Op-EdOpinion

WILLIAMS: Carnac I’m Not

More chronologically advanced late-night television viewers are familiar with Johnny Carson and his character, “Carnac the Magnificent.” Carnac’s claim to fame was his ability to prognosticate and “predict the future.” Writing “in front” of major events always makes me feel like Carnac. As I write this, I am clueless as to whom the label, president of the United States, applies, but I most certainly have my preference.

Voting is the ultimate exercise of mimicking Carnac and his predictive abilities — we may not know, with accuracy, what the future holds, but we understand what we want and who/what we feel will serve our best interests. YES! I have expectations for what I would like to happen and who I would like to see “deliver the goods.”

Although some consider the Constitution as an imperfect document and history has shown many of its more glaring faults, as a source of law and guidance, it is greatly preferable to the whims and mood swings of a would-be dictator (#45). In its origins, it was written to protect the interests of “white men,” but, with the aging of the nation and the resulting cultural evolution, the application of hypocrisies in the law have become increasingly intolerable.

“To establish a more perfect union” is testament to the founders’ understanding that improvements could be made (I’m sure that most of them would be rolling in their graves with the changes thus far realized) and that responsibility for improvement was left to the inspired judgment of elected officials. For most of the current federal leadership (executive, legislative and judicial), I see financial self-interest and partisanship informing the so-called inspired judgment. I don’t predict but hope that the 2020 election has provided us with electees who more closely adhere to the principles of true democracy.

COVID-19 has given us reason to believe the empirical data provided by the scientific community. The more than a quarter-million U.S. deaths (so far) informs us that a politically motivated response to a disease is never a substitute for scientific research and study. I don’t predict but hope that the 2020 election provides us with electees who have genuine concern for the health and welfare of ALL citizens.

The history of humankind is replete with the lessons of truth vs. lies in national leadership. Fact-checkers estimate that as of July 9, #45 has told about 25,000 lies. Forbes magazine estimates his lie output at 23.5 per day. Lies from leadership have never been predictors of successful government. Our own three-plus years’ experience suggests the same. I don’t predict but hope that the 2020 election provides us with electees who will be truthful, at least more truthful than #45.

One of my greatest hopes is that the 2020 election has provided a president who rejects the politics of hate and who is dedicated to the goal of national unification. That goal is considered by many as impractical. Our original sin of racism and our intolerance of gender, gender identity, religion and ethnicity are deeply woven into the fabric of our culture — some believe too deeply to overcome. I don’t predict but hope that the 2020 election provides us with a president-elect who will lead us away from past efforts to exploit differences and toward the realization that we have more in common.

While “character” is a nebulous description, the 2020 election postscript I most desire is the election of leaders with character. Character has been described as “what you do when you think no one is looking.” I reject a leader who has questionable loyalties and indebtedness to unknown sources. His decisions cannot be trusted.

I don’t predict but pray and believe that my 2020 vote served to support these hopes!

Williams is president of the National Congress of Black Women.

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