Going Along to Get Along
Doing what is easy can make things harder
Too many people today are too willing to go along to get along. Yet it’s true in Matthew 5:9, where the Bible says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” And in Romans 12:18, where it says, as much as possible, “Live at peace with everyone.”
But the Bible also says, “For freedom Christ has set us free” and to “stand firm” (Galatians 5:1), and “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong” (Exodus 23:2).
Now, “going along to get along” arises from a desire to avoid conflict. Some may call it peer pressure. But it doesn’t take much to get us to just go along.
Advertisers know this. They don’t have to persuade us that their product or service is “good” as much as it’s the “fastest-growing” or “best-selling.”
Those calling for President Trump to concede the election understand the propensity of us all to go along to get along – even though there is credible evidence of voting irregularities and statistical impossibilities – that “going along” at this time may just be taking us for a ride.
But Joe Biden says it is “embarrassing” that the president won’t concede. John McCain’s widow says it’s time for Trump to “accept the results and get on with the healing.” The media says those who further Trump’s narrative of voting irregularities are “willingly damaging this country.” Trump critics are even creating “blacklists” of his staff and supporters who, as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put it, are “complicit” in undermining our elections.
And the pollsters (who got it so wrong in 2016)? They tell us today that nearly 80% of Americans recognize Presidentelect Joe Biden as the winner of the Nov. 3 election. Another poll says that 60% of registered voters believe this was a “free and fair election.”
But this has happened before, when the crowd got it completely wrong. Remember when Jesus and Barabbas stood before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, and a large crowd of people? The crowd’s loud shouting to “crucify him” was based on “some things they had heard” from others, but they got it wrong. It was mob rule then – is it mob rule again today?
“Mob rule” is why John Adams wrote that “there never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” It’s why James Madison wrote in Federalist 10 that “democracies have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” Thomas Jefferson opined, “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49.”
So why the rush in this election to follow mob rule, rather than the rule of law?
Because it’s far easier to “go along to get along.” But when we do what is easy, our lives will be hard. When we do what is hard, our lives will be easy. This is exactly why we teach our children not to follow the “crowd.” It takes nothing to join the crowd, but takes everything to stand alone.
The story of David and Goliath teaches us there are times when it is necessary to stand for what is right – and that’s more than merely standing up for what we want. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.
So, making sure that every legally cast ballot is counted (illegally cast ballots are not), before accepting the media’s declaration of a winner, is not only prudent in getting this election right, but necessary if we ever expect Americans to have confidence that their elections are both free and fair. As the U.S. Supreme Court put it, “Confidence in the integrity of our electoral processes is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy.”
With so much at stake in this matter, is getting along by going along really worth it?
Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.