As Election Day Finally Arrives

As election day finally arrives, what are lessons we must learn?

I believe experience is a very fine teacher. In her class I learned from the good, the bad, and the ugly—each lesson etched across my forehead like a badge of honor. I’m not sure which ones I learned the most from, but like Thomas Edison and his invention of the light bulb, I know a million ways not to do the same things the same way again.

Before our next national elections, here are three lessons we ought to consider:

1. Get better at intercepting hackers and foreign interlopers. Everyone and his cousin seems to be determined to interfere in our elections—other countries, local militia groups, passionate people creating chaos—we must be prepared to ferret them out before they wreak havoc on what’s supposed to be a sacred right. That goes for homegrown radicals who are sending threatening emails and planning to harm our elected officials. Sophisticated technology is a blessing and a curse when you can spread these messages widely, quickly, and anonymously. We must keep getting better and smarter.

2. De-politicize the postal service and the election of judges and justices. We depend heavily on our mail and mailboxes—leave them alone. Be efficient, improve delivery by all means necessary, but please stop tinkering with this essential service.

Further, it’s sad when we seek justices and judges because we have an agenda we’re trying to advance or dismantle. If our newest member of the Supreme Court is as dangerous and heartless as she’s been made out to be, what does that say about our system that gives one person that much power? We must stay vigilant and attentive.

I listened closely to what she said and gingerly didn’t say, and I watched the bickering and lying that preceded her nomination and confirmation. There must be a better way to get justice and justices.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has offered to create a bi-partisan panel to study judicial vacancies, selection, and incarceration. I don’t know if that’s the solution or not, but it must be better than leaving so many levels of justice vacant or with overworked jurists.

3. Take another look at campaign finance. To run for office these days takes almost as much as it takes to run a small government. In elections, how do we get the best people when campaigns are so expensive?

The media are projecting that this presidential race will be the most expensive ever, but it’s difficult to get excited about campaign signs, bumper stickers, and expensive negative ads that offer a choice between someone who stole their grandmother’s last dime or is planning to.

Whatever happened to truth in advertising? Perhaps it went the way of the covered wagon or we decided it’s about party affiliation and we don’t care about honor, integrity, and truth. I still can’t understand how there was so much urgency around Justice Coney Barrett’s confirmation but so little around laid off workers, hungry children and their families, and small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Being close to a decision is not good enough, and depending on how things go Tuesday, there may be no relief for weeks as losers lick their wounds and winners gloat. That is unacceptable. No matter who wins, it will be difficult to govern, nevertheless, when the dust settles, come hail, high water, wildfires, COVID-19 spikes, and/or more climate change, they must heal our nation and learn to govern in a bi-partisan way. We meant to elect public servants. Only time will tell if we succeeded.

What according to you are the lessons we ought to consider before our next national election? I am excited to hear your opinion at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

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