Minister’s Message for October 16, 2020

From UU Principle Five:  We Covenant to Affirm and Promote . . the use of the democratic process . . in society at large. 

After today, Friday, there are only 17 daystwo and a half weekstill the election, and a lot of people are worried.  The stakes are high, and the sides are far apart, more far apart, and more hardenedit seems, than at any time since the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and the Civil War that that election triggereddeepening a division that has lasted till our own time.  

We have seen and felt tension like this before Johnson vs. Goldwater in 1964, Nixon’s re-election in 1972, George W. Bush’s (and Richard Cheney’s) re-election in 2004.  But it seems that 2020 is, in Churchill’s words, a hinge of fate.  

We want to be able to say that our worries are exaggerated.  They may be, and we hope they are, but there is an undercurrent of the threat of violence that is new.  New to White people, anyway. 

I realized today I had become fearful of what might happen in the polling place where I may be observingshould a couple of fearsome, armed, Proud Boys come in as poll-watchers, and begin to intimidate voters, and act as if they have the right to intervene, which has happened in some places.  All we can do about that there is watch the watchers, and report.  It has said by every generation since 1790, that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.  And standing up for liberty when she is threatened. 

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