Voting: Making It Great

 


Let me come out and say it.  American is NOT great.  I WANT America to be great. But take a long, hard, HONEST look at our country right now.  We are NOT great.  We are a HOT MESS.  

This has been bothering me for a while.  I've been trying to put this into a post for a while.  I've been unsuccessful, but I'm going to give it another try.  Because if nothing else, I need to try. 

There are a plethora of issues and problems that need to be addressed and solved.  There have always been problems, but we've got more than our share of them right now and while I don't have the answers to all of them, I DO see ways to get ourselves out of this pit that we have dug ourselves in.  We need leaders who will LEAD and focus on/care for all equally (or as equally as possible because let's face it we are ALL biased in one way or another.)  I want to be clear that this is NOT about political parties. Parties are NOT the problem; PEOPLE and their behavior are the problem.  One of the major problems I see is that the behavior of many of our leaders (and as an offshoot, ourselves), is one of intolerance and disrespect.

Our Constitution provides us with certain rights.  We have freedom of religion; that doesn't just mean "our" religion.  We need to respect and honor that each and every one of us have the ability to worship freely, even if that religion isn't our own.  

(Of course if we're going to go down the "Good Christian" route; I would like to see less waving of the Bible and more reading and following of such. One passage in Leviticus [that's Old Testament to those who want to follow along] has been haunting me since Sunday:  "19:15 You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. 19:16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the LORD.  19:17 You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. 19:18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD."  Can we all just think about that for a minute?)

We have the right to free speech; not hate speech.  There is a difference.  (Which brings me back to the above chapter and verse above:  Leviticus 19:16.)  We can disagree without hate. We can have share differing options without resorting to hostility.   We have given up respect and instead filled our words with contempt and rancor.  Hatred only begets hatred.  We have forgotten that our words ARE us.  What we say and how we say it matters. (Sarcasm is an art; very few of us are well versed in that art.)

Going off on a tangent, we need to stand by what we say.  Don't say it unless you mean it; even if it puts you in a difficult position.   When I give up chocolate for Lent, I give it up for Lent. That doesn't mean I give up chocolate but when someone gives me a bag of M&Ms during Lent I eat them.  There's the old saying (which I've been told goes back to the 1500s!):  My word is my bond.  Our country's leaders should do well to stand behind this; so should we.

We have the right to peaceful assembly.  I've seen this in action and it's a beautiful and powerful thing.  Assembling in peace makes a powerful statement; those who try to break up the peace or destroy it from within are making a mockery of our Constitution.  (This also kind of goes back to Leviticus 19:18!) 

I could go on (and I'd like to go on and address Amendment II, which I think needs clearer parameters since what was considered "arms" when the Constitution was written has dramatically changed, but I need to keep my sanity in check for now and TRY to focus on what I've started here), but my point (I think I have one) is that we should expect our leaders to support and follow the Constitution.  Any changes (amendments) need to be for ALL the people (and not for an elite group).  When our leaders no longer do this or support the welfare of the people, we have the responsibility to find and vote for new leaders.  We VOTE for our leaders and when they no longer lead, we have a duty to replace them. When they longer represent us and/or focus on our concerns, we need to find someone who will.  Our President and indeed all our representatives (no matter what level they might be at) are temporary and they are PUBLIC SERVANTS.  It is our right and our duty to see that those who govern do so in a way that best represents us.  (I say best for a reason, because there will NEVER be someone who is ideal...and to think there might be is unrealistic.)

Next Tuesday is "Election Day."  I put that in quotes because this year is a lot different than any other year.  I have already voted.  And when I voted I thought about America.  I thought about our issues and problems.  I thought about what I would want to change and what I might want to stay the same/keep.  I cast my ballot in the hopes that America can be great.  Great, not just for me, but for all of us.

But that's just me.  You have a choice too.  Think about it.  Make it.  Vote it.

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