anne mikolay 2018The recent bombs mailed to prominent Democrats are tangible proof of the ill will rampant among political adversaries. Before the culprit was apprehended, suspicion and fear prompted predictable conspiracy theories. Some Republicans speculated Democrats sent the bombs to themselves in an effort to garner sympathy and win votes in the upcoming election. Democrats posited the Republicans were the masterminds and sent the bombs to frame the Democrats and make them appear calculating so they lose votes in November. Does all this sound stupid? Of course, it does. Ignorance IS stupid, but ignorance and hatred abound these days.

Where did all this shocking hatred come from? There are those who point an accusing finger at Donald Trump. While Trump’s behavior and rhetoric may have opened the door and unleashed dangerous derision among the American people, he is not completely at fault for the current volatile environment. We share responsibility for that.

Hatred is not discriminating. It’s everywhere and in everybody. Whether we activate that hatred is a personal choice. We possess free will, the faculty by which each of us decides upon and initiates action. Prominent politicians and political pundits do not tell me what to think or do. I am not charmed by any cult of personality or swayed by television political pundits on Fox or CNN. My political view is tempered by critical thinking and guided by a moral compass. You can passionately wear your red “Make America Great Again” cap or wave your “Vote Blue” flag, and I will not call you names, publicly embarrass you in any way, cancel our friendship, or mail you a bomb. My respect for your humanity will not permit it.

That respect, however, does not preclude anger. Like everyone else these days, I’m angry. And I am sad. This is not the America I wanted for my sons. I wanted a kinder, gentler world for them, a world sans bullying, a world in which fact is not challenged and truth is not deemed fake, a world in which you are not abandoned or verbally attacked by those with differing political opinions, a world led by respect and reason rather than an “us versus them” mentality, a world following the enlightened path of Christ.

Contrary to how that sounds, I am not delusional. Quite the opposite. I am deeply disillusioned and saddened by what I see around me.

I can’t tell you how to vote in November, nor can I say for certain if the outcome of the election will change anything at all in our country. All I can do is urge you to strip away the political garbage and allow your vote to be guided by that still, small voice within you that speaks only Truth.