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Changing the Game

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For those of us who find it impossible to cast a vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump on November 8, this poem by Artur Miedzyrzecki, written during Poland’s Solidarity revolution, has a certain resonance:

What does the political scientist know?
The political scientist knows the latest trends
The current states of affairs
The history of doctrines

What does the political scientist not know?
The political scientist doesn’t know about desperation
He doesn’t know the game that consists
In renouncing the game

It doesn’t occur to him
That no one knows when
Irrevocable changes may appear
Like an ice-floe’s sudden cracks

And that our natural resources
Include knowledge of the venerated laws
The capacity to wonder
And a sense of humor

“The game that consists in renouncing the game” doesn’t mean refusing to vote for president this year. I intend to write in a candidate I judge fit for the office, which is not a description I can apply in good conscience to Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump. But however one resolves the presidential dilemma this year, perhaps serious Catholics can agree on two other matters, thinking about our civic responsibilities over the short term and the long haul.

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