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 day in a free country can seem like a free-for-all, with the loudest citizens shouting their personal opinions far and wide. Yet today every individual, even the smallest and meekest, has the opportunity to have their say, quietly and alone– a pas de deux between their ballot and them.
This particular free-for-all has lasted for months. There is now nearly universal desire to just get it done, shaking the electoral apple tree so hard that ripe and bitter and green fall to the ground. We then settle in and cope with whatever harvest we have reaped with our votes. Sometimes we get near perfect fruit; other times we get rotten to the core.
Some citizens vote down party lines only; the quality of the candidate matters not 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.
I truly had to cover my eyes as I voted for some candidates. Neither felt like a worthy choice to represent a country founded on the principles of religious freedom and escape from the tyranny of government in the lives of citizens. We are indeed a confused and too angry people, divided and divisive, all shaking the tree for all its worth to see what’s in it for us, threatening the life of the tree itself.
May tomorrow be a day when we set the differences aside, working together to make applesauce, blending it together for the ultimate good of all.
That will be the day.