I have been a conscientious objector for many years. I refused to actively take part in our governmental system as an individual. I have many reasons for this, including a belief that the electoral college system of election in this country is corrupt, and does not accurately account for the desires of most of the citizens of this nation.
This election season, a man stood up and said much of what I have already believed these many years, about our very governing systems, our economy, state of our nation in the greater global community, and about freedom and equality – two things that were imbued upon the defining document of this nation’s values.
Note: I’m not making excuses for our founding fathers’ problematic behaviors, but in my opinion, whether they practiced equality as we today believe it to be or not, they practiced equality as they believed it to be then… and many of our greatest leaders have understood that those behaviors were faulty and a product of societal pressures of the time, and changed our secular doctrines accordingly.
The man I’m talking about has a similar background to mine– something very, very new in this nation, and it inspired in me a feeling that perhaps /my/ interests could be addressed… but I’m not a sheep, and I do not blindly follow candidates based on what they tell me I should believe, or simply because they hail from my hometown.
This man has recognized with horror that this nation has strayed from the path our founding fathers carved out with blood.
We are as Rome was, cocky in our greatness, with the haves relegating the have-nots to their garbage piles. The rest of the world laughs at us, rolls their eyes at us and scoffs at us, and if we do not correct our course now, we will fall as it did.
We were once a a proud socialist nation, and you should not be afraid of the word. We were the shining dream in the night. People came from other lands to find the “streets paved with gold“. We wrapped our arms around the embattled and gave them hot soup.
In 1947, the conservative forces in our government went over the head of our president, and overrode a veto to pass a law allowing business to sweep aside unions within industry. This marked a turning point in the equality of this nation, and created a class divide that has only worsened as time has passed.
In seventy years we have seen this country go from being a prosperous, open, caring place for all who need refuge to a place that is haven only to the greedy and the predjudiced. Conservative politicians like hearkening back to “a better time“, but the better time wasn’t long ago. Yes, there were problems then, as now. There was racism, homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia… but the economy was better, and there was a sense of can-do within this country.
Now, we have all of those issues /and/ classism. We have barely functional poor, who don’t have much, but can at least feed their children. We have homeless, poor, hungry, destitute children, the number of which has not reduced since the Great Depression. And poverty, at one time something understood is now demonized to the point of creating an even lower underclass.
I have digressed, and will return to my original point. After all my years of conscientous objection, a man stood up and said “enough”. A man who is old enough to have seen with his own eyes how this country fell on it’s face.
Today, I voted in a primary election. A feeble attempt to elect the man who has my admiration and respect.
I still don’t believe the process matters… but just in case, I pressed the buttons. You should, also.
Don’t just vote, run…