The No-Good-Choice election

At our monastery, each meal always has a main entree and at least one alternative. As a vegetarian, though, I often go through the dinner line and find nothing that’s tasty and good for me. The solution is easy: I can bypass the entrees in favor of a simple sandwich or bowl of soup.

The problem is worse with a presidential election. There’s no equivalent of a peanut-butter sandwich when both candidates are utterly unpalatable.

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  1. For those who view the USA from outside – the problem may actually may be with some of your major media outlets which appear to not actually report “news” but make “news” which appear to be “making up news.” Two major outlets have allowed themselves no longer to be journalism but controlled by opposite parties and lobby groups which are over funded by a few seeking additional power and control. Also there are nasty bloggers (not yourself) who have gained celebrity status and the “attack ads” are not something that other countries find approriate. For example – it is known worldwide that Americans are swallowing the media suggestions that your President is a Muslim, socialist and not an American or that the Republican is too wealthy and lacking global understanding for the job. The USA also is perceived from the outside as being full of anger – Americans angry at each other for almost everything including whatever the tensions their Church problems may be and a people who are very very polarized. As a citzen of a neighbouring democratic country – I can only encourage you first to vote even if it is difficult and then as a Benedictine – work to assist many to learn to meditate and find their true selves and the truths out there versus what is now being “fed to all” and rediscover the true realities and the realistic future. All the best towards a healthy future.

    • Thank you for useful perspective.

      The media do not serve us well in the USA. I long since turned them off. When I see many legal scholars and solid Christian social scientists (liberal and conservative) dismayed at the choices, I know my own dismay is real.

    • As a retired newspaper reporter, I find the media situation to be very sad. When I studied journalism, I had “objectivity” pounded into me. I still think you’ll find it in the smaller papers, thank goodness.

      • I thought Sue made an interesting point when she said that Americans are viewed as “full of anger.” Outrage is an easily-created emotional connection. TV, especially, seems to be focused on fomenting outrage.

        The discourse used to be more noble – focused on the common good – and objective journalism supported that approach.

        Still, in this election, I have thought a lot about what the nation might be like at the end of a four-year administration of either candidate. The pictures differ, but either makes me weep.

  2. You’re so right. The only thing we can do is line up our priorities and then pick the candidate who backs the most serious ones–then pray like crazy that God will honor us for doing our best. Like the Gospel said today, “Take courage.”

    • I think it is more difficult for you in a “swing state” where the vote you cast may be one that affects the final outcome strongly.

      Monasteries sometimes end up having an administrator for a period of time, rather than a Prioress or Abbot. It usually means they have problems to solve or decisions to make – and the leadership of a caring outsider who has no stake in the community frees everyone up to focus on the question and move forward.

      I don’t know what the equivalent would be for a nation, but if I could vote “none of the above” and get a disinterested administrator, I would do it in a flash.

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