Friday, September 10, 2010

Why Bother To Vote?

I've submitted the following essay to the Four Corners Free Press,
but they allow me to retain the rights.
And, I welcome anyone to borrow as they see fit.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

May I suggest a simple, left v. right distinction between people... voters.

The one group believes in a God of their own image; sitting on a throne; possessing those familiar human lordly passions of jealousy, judgment, vengeance, occasionally love... a lord who is directly involved in, even controlling, our lives.

The other group, contains a much larger spectrum. Beginning with people who firmly believe in God and her/his presence, but, who also appreciate God is beyond our human ability to grasp. As for knowing God’s mind... or plan, forget about it! Can a toddler hope to understand Einstein?

From there the spectrum of perspectives follows the whole gamut of wonder and curiosity about our creation and god... all the way to folks who are revolted by any notion of a god, heaven or hell. At the furthest end of this spectrum of humanity are folks who genuinely believe there’s only emptiness beyond this moment and find peace in that.

This is a politically important, if under appreciated, distinction with profound implications. Today, America is in the midst of a revolutionary struggle, driven by a seemingly unopposed ground swell of scared and passionate “believing” people. Where folks actually see themselves as God’s personal agents, convinced it’s their duty to conquer our government and then remake it in their heavenly inspired image.

When listening to what comes over the air waves, Tea Partiers along with more and more Republicans are shunning rational dialogue. They seem to resent science, its rules of discussion and its observation/fact based findings by twisting and tweaking, misrepresenting and ignoring all that doesn’t fit into their dogma driven messages. Tactics fine tuned within the Global Warming “debate” and broadcast over right wing media outlets everywhere.

I bring this up because we have an election coming up where it is sounding like most liberal leaning voters just can’t get too excited and are tired of dealing with all those creepy politicians anyways, so to heck with it, we’ll sit this one out. Just can’t work up the energy to get out and vote... You know who you are.

But, don’t you realize, it’s no good pretending those angry faith-based Tea Parties aren’t for real and big and dangerous? That old song keeps echoing in my mind: “America where are you now, don’t you care about your sons and daughters? Don’t you know, we need you now?”

Who’s going to defend our government, if you won’t? Who’s going to speak up for science, rational evaluation of information and willingness to learn new lessons? Who’s going to demand that our twenty-first century problems receive twenty-first century realism, instead of scapegoating?

For example, lets play imagine for a moment... go back ten years. There was that one day when, if only a few more liberal thinking people had gotten motivated enough to vote. We’d have had President Gore. Along with the excellent argument that the whole Iraq “war of choice” spawned horrors, costs and damage to our Nation, and the world would never have happened - heck, 9/11 probably wouldn’t have happened!

Why? Because Gore would have been listening to his national terrorist experts. Thus, the entire intelligence bureaucracy would have been paying attention. Thus, those incoming intelligence signals would have percolated, with the warnings they gave off being heeded and tracked down.

Instead, USA had a faith-based administration preoccupied with old grudges and no interest in anyone else’s opinion. This Republican Administration ignored our nation’s qualified terrorist experts. Why? Because, Bush et al. had God on their side. See what that’s gotten us. A war that has only succeeded, over the endless years, to elevate the true enemy’s abilities to unimagined levels, plus introduce privatized corporate warriors into our US military. All this at a horrific cost in blood, materials, money, world authority plus goodwill, and homeland civility.

Even had the 9/11 atrocity happen. Gore would have focused on getting the real perpetrators, Bin Laden, his band and material supporters, not easy, for sure. But, with all USA’s energy focused on that goal - rather than a diversion - plus that worldwide goodwill USA possessed at the time, there could have been no other outcome. Imagine the lesson USA could have taught the power-politics world.

Back to today, most Republicans remain incapable of even admitting they, we, did anything wrong, let alone that we actually have serious real world lessons to learn. Instead, acting as though this is how life was supposed to have played out. Becoming defensive at any critique and hardening in their dogmatic: my way...“God’s” way, or no way, attitude.

OK, there’s no going back, but surely we, enlightened folk, should heed this hard lesson. We need to challenge handing over our government to folks who despise it. We can go ahead and scoff that Democrats suck in a hundred and one ways, but they’re all we got! On this one out of 730 days, the only day when your opinion actually matters, please be pragmatic - motivate and VOTE.

Please do your part and help in this struggle of rationality over dogma driven, emotion fueled politics of faith over reason. And, bring a few family and friends along with you.

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