The US Election: A Test Of Intelligent Obedience, Disobedience And Conversation
Many people I know are in post-election shock that their candidate lost the Presidential election. Many others are in shock that their candidate won the Presidential election.
A few people I personally know and appreciate had very degrading things to say about Hillary Clinton and the state of our society. Today I was able to say to them “I see the election wasn’t rigged after all.” They somewhat dazedly recognized this was true. I could then say that since what they were told about the election being rigged was untrue, they need to be vigilant that other things said to them aren’t also untrue. Meeting at this level held the hope that future conversations could be influenced by good information.
Intelligent Disobedience is based on the foundation of appropriate obedience. The first obedience in a democratic society is to the election process. We cannot insist that our opponents respect the outcome and then free ourselves from that same obligation. It is critical to remember that political processes are what substitute for hereditary rule or armed conflict.
At the same time, no election outcome frees us from the responsibility to remain vigilant that the powers of the elected office are not misused. History and contemporary affairs are replete with examples of using a democratic process to achieve office and then using the office to abrogate democratic processes. We must remain vigilant, even hyper-vigilant to any moves in this direction and mobilize our individual and collective power to reaffirming the values and legitimate processes of democracy, imperfect as they may be.
We live in a fractal universe. The patterns that exist at the lowest level are the patterns that are replicated at the highest level. Start with conversations with neighbors who think and voted differently, not to prove them wrong but to understand how they see the world, what they are hoping happens now, and what they are fearful of. You may well find that many of your fears are also shared by them. Now a conversation can begin.