First I shake the whole Apple tree, that the ripest might fall. Then I climb the tree and shake each limb, and then each branch and then each twig, and then I look under each leaf.
Any election cycle in a free country is indeed a free-for-all, with the loudest and brashest citizens shouting their personal opinions far and wide. This election season has been particularly noxious, with the presidential candidates and their followers talking over and above each other until no one bothers to listen.
Since this time around I have no candidate, my voice is meager in comparison. Some would say I have no say since I refuse to partake of rotten apples.
Yet on election day, each citizen, even the smallest and meekest, has the opportunity to express themselves, quietly and alone in a pas-de-deux between them and their personal ballot. Their vote, whether checking a box next to a candidate name, or writing in an alternative, is just as significant.
With each news cycle, each debate, each Tweet, we just want to see this election over and done with. We have shaken the electoral apple tree so hard that all the ripe and bitter and rotten fruit has fallen to the ground. We then must cope with whatever harvest we reap with our votes.
Rarely do we find near-perfect fruit; this year it is already rotted on the branch, tainted from the start.
Some citizens vote along party lines only; the quality of the candidate is immaterial as long as they have the right party affiliation. Other citizens turn over every leaf in detailed scrutiny of each candidate’s history and qualifications and vote character over platform. This year there are citizens like myself who see nothing in the current candidates for president but worm holes leading to a fermented core of character rot.
Rotten to the core doesn’t even make edible applesauce. It is good for nothing but the compost pile in the hope that the fertilizer of today it will somehow yield better fruit tomorrow.
In my opinion, this time around there is no candidate worthy to lead a country founded on the principles of equality for all individuals as well as preventing the tyranny of government in the personal lives of citizens. The candidates have fostered a confused and too-angry citizenry, divided and divisive, shaking our shared tree for all its worth to see what’s in it for us, thus threatening the life of the tree itself.
The moral foundation of our country is mocked by these deeply flawed individuals who believe they deserve to be in the Oval Office despite their dark personal histories, statements and actions. This election has become all about them and what they want, not about the integrity our country desperately needs in its leaders.
So I pray for a day when we can set differences aside and raise up leaders who can as well. We must work together to care for the tree that bears the fruit needed for our children’s future. Let’s bury this year’s rot around the roots, water it generously and prune the old dead useless stuff away. The branches will be stronger, the blossoms hearty and ready for pollination (if there are any bees left), and the resulting fruit more palatable.
Perhaps next time around the worms won’t win.
That’ll be the day.
When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow