“Why Didn’t I See That Wreck Coming?”

Some wrecks you simply cannot see coming; others, well, it’s almost criminal negligence not to see them heading your way. The latter can and should be avoided.

If you are busy minding your own business as a good citizen when you are suddenly dispatched (tragically, for sure) by falling space junk, or perhaps by a less flashy but nonetheless spectacular, garden variety meteorite, I don’t see how anyone could rationally criticize you for not seeing the danger coming.

Of course, we’re so incredibly enlightened now that we can’t criticize anyone for anything. If we’re nailed on the noggin and nullified by a statue we’re busy pulling down, say, of a Confederate general or Mother Theresa (ours is not to reason why), and we are not city workers doing our job after a legal city council vote or city-wide “Does This Statue Offend Us?” referendum . . .

If we’re just short of other things to do, enjoy a good protest or riot, are full of ourselves and our victim-hood (whatever the issue and whatever our color, economic class, intelligence or lack thereof), and relish mayhem, and the statue we’re destroying accidentally destroys us, I don’t know that we’d have a lot to complain about. Vandalizing public property carries with it inherent risks that should not surprise us. Once upon a time, one of those risks was being arrested.

Some problems can’t be avoided, but others? Is it really necessary to light a cigarette while filling a gasoline can? Or why not just get out of the way of the speeding train? You saw it coming, right? Loud whistle. Bright light. In the name of all that still makes sense in this crazy world, why did you stand there and wait for its kiss—and then expect others to clean up and mourn the mess as being unpredictable?

And now, in the midst of an already crazy time comes Election Day rumbling down the track. If you’d be ecstatic over the choice between a proctological exam or a root canal, you’ll love this one. Even more lovely is the serious possibility that it will be Election Month (or worse).

In a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger writes that looking ahead at the coming election is like sitting in a boat about to plunge over Niagara Falls: any fool can see trouble coming.

He’s specifically talking about the mail-in ballots. Fraud possibilities aside (which seem very real to me), he’s talking about the widely varying state to state post-marking, acceptance, and verification rules for mail-in ballots. WSJ polling, he says, suggests that 66% of Trump voters plan to vote in person, and 75% of Biden voters say they’ll vote by mail. Interesting. But it means, basically, “parallel elections for the same office.”

I recently received four of the same item in the mail. Why? Because of mail delays—“item presumed lost”—the store tried three different times to mail me the same product. All of their tries finally, but very tardily, succeeded. I really don’t blame the USPS. The pandemic has their boat loaded. One might say that they are paddling near Niagara Falls. Already. And obviously.

So, writes Henninger, we see the problem coming. It’s headed our way. The wreck is completely predictable. Some states (wisely) require mail-in ballots to be received by Election Day (by close of polls) to be counted. So mail it very early; if you don’t, and it’s not counted, no whining. Some states say ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 2 or 3, but we’ll count them until X days after the election (or if they arrive before Easter in years when the big rodent saw his shadow on the previous Groundhog Day; just kidding on that last). Most states require that the voter have a pulse when he/she marks the mail-in ballot. (Kidding again. I’m not sure California or New Jersey require a pulse.)

Anyway, we’re just gonna watch this happen, singing “Row, row, row your boat merrily down the stream” as the thunder of the falls resounds and the spray hits us in the face? Really?

Such idiocy is breathtaking. We better work on fixing this now.

But before I get too haughty, perhaps I should recall how many times I’ve ignored my Father’s clear warnings and wise counsel, been utterly foolish or rebelliously disobedient, “sowed the wind” and “reaped the whirlwind.” Yes, and then acted surprised by the wreck!?

    You’re invited to visit my website, and I hope you’ll take a look there at my new “Focus on Faith” Podcast. At the website, just click on “Podcast.” Blessings!

Copyright 2020 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.

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