COLUMNS

TABLE D'HOTE: America’s greatest days

Wade McIntyre

Some people are worried about the fate of the nation if the candidate they are not supporting wins the election today.

The fate of America will still be in the hands of the people no matter who wins, and no matter who wins, Americans are not finished voicing their opinions about government failings they have witnessed in recent years.

My 18-year-old daughter and I chatted by phone last week. She was clearly excited about the Obama/McCain election. She had taken advantage of early voting, as did many of her friends, to cast the first ballot of her life. I mentioned that should the candidate she voted for win the election, he would likely be the John F. Kennedy of her generation, and she agreed.

A lot of older Americans believe Barack Obama is too inexperienced to govern the nation. Maybe, maybe not. While I respect the wisdom of elders, I don’t take anyone’s opinion or experience as gospel. Older folks are right about many things and some are wise in the years, but just because something has happened as expected 20 times in life does not mean it will happen as expected the 21st time.

Often young ones know, or sense, what is right and are not afraid to speak what they believe. Government sends youngsters off to war because they have bright, open minds and strong legs that will not collapse under stress when they miss an afternoon nap. So it should be inside the hallways of government when a battle is underway.

My overriding concern about this election is that no matter who is elected, America will remain a divided nation with the ridiculous red and blue name tags slapped on everyone that pollsters find so popular.

Americans need to rediscover the common political ground based on shared goals that everyone has, while exhibiting tolerance for opposing ideas.

If you were visiting England, would you describe yourself in causal conversation as an American, or would you say you were an American member of the Democrat or Republican Party?

It is best to view ourselves, as suggested by the Dalai Lama, in terms of “dependent orientation.”

He says in “Ethics for the New Millennium,” if we try to describe something as simple as a clay pot in one way, such as oval, we create a false impression of the pot because it is multifaceted. 

There can be no whole without the parts, and no concept of parts without the whole, even in  simple pot.

If we attempt to simplistically describe America, ignoring the mutual dependence that exists between the parts and the whole of the nation, we would again fail miserably. 

Even in quantum and probability physics, the Dalai Lama notes that scientists have difficulty observing at the subatomic level a clear distinction between the observer of an object and the object itself.

Americans are dependent upon the actions of others in their nation, and tolerance of the reasonable actions by others is essential to the cohesiveness and survival of the country.

Support of any political party on the ballot before and on election day is a reasonable act in a nation of free people.

When Americans have reason to come together in support of one elected leader again, whether grudgingly or wholeheartedly, the  country will be on the road to recovery.

And, John McCain will be proven correct for saying that America’s greatest days lie ahead of us.

Wade McIntyre is a reporter for The Gonzales Weekly Citizen. He can be reached at reporter1@weeklycitizen.com.