‘Fall’ into election season

KC Bunch
There are many reasons that fall is my favorite season, but it also being election season isn’t one of those reasons. I love the cooler temperatures, the smell of leaves and moisture in the air and pumpkin spice anything, but I really dislike elections. I am as opinionated as the next guy when it comes to issues that face Americans, issues like taxes, civil liberties, the Constitution…you name it and I probably have an opinion on it. However, elections kind of take the wind out of my sails in my celebration of fall. Last fall we had the presidential elections that dragged on for about three months. This fall the world is watching our west coast to see if Gavin Newsom gets to keep his seat at California’s governor’s table or if it will change and California will see its very first black Republican governor in its history. 
When remembering my American History (my Dad was my history teacher in high school) I can only recall ever hearing of one other black Republican governer: P. B. S. Pinchback. Pinchback’s own rise to the governor’s seat was somewhat chaotic as well and it was also short-lived, as would Larry Elder’s be, should California recall Newsom and should Elder get the votes needed to win against a plethora of other candidates. 
Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback was a Union Civil War veteran who decided he liked New Orleans and in 1868 was elected to the Louisiana State Senate, becoming the president pro tempore of the state level senate. When Lt. Gov. Oscar Dunn (also the very first black lieutenant governor to be elected to office) fell ill and died, Pinchback became the acting lieutenant governor. Then, upon the impeachment of the young Henry Warmoth, the job of governor fell to Pinchback…and he served for only 34 days in that position, from Dec. 9, 1872 to Jan, 13, 1873. 
What preceded and followed Pinchback’s governorship was a wild, chaotic and unprecedented literal war for the governor’s seat in Louisiana. If you ever get a chance to read about the Battle of Liberty Place, you should do it. It makes last year’s presidential race pale in comparison…and helps me understand why we keep repeating ourselves in government. I think it is because no one actually reads history anymore. The old  adage that “those who do not learn from their history are doomed to repeat it” rings loud and clear in my ears.
For me, fall has always been a time to stop running around aimlessly and take a deep breath before the winter sets in. It has always been a time for reflection, focus and narrowing of my gaze to see what is of greatest importance. Even though I have a grand disdain for politics, it seems that fall has also become a time where that focus and clarity of thought for me brings the landscape of the political in to full view. 
As this year has been a time to look at the reality of goals and also the time to reflect on the traditions I want to bring forward in to my life and my family, this fall has been a time to analyze the choices I make and the direction I want to see my country move in for the future. I want to return to having my fall be filled with the wonder it once was, but not out of ignorance and not to the point of disregarding the importance of the future of my country. 
So, although I dislike elections, and even politics to a greater degree, I am going to make preparing for and participating in fall elections something that I look forward to instead of loathing every year. I am not going to let history repeat itself, if I can do something, even something small, to keep that from happening. If we can each do our little part to study history then hopefully we can learn from that same history and keep it from repeating itself. 
This article will already be published by the time we know what the results will be for the California governor recall election. My hope is that you will reflect on what you have seen and heard in the news and weigh it against history. Then I hope we can all make informed and balanced decisions going forward, and respect each other in our differences, if we learn nothing else from history, let’s keep that “respect” part for one another.
Let’s enjoy fall, and look toward the future with genuine respect for our fellow man (and woman).

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