Other countries have elections, too

There will be a major election Saturday in Sierra Leone, the country to which I hope to travel on a short-term mission trip a year from now.

Better the election take place now than a year from now. My last mission trip, to Kenya in 2010, took place just weeks before a big constitutional referendum in that country. Our host pastor – a man I dearly love and respect – had strong feelings about the issue and talked constantly to Jan and me about them. While I was, from a very intellectual standpoint, somewhat interested, I really didn’t have a lot of background to know which side was right, and hearing about it quickly got old. It wasn’t my election, after all.

Of course, I get tense around political discussions even here in this country. Because of my work as a journalist, I don’t feel it’s right to wear my political heart on my sleeve. (Some journalists feel differently, and have good arguments for their position.) So when I am off-duty, and hear friends, family or fellow church members getting into intense, opinionated political discussion – at either end of the spectrum – I don’t feel comfortable. I don’t want to argue or agree; I just sit there feeling uncomfortable, or (if appropriate) I find an excuse to leave the room.

I had hoped that some of the political vitriol would die down after the election, and some of it has, but I still have Facebook friends whining or gloating, as the case may be, about the results. Get over it. We’ve all got to work together for the next two years.

Hopefully, the election in Sierra Leone, however it turns out, will be old news by this time next year, or at least enough of a non-issue that no one will feel like bending the American visitors’ ears about it.

2 thoughts on “Other countries have elections, too

  1. John – I too am a Certified Lay Speaker. And I will NOT get over this fraud of an election.
    I won’t get over it until Barack Obama is impeached. He stole the election – face it John, he STOLE the election.

  2. Good grief. He stole the election? I’ve heard no one, not even his opponent, accusing him of election fraud. Even those who disagree with him accuse him of pandering to certain demographic groups to get out the vote, not of anything illegal. You’ve got every right to disagree with his policies or to dislike the man personally. But he won the election. He’s got a divided Congress to work with, and so neither he nor Romney would have had free reign to implement policies.

    As I’ve said in other venues recently, I think that those (on either end of the spectrum) who are more obsessed with tearing down the opposing candidate than they are with telling us whom and what they support are part of the problem with this country. Don’t tell us why you’re anti-Obama; tell us why you’re pro-Romney (or at least pro-Republican, if you’re not a Romney fan). Don’t tell us why you’re anti-Romney; tell us why you’re pro-Obama (or at least pro-Democrat, if you’re not an Obama fan).

    I don’t believe either party has all of the right answers. I also recognize that this country, going back to the drafting of our founding documents, was built on people with sharply-different, and passionately-held, views being able to talk to each other and work things out.

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