I spoke with a friend the other evening and was shocked when he said "he's not voting". Not voting? Although I don't normally impose my political beliefs on others (actually that's not true) in this election, at this time, I was floored by his response. Although I attempted to discuss the current state of our nation I realized my words fell on deaf ears. He was not interested, couldn't care less, felt his voice had no power. I realized there are probably thousands of citizens who feel as he does "what does it matter"? I left the conversation deeply saddened that individuals have lost the understanding of how powerful one vote can be and who seemingly forgot the people who died to give us the freedom to vote, to be heard. How quickly we forget the ancestors - all they sacrificed to give us freedoms we cast aside, believing they have no value. As if life has no value. Since Barack Obama, the first African American to be elected as President, we've witnessed an onslaught of right wing propaganda and masses of people "appreciating" hate groups and the violence they enact. As a nation that prides itself in being educated this onslaught reveals how uneducated, intolerant and biased we are. If we believe our vote doesn't matter and remain silent in the face of hatred ... "shock and awe" will pale in comparison to what's in store for our nation and for our world. Due to aging Supreme Court Justices it's likely that the next President will elect two Justices to our highest court. To our highest court. Personally and biased speaking, I shudder to think who Romney will appoint. We've seen his platform and those who support his nomination; again, I shudder at the thought of the deplorable corporations and right wing fanatics they've put in place that will decide justice. At times loving life and the exquisite beauty that it provides one can (almost) become defeated by the hatred attempting to eliminate beauty. Although I have known this defeat more times than I care to remember, something always makes me rise (as Maya Angelou states) “one more time”. Although currently I’m a tad whipped in the face of environmental destruction, racial disparity, religious animosity, political corruption and the religious right (thinking they’re right) I rise again. I ask that you also rise, even if you feel “what does it matter”? It does matter. We're at a turning point. As a society we are quick to forget. I ask that we not forget Gabrielle Giffords (please read her memoir) and how Sarah Palin, a Republican with ties to "God fearing hate groups" encouraged her supporters "keep them in our cross-hairs". Keep them in our cross-hairs? How utterly disgusting that a person chosen by the Republican Party to be our nations Vice President would utter such a hateful statement. If we support a mentality that inflicts harm on our own nation imagine what these people will do to other nations. I ask that we not forget innocent people who went to the movies one night with their children and never came out alive. I ask that we not forget people who went to their house of worship and never came out alive. I ask that we not forget Treyvor Martin, a young man walking home, shot because of what he looked like. I ask that you become engaged and confront the deplorable mentality sweeping our nation, a nation reputed to be "free". How free are we if we shoot others who don't look the same, worship the same, or have the same political views? I believe that we are a loving and kind people ... let kindness fill our ballots.
Vote. Volunteer. Have faith that your voice matters.