I am a Christian whose hope is rooted in Jesus Christ; a Bishop charged with shepherding the people called United Methodists in Arkansas; and an American who loves my country and wants the best for all who live within its boundaries.
On this election day, we face overwhelming challenges in the midst of more polarization than any of us have experienced in our lifetime. It is so serious that governments and businesses are taking precautions to address the possibility of widespread violence, regardless of the outcome of today’s vote.
This unsettling landscape saddens me deeply. It also underscores the importance of ensuring that the long-accepted foundational principles at the heart of our democracy are fully operational. Indeed, it is essential if this grand experiment called the United States of America, imperfect as it may be, is to continue to thrive.
- Every person who is legally entitled to vote should be able to do so easily, without threat or manipulation of the process by either political party.
- Every individual who can vote has a responsibility to vote, because the voice of the people is the heartbeat of our nation.
- Every state must take the necessary time to correctly count all votes, because accuracy matters more than quick results.
- When it is determined which candidate has been elected – regardless of who it is – there must be a peaceful continuation of government for the sake of every citizen, our nation, and the world.
I am a realist about the current state of our nation. Yet I continue to have hope for our future because of the character of the American people. Fairness, decency and respect for the Constitution will ultimately take precedence over every other consideration. The vast majority of people will choose to be our ‘better angels’ in the coming days, weeks and months. And, as hard as it may be to imagine in the current political climate, Americans will find a way to come together to make our nation, and the world, a better place.