It’s no secret that the tone of politics has changed in recent years. With things like hyper partisanship and an increasing lack of dialogue between sides, it can be difficult to imagine a world in which your chosen candidate does not win the election.
It’s important, however, to remember that at the end of the day we are all Americans that want the best for this country, and we will continue to live together as a community after Nov. 3rd.
This Election Day is unlike any other because of Covid-19 and increased mail-in voting. It is also likely that we may not know the outcome of the election for several days or even weeks, especially if results are close or challenged in court by either candidate.
Additionally, this election is viewed by many on either side of the political aisle as a high stakes election and tensions seem to be increasing as the Election Day draws near.
So, what can we do?
The Voter Engagement Roundtable and the Office of Community Engagement have two major ways we are working to cultivate mutual respect and find ways forward together this election season.
- Everybody Loves Lincoln – Comedy Night
- Hold America Together Campaign
- With Malice Toward None – Initiative and Pledge
Everybody Loves Lincoln
Let’s be honest guys, who doesn’t love Lincoln? He was an incredibly wise American president who fought to end slavery and keep America unified. Finally, something Republicans and Democrats can agree on!
That fight for unity and dialogue amidst politically intense times is exactly what we should be looking for this election season.
Join us Tuesday, October 20th, from 6:30-8:00pm for a special evening featuring Comedian Tehran Von Ghasri and a panel discussion around defunding the police or defending the blue. With a little humor and some open minds, let’s show that we can delve into complex issues together, be serious and thoughtful about politics, AND be respectful and civil towards those with whom we disagree.
Tehran Von Ghasri is an up and coming comedian from the Hollywood comedy scene. His background is as diverse as this country: Black and Persian, Muslim and Jewish. He has been featured on HBO, Comedy Central, and Fox. He has been compared to Dave Chappelle meets Maz Jobrani, so the night is sure to be a fun one! You can find Tehran in his hit Comedy Store podcast called Imperfect Gentleman or on social media @IAmTehran.
For more information and registration, visit the event page – Everybody Loves Lincoln
Hold America Together Campaign
As a way to demonstrate our individual commitment to non-violence and to peaceful post-election season, we invite you to join the Hold America Together campaign hosted by Braver Angels. This trans-partisan group brings together Reds and Blues across the political spectrum committed to preserving our democratic structures and putting the greater good ahead of any political party or platform.
At this moment of danger and in this era of divisiveness, we the American People come together to speak for the Union. Some will vote for President Trump and others for Vice President Biden. But in this season of intense and legitimate partisanship, we commit ourselves also to a higher partisanship, for the maintenance of our Union; for the importance of our shared civil life; and for those feelings of goodwill that Lincoln called the better angels of our nature.
With Malice Toward None Initiative and Pledge
“With malice toward none, with charity for all…” – Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865
We have the privilege of living in a democracy, where our ideas and ideals can be shared and exchanged with the constant goal of producing a better republic. Issues, however, arise when our ideas or desires for this country conflict. When this happens its important to remember that moments like this are inherent to democracy, but that at the end of the day we should aim for charity towards our fellow Americans. This can look like a couple of things:
- Perspective taking
- Pursuing civil dialogue
- Exposing yourself to a variety of news outlets
Having to confront a loss on election day is no easy feat. It will be normal to experience feelings of hostility and anger towards the other side or even seek isolation from people who voted differently from you.
The With Malice Toward None initiative through Braver Angels seeks to work against this division by encouraging organizations to hold gatherings for dialogues between both sides in an effort to promote perspective taking and unity. They have a variety of resources and talking points for these gatherings which can be found here (Link: Braver Angels).
There is also a pledge that we would encourage you to read over and see if it is something you would like to sign. The pledge reads as follows:
“Regardless of how the election turns out, I will not hold hate, disdain, or ridicule for those who voted differently from me. Whether I am pleased or upset about the outcome, I will seek to understand the concerns and aspirations of those who voted differently and will look for opportunities to work with people with whom I don’t agree.”
A link to the pledge can be found here (Link: With Malice Toward None Pledge).
With Malice Toward None programming will be held in January, leading up to the inauguration.
For your reference: