Sunday, October 12, 2008

To American Voters

There are a lot of angry voters out there. Anger that comes from fear, anger that comes from disgust, anger that comes from desperation, and anger that come from mistrust.

There are a lot of voters out there who follow the pied piper of their choice because they hear music they want to hear, because they hear the music they prefer, because they hear the music that is different, because they hear music that hypnotizes.

There are a lot of voters out there who are idol worshippers because the idol of their choice is bigger than life, because their idol has made history, because their idol talks a good talk, because their idol just is.

There are a lot of voters out there who want. They want change, they want guarantees, they want justice for those who did them wrong, they want scapegoats, they just want.

How many voters are following their heads over their hearts? How many voters really know when they hear a misstatement, a half-truth, a lie? How many voters are taking score rather than taking notice? How many voters truly know the difference between a right, a privilege, and a responsibility?

How many voters remember John F. Kennedy (or at least studied about him)? How many voters remember he is the one who said "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."? How many know that he also said "My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."?

How many voters remember reading in history books why this country was founded? How many voters really know what our rights mean? How many voters are asking "What's in it for me?" when they should be asking "What can I do?" How many voters understand what Thomas Jefferson meant when he said "What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?"?

This is the most critical election of my lifetime --- and I still have a lot of lifetime yet to live. My prayer is that the voters of America do these things:

  • Vote: with careful thought
  • Know the issues: at home and abroad
  • Know the consequences: for the present and for the future of our children
  • Think: with facts not feelings
  • Contribute: with patriotism, honor, compassion, and truth
  • Give your elected officials a report card now with your vote: pass or fail!
  • Keep in touch with your government, not just during elections, but everyday; hold the elected officials responsible.
  • Take a stand, don't pick sides.
  • Speak up!

Recently I stated that I didn't want to use this blog for politics. Well, self-examination revealed that I wasn't practicing what I've been preaching, especially when it comes to speaking up, participating, and holding myself responsible as an American voter. In blogs we have a tool to use any way we want to. We can write without censorship. Whether to get people to agree or disagree with our words may or may not be the bloggers' goals. But to simply write is my goal and if I make a difference, so be it. I read what others write, because I can, and I do. Sometimes they make a difference, sometimes they don't, and that's ok, too. Wherever you are in the world, you are important, and what you have to say is important. Please don't be hurtful, but be compassionate; don't be hateful, but be understanding; don't be apathetic, be a good citizen.

3 comments:

Linda said...

AMEN!

Carmi said...

What a powerful reminder of the important role each one of us plays in the preservation of the kind of life we all seem to take for granted.

Despite the fact that I'm not an American citizen, I feel exactly as you do. This is the most important election of our time, and it's up to all of us to make it count, to do whatever we can to solidify our collective future.

The reality and the concept of "Country" are really nothing more than the collective ability of all of us to make it happen. I shudder when I hear of people who selfishly wonder what their country can do for them. It just doesn't work that way.

Incidentally, Canadians go to the polls this Tuesday as well. It's widely considered a pivotal election as well, and I relish my own role in it. Sharing the experience with our kids - throughout the campaign, on election night and in the days that follow - is always a highlight for our family.

Thank you, by the way, for your very kind comment this evening on my blog. I'm truly touched, and very, very appreciative to be surrounded by such an amazing community.

lisaschaos said...

Good for you! I can respect people's opinions, just am so overloaded politically right now and I'm not happy with either choice.