Posted by: Don Bemis | November 25, 2011

Three cheers for democracy!

Democracy is wonderful!

This may sound strange from somebody who just lost an election, but I prefer to leave office this way instead of being shot.  That’s how it’s done in some other parts of the world.

That is what I said at the end of the last local City Council meeting.  Come January, the winner will get my chair and the issues that come with it.  I had missed the filing deadline to be put on the ballot, so I filed an “Intention to Run” instead, meaning I would be a write-in candidate.  A few weeks later, another person decided to run his own write-in campaign.  He ran harder than I did, and more people wrote down his name than mine.  It was a civil, low key campaign.  After the ballot count, we shook hands and went home.

Maybe if I had put more effort into it, I would have won.  I’m not going to worry about it.  I prefer to leave it up to God and the voters, because it isn’t the end of the world for me or the community.  I don’t have all the answers.  Anybody who thinks he or she does, doesn’t.  For those reasons, I should not feel compelled to bend the rules, look for shades of gray, or destroy my opponents to support my causes.

The two most dangerous words in the English language must be, “If only…”  That expression can paralyze us with regret or, alternatively, push us into doing something foolish.  “If only” presupposes that we know what would have happened if only things had been different.  We don’t.  We paint the “if only” picture as if we could write the script without interruption, and as if all the actors would stick to the lines we wrote.  Forget it!  Did the cat honk up a hairball this morning?  I’ll bet you didn’t write that in.  Were you cut off at the traffic light this afternoon?  That wasn’t in the script, either.  So if you had really said such-and-such to So-and-So, do you really know how they would have reacted?

Every day is full of unexpected occurrences.  Some of the best things in my life have resulted from other things I would not have chosen.  I have lost jobs and gotten better jobs because of the losses.  Then there is that election.  I won’t have to schedule everything around meeting days.


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