Don’t worry! We are done with elections for a while! I am not going to start writing about 2012 already! However, as annoying as the election commercials, mendacious politicians and all the assorted insults to our intelligence that are part and parcel of political campaigns are, we sometimes forget how truly remarkable a process it is in the history of our planet.
It is easy to become cynical about politics. However, as the above clip from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a film which took head on the issues of political corruption and the cynicism which it creates, indicates, we have a history in this nation which all Americans can take great pride in. Since 1788 we have had elections regular as clockwork to determine who will lead us, and a long history of such elections prior to that back to the earliest colonial settlements. Even when we were convulsed in a great Civil War, both sides held their elections. World Wars, Great Depressions, civic unrest, nothing has stopped our elections and the peaceful transfer of power. This is something truly rare on our planet, and we as a people have managed this feat for centuries. Our country has flaws and weaknesses, but we also have virtues and remarkable strengths, and our ability to resolve our differences peacefully through the ballot box is one of our greatest strengths.