preparing for the election of our lives

Come Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, you and I will be doing two things: First, we’ll be deciding who will be our next president and vice president, our next senators and congresspersons, as well as our next state and local officials. Second, we’ll either be affirming or rejecting the direction that our current politicians have forged for us over the past several years. 2020’s presidential election is still months away, but even now it’s obvious that the ballot choices we each make that day will be among the most consequential we'll ever make.

The choices at the heart of the 2020 election involve some of the most complex and highly controversial that have ever been on a presidential ballot. Given the old 20th Century ways of seeing the world that most of us are using, and the ways today’s politicians are framing the issues facing us, it shouldn’t surprise us that the simple ballot choices we’ll be offered, in reality, won’t offer us a presidential candidate who will stand our as simply the right or the wrong choice. The ballots will check, mark, or punch in 2020 won’t offer us a sure, decisive candidate who will know how to solve the problems we face. 2020’s presidential ballot will not offer us any heroes. Nonetheless, the votes we cast, the choices we make, will be seminal. 


My answer to this dilemma is some kind of focused self-directed educational effort. I’ve looked closely as the issue, and believe the only way for any of us to make wise, well-informed decisions on November 3rd, 2020 is to engage in some serious, concentrated preparation. Without a doubt, the ballot decisions we’re going to make months from now are going to be choices that will have been influenced, even inflamed, by the highly polarized political environment that’s been the touchstone of our politics for years. In this environment, making wise, well-reasoned, and adequately evidenced choices will surely require the kind of concerted educational effort most of us have never thought necessary. Until now. 

Between now and November 3rd, 2020, I believe everyone who has a sense of this dilemma and who is interested in casting a wise choice needs to make sure they’re walking into their respective polling places well-enough informed to make wise, well-reasoned, evidenced-based ballot choices. If only because the political and ideological polarization that has swept through this country over the past two or three decades, as well as the highly complex, firmly entrenched problems that have been festering inside this country’s body politic for a while now, definitely prove that our ordinary experiences and our customary insights will not suffice for this election.

Getting to the place where we can make these kinds of choices will require a concerted effort, a serious investment of time and energy. I’ve thought a lot about this, and have concluded that the best way I know to get ready for November 3rd, 2020 is to engage in an some kind of preparatory effort with other interested people, where the initial questions being ask are, “On Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, what should our ballot choices be based on?” and “What should a wise, responsible choice look like?” 

In the short run -- between now and 2020 -- I’d suggest that the next steps that need taking are simple. Between today and Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, those of us who are interested in getting thoroughly prepared to vote should do two things:

  • Spend some time over the next several weeks critically questioning whether, at this point in time, you, for yourself, are reasonable well prepared to exercise well-informed, well-evidenced ballot choices in the primary and general elections that you’ll be involved in between today and November 3rd, 2020. Seriously question yourself about 

  • If your answer is anything but ‘yes,’ organize for yourself opportunities for better understanding the issues facing us, and deciding whether any of the candidates who are  running for president have the deep complex depth of understanding necessary to be a really good 21st Century Leader.

Here at TLO, I’m offering two ways you can get ready for 2020’s presidential election:

  • Schedule an exploratory conversation with me so that together we can examine how TLO's Presidential Election Resource Center can help you prepare for the 2020 election on your own. Either of these is a good way for you to step into these three tasks. 

  • Register for TLO’s 2020 Presidential Election Dialogue series.

Regardless of whether you make use of my support, there are other resources you could use. For instance, you could use The Bipartisan Policy Center to inform you about the best Republican and Democratic policy proposals. Or, you could access The Pew Research Center, which is in business to offer those who are interested the kinds of substantiated facts that facilitate open, evidence- based public dialogues. 

Regardless of the resource you use, the point is to get started thinking and talking about the new order of consciousness, the new mindsets, and the new modes of thinking that the 2020 Presidential Election process is demanding from us. Given that you want to make wise, well-reasoned, adequately evidenced 21st Century decisions on November 3rd, any one of these four doors is a good one to open. that to this