When it comes to presidential elections, I think it’s safe to say that we have never seen anything quite like the one we’re currently experiencing, at least in modern times. Reporters are writing stories on the anxiety and fear that Americans are experiencing as the election draws near. Add social media to the mix where people can post, share and comment however they so choose behind their computer screen, and it’s no wonder we’re all at least a little anxious and fearful.
Social media is one thing. I can keep scrolling. I can remove myself if I choose to (and I do). But what if there is political discord at home?
My husband and I are basically on the same page on most if not all issues. We’ve had all the big discussions over the years and there is little to no conflict, minus your run-of-the-mill spats that come with two imperfect people living together (Why Dear God WHY must you pile all the dishes into the sink and then we cannot use said sink?! — a recent complaint regarding my dishwashing technique via the spousal unit).
Enter the Great Election of 2016.
Neither one of us is super political. I consider myself the quintessential moderate (or as my husband might say: insufferable hippie*). I can often see both sides of an issue, and with the exception of a few ideals and policies, it can be very hard for me to make a firm decision or stance. In politics, nothing is ever simple or straightforward. I find this so frustrating.
But as this election has run its chaotic course, one thing is positively not complicated for me: I cannot in good conscience vote for one of the particular major party candidates. My husband feels the exact same way … about the OTHER one. We have never really discussed politics very much in the past, but in this election season we have gotten into VERY heated (raised voices even!) discussions. We’re kind of known for our generally chill, laid back nature, so this is kind of a big deal.
Here’s the thing. We can debate with each other all we want (and we have), but we’ve come to the conclusion that we simply are not going to align on this. But we think that’s okay. Here’s why:
1. Our political views do not define who we are.
Though I may not agree with some of the things my husband believes politically, this does not change my view of who he is as a man, husband, father and friend. And I know he feels the same way about me. We will each vote how we see fit, and nothing will change between us. Because at the end of the day, our political views amount to just a small portion of our makeup as humans — in this family anyway.
2. We do not have to agree on everything.
Gone are the days when the whole family voted based on the views of the “head of the household.” I have my voice and he has his (even if that means I cringe at that meme he just posted…REALLY, Honey?!). For many things he and I need to have a unified voice — our beliefs regarding God, the discipline of our children, our finances — but politics is not one of those things. In fact, it makes for some interesting discussions that we can have respectfully because we love and respect one another. Even if sometimes we have to walk away for a hot minute.
3. It’s ultimately not up to us (a very personal belief I hold dear).
No, I’m not implying the election is rigged (my husband may say otherwise*), but I am saying that I believe that God is in control over the election and its outcome. Whomever is elected will be utilized for a overarching plan that is good and perfect. To me that is very freeing. I’m not saying that we don’t have a duty to be well informed and active in the election process because I think we do. But I take a lot of comfort in knowing that a sovereign God presides over all things, including America’s presidential race.
4. It will be over soon.
Can I get an AMEN? I don’t know about you, but I am ready for something else to complain and stress about. I’m ready to be embarrassed by something ELSE my husband posts on Facebook. Sometime in November — by December for sure — we will have a new president. We must move forward. I plan to respect the results of the race no matter the outcome and back the new leader of our country. I just checked with the Hubs and he promises to do the same, even if it means we’re all doomed as a result of my wrongdoing.*
*Obviously kidding there, but I’m writing this so I get to make the jokes at his expense.