The United States of America has just completed another national, biennial, election cycle. We have elected the 111th Congress and the 44th President of the United States, and from now on everything is going to be completely different; or so goes the popular post-election parable.
Except that now the public is (again) waking up to the fact that everything is not going to be completely different. Instead, everything – governmentally speaking – is going to remain pretty much the same, which goes a long way toward explaining why the number preceding the current Congress is “111? and the number preceding the current President is “44.” Our system of government doesn’t contemplate total change, and every two years we the voters receive nothing more, and often less, than the incremental change we have come to expect since the founding of this nation.
But what about peace among nations, peace among men and women, peacekeeping, peacemaking, mediating and conflict resolution? Didn’t the party of peace win this election cycle?
No, the party of peace didn’t win this election cycle. There is no party of peace.
Peace is nonpartisan.
Peace was and is without portfolio, without a platform, a mere pawn in the election cycle; just like poverty and abortion and education and crime. The most recent election had, at best, an unknown effect upon peace as measured by the numbers of people, and businesses, and nations in conflict around the world. And it remains to be seen whether the relative efforts expended by the new administration on war fighting and intelligence gathering and diplomacy will result in more or less peace. It was always thus, because peace is complicated, like poverty and abortion and education and crime.
There will, of course, be an unknown amount of public money spent by the new administration on both public and private programs in the name of peace, incrementally more or less than was spent by the 110th Congress, and the 109th, and the 108th. And it remains to be seen what effect this spending will have on peace, although it will have a direct and measurable effect upon the peace industry.
The public will have peace when it decides it wants peace, just like parties in litigation.
As stated so eloquently by the 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, certainly an expert on war and peace:
I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 – 1969)
Peace, like war, is nonpartisan, and it is not helpful to the peace process to pretend that peace votes democratic, or republican.
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