belittles others.  It is easy to act appropriately when victorious, but the real judge of one's character can best be determined when exposed to defeat. 

The tumultuous nature of the current political environment is undeniable, but it is not the first presidential election to highlight deep national divisions.  Our country is far from perfect, but one of the United States of America's hallmarks is every four years, we hold an election for the Presidency.  Power is not seized by revolution or by a military coup, but rather a democratic process that allows all citizens of voting age in this country to exercise their right to vote.

This year has been among the most challenging in recent memory, but this country has witnessed and persevered through challenges that at the time seemed insurmountable.  

Remember that students and staff, just like you, sat in schools across this country during immensely challenging times where the fabric of the country seemed destined to break.  

Imagine the years leading up to and after the Civil War; WWI, coupled with the 1918 flu pandemic; the desperate years of the Great Depression; WWII; the Civil Rights movement; these are but a few examples where our country's resolve was tested, and it seemed destined to break us. Our country made it through these challenging times, and we will make it through this one.  Take solace knowing that we are a country of laws, and our Constitution is the world's longest surviving written charter of government.

I make no predictions on the outcome, but I do know and expect that all members of the Concord Carlisle community will be treated with dignity and made to feel safe regardless of the outcome.  Respect need not and will not be deferred on 3 November.  

We can all agree that a community united by a respect for human differences is one we aspire to, and those differences include political beliefs.  Do your best to wake up every day with the intention of contributing to the well-being of others, and remember that the shortest distance between two people is laughter. 


Michael Mastrullo

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