As much as I spout the talk and tout the right to vote; there was one time that I chose NOT to vote for the presidency of the United States. Me, a woman, who knows full well about the suffrage movement, the sacrifices and the suffering that so many women gave so that we/I could have the right to vote. Yeah, I’m not too proud of myself for that move, but hear me out.
I just got so sick and tired of always having to choose between the lesser of two evils instead of the right man for the job. And who’s to say that the right man for the job wouldn’t be a woman? But I digress.
As Americans, we stand very proud of our country, our freedoms and our liberties. We don’t always stand very proud of our President.
Here is where I insert that am a registered Independent. I have spent equal years voting Republican as I did a Democrat. Each time I felt apologetic for some of my choices.
As I was growing up, my grandpa would always tell me that Democrats were for the little people and Republicans were for the wealthy. Never once in his life did he vote Republican. He was very proud of that.
Grandpa was a commercial fisherman in Depoe Bay, Oregon. A survivor of the great depression, he knew all too well what it was to be dirt poor. He raised my mom alone, without the benefit of a wife, during the toughest years this country has known. He was constantly hopping railroads to get jobs and becoming a jack of all trades to survive. I loved listening to his stories far more than he loved telling them.
Having lost a leg to diabetes, his last years were spent in a wheel chair. The boat was sold for income and the call of the sea was silenced. He remained the humble proud man I always knew; the staunch Democrat.
So you can imagine my surprise, when in 1987, on my yearly pilgrimage to Oregon to visit him, I saw framed on his wall a 14×16 framed picture of our very Republican President, Ronald Reagan. You could have pushed me over with a feather.
After some visiting, cooking and eating I got around to the subject and I softly asked the question. He quietly told me that he is and always will be a Democrat, and advised me that the man whose picture that hung from a rickety nail in the wall was that of his president.
Grandpa always believed in supporting his neighbor, his church folk, his family. I never knew it extended to supporting the opposing political party. But it did.
That was the day I learned what politics should be about. Standing and working together as countrymen is something I haven’t seen in our political system in years. Way too many years.
These days the political conventions feel more like modern day gladiator arenas. The pomp, the circumstance and the pageantry are all there to impress and pump up the crowd. It’s a bit sickening when you think about it.
And when the votes are cast and the decision is made, we, as a nation, stand with one leader. Wouldn’t it just make sense that we all get behind him and work as a team? I know, we all have differences, but it seems that far too many of those differences are geared towards bias ideals, corrupt lobbyists and corporate greed.
As adults, we are supposed to have learned how to speak our differences without hatred and manipulation. It’s called conversation and negotiation. Something I fear our present legislators know little about.
And so, we the people vote and continue to get taxed. And then taxed some more. Our resources are being depleted, our jobs are being outsourced, our national debt escalates, our federal government continually fails to uphold our laws, our banks aren’t lending and our leaders aren’t leading.
The situation feels hopeless and it leaves us feeling helpless. We are far from it my friends.
I learned a long time ago that silence gets you nothing; something about the squeaky wheel getting the grease.
As we watch the debates unfold and listen to both parties views, agendas and propaganda, when the time comes in November, let us step away from the hype and the sound bites.
Let us do the most American thing of all; vote.