What will happen Wednesday?
Tuesday night, the polls will close and Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be President of the federation of states we call America.
Trump promises that electing him will make America great again. Clinton said at her convention, “America is great because America is good.”
To prove that political discourse isn’t always reasonable, many less educated conservatives thought Clinton’s statement was crazy talk.
Those of us who recognized the comment as a partial quote saw it differently.
Clinton was quoting “Democracy in America” which is probably the first sociology book about America written by Alexis de Toqueville. The French diplomat and scholar wrote the book after traveling in pre-Civil War America.
“Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great,” de Tocqueville wrote.
We need to remember that.
There might be violence from the losing side. There might be an increase in ammunition sales or more doomsday bunkers dug into the backyards of our crazy friends.
However, America will continue to be great if we remember what makes us good.
People will disagree about the value of the outcome. Some will be upset if “Cheeto Jesus” and his nude model third wife win. Others will be crushed if “Crooked Hillary” and her philandering former President husband head back to the White House. But disagreeing peacefully is one of the things that makes America truly great. Sure, some unreasonable souls might threaten to cancel a subscription or perhaps curse your craziness in a coffeehouse, but armed guards won’t bang on your door and haul you away.
When the hanging chads sent George W. Bush to the White House, many from the left began fashioning “The End is Near” signs and preparing to prophesy the end times. When Barack Obama won the White House, many from the right were sure that society would crash down around us. After 16 years of Bush and Obama, the stock market is still at all time highs and life goes on.
The President doesn’t make us great. The people do.
America is going to be just fine because America is still good. We can survive another Clinton presidency. We will persevere if Trump wins, as well. All that really changes is which cable news network is the opposition and which becomes a cheerleader.
Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at email@example.com.