I am sending a short message this week on the eve of the U.S. election. It is an anxious and worrying election year — with the pandemic, the mechanics of voting, the political polarization and division. We may need to wait days or weeks while votes are counted or courts deliberate. I have great faith in our country’s institutions, but like many of you, I am concerned about the election outcome and the health of our democracy.
The best piece of recent news is that in the face of these challenges, Americans are voting in record numbers — more than 90 million so far, and probably more than 150 million when all is said and done. I am heartened to see us defying predictions of apathy and years of declining civic participation. I applaud everyone in the GSB community who has dedicated time and energy to this election process, from voting to participating in get-out-the-vote to volunteering at polling places on Tuesday.
Let’s remember that whatever happens this week, there will be work for all of us in helping the country move forward. At the same time we should take heart in the strength of our own institution. Whatever happens in a single election, the values of the GSB will continue: our commitment to educating leaders for society, supporting free and open inquiry, and bringing positive change to the world.