1. Update
  2. Voting & Elections

Everyday Prophets Still Needed

By Diane Randall, November 7, 2018


The elections are over. The new 116th Congress will start on Jan. 3, 2019 with no single party controlling all the levers of power.

This election brought a huge a resurgence of engagement in our democracy. Hundreds of new people ran for office and thousands campaigned for them. Millions of people voted, despite efforts to suppress their vote in some states. More women—including for the first time Native American and Muslim women—were elected than ever before.

It is our fervent hope that those elected to this Congress will support policies and legislation for ALL Americans and turn back the forces of intolerance, racism, white supremacy, and incivility that plague our nation.

The midterm election tells us that participatory democracy matters. Civility matters. Despite the invectives and threats that President Trump emphasized in his campaigning, the majority of Americans reject the vilification of people based on religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender.

It is our fervent hope that those elected to this Congress will support policies and legislation for ALL Americans and turn back the forces of intolerance, racism, white supremacy, and incivility that plague our nation. Our country needs national unity, not nationalism. Our country needs hope in a future for our children and for a peaceful world.

The midterm election exposed the raw fissures that divide our country. The dark forces that marginalize and harm people in this country today are making our nation weak. Countering this malignancy requires our political leaders to speak out for people’s freedom to practice religion without fear; for citizens’ right to vote without obstacles; for every person’s right to healthcare; for a country that promotes peace, diplomacy and the rule of law. Congress can exert positive leadership, rather than destructive division.

As Quakers, we try consistently to speak truth to power. We strive to see that of God in every person. People of faith and people who live from an ethical and moral basis seek to #Lovethyneighbor (no exceptions). This is a message for all of us, no matter how difficult after this election.

However, who we elect to Congress is only one indicator of the health of our democracy and the state of our society.

Just as important is the persistent engagement of people with our government, no matter who holds the power of elective office. We need to be engaged as the everyday prophets whose lives and witness project hope amid disappointments and the political maelstrom of today.

This is the bedrock of our democracy. Its health depends on our relationships with other humans as we build our community, our democracy.

Democracy is not won or lost in just one election. Rather, democracy needs to be continually tested, strengthened, and rebuilt regularly for it to survive.

As people of faith, we are reminded of our prophetic witness for truth in times of deep division—over slavery, over women’s suffrage, over war. We will faithfully stand together with people of good will to work for a world without war, with equity and justice, where every person’s potential is fulfilled, and the earth is restored.

Diane Randall

  • Executive Secretary

Diane Randall is the Executive Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Diane leads FCNL’s staff to effectively educate and lobby for the policies and legislative priorities established by FCNL’s General Committee. A lifelong advocate for peace and social justice, Diane is a fierce proponent for citizen engagement that advances policies and practices to create a better society for all.