These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pre-Inauguration Thoughts

The inauguration is less than a week away. What an exciting time in the history of our nation! Doesn't it feel as if the 21st Century is really beginning now, with this event? I know it probably is more significant to me because of my political views than it is to those who voted differently; yet, the historic value is way up there, regardless. To not see that as a potential new beginning in our system of democracy is hard for me to imagine.

I don't delude myself with warm fuzzies (when is the last time you heard that phrase?). Our nation is on the precipice at which we might fall into the abyss and be swallowed by those who would see democracy devoured, or we might leap to the other side and continue the march toward the success of democracy. I'm thinking about what must happen for us to take that leap and bring our country back to its position as the greatest of nations.

We are in a place of paradox right now. As I said, many of us are very excited and feel hopeful that the President-Elect will be the one to lead us away from the dangerous ledge. But the other side of the picture makes for much unease; the economic situation and the events that surround it, the legal, moral and ethical issues are reflective of the weaknesses in the system. How did we get here and what can we do to make it right once again?

I don't know the answer. I'm not trying to present myself as an expert in any way, shape, or form. I'm not a politician, a legislator, a person of great knowledge or power. I'm just asking questions to initiate thought and offering thoughts of my own, such as they are. You see, I think the strength of our political system is not in the politicians and legislators. Yes, they have power, but the real power still lies with The People. That's you and me!

Our power lies in our action. Period. If we are quiet, do not let our voices be heard, we give up our power. How many times have you heard someone talking about "giving up your personal power" when you allow someone to get under your skin, a personal level of power loss. Now think more broadly, "out of the box" is you will forgive my continuing clich├ęs. In the same way that we give away our power in personal relationships, we tend to give away our constitutional power. I hear the protests out there .... "But I voted!" Yes, and I'm really glad you did, but it goes beyond that. Our responsibilities don't stop with the election, any more than our rights do. After the elections it is our right and responsibility to continue to be involved in the process. Let me repeat that ....

It is our right and responsibility to continue to be involved in the process, after the elections are over!!!!

Don't float through life letting names and money decide your future. Know what is going on in Washington and in __insert your state's capitol here_, and know how it will impact on your life and the lives of your children. None of us can possibly keep up with it all, but collectively we have the power to monitor this. Let your legislators know what you think, what you need, how important it is for you. If we don't do this, how do they make decisions? It will be based on what others have said or even out of what is in their own heads!! It isn't "by, of and for the people" unless they know what the people want!

Second, I've been thinking about another schism in society which is threatening to our system and way of life. It is the broad separation between the people created by inflexibility related to political views. Don't misunderstand what I'm saying here. I'm all for dedication to a political party and its views; my problem is in being so entrenched in those beliefs that you cannot see beyond the perimeter thereof. Call it "agree to disagree," if you want. Keep your viewpoint. That is who you are. But cease all behaviors that are divisive to The People as a whole. Do no give up on what you believe, but use the system to make progress toward your points rather than grumbling and griping and putting out negative energy against the majority. This latter method is divisive to the whole and only sets up warring factions. Rarely does the mumbling and verbal sniping bring a win. In fact, if it causes any measurable change, I'd put money on the fact that it is more likely to bring about loss for everyone.

On September 11, 2001, life in the United States was shattered. I needn't rehash that; we all remember where we were and what we were doing and how we felt on that day. The amazing thing is that we became united as we hadn't been for a long time. There is a song that I've tried and tried unsuccessfully to format to put here on my blog that says it all. It is called "Just Americans." Here is a part of those lyrics (the full lyrics are at the end of this post and are worth reading to give the full power to this piece):

On September the eleventh
We became Just Americans
Other names were rendered obsolete
All I know about my neighbors
Is that they are Just Americans
Shoulder to shoulder, now, the circle is complete
We have learned how it feels to be Just Americans
Without the words that spells out 'us' and 'them'

In just seven short years we have reverted to a lot of seperatism, at least along party lines, and I find this saddening. The election is over. Whoever won, won. My feeling is that we need to let the animosity pass and spend the energy on correcting what has gone wrong, especially before the economic fiasco gets further out of control. To me, that means we should stand together, shoulder to shoulder, and work to bring stability back. How do we do that? See the above response. We work together to be sure our legislators know what we want and need!! Don't assume they know what you want or will accomplish what is best for you. Be a presence via email, snail mail, telephone, in person. But don't be silent. And don't just grumble.

Growing up, I listened to the political yammer and didn't understand much of it. But one thing I remember is that once the elections were over, it seemed that people were essentially united behind the elected officials. I remember a lot of time when adults siad they didn't like this Senator or that President, but the mind set seemed to be to unite behind those people and let them know what was needed. Maybe I was a dumb kid, but I don't think so. I remember not liking some of the elected officials as a young adult (LBJ and Nixon spring to mind), but I understood that it was our "job" to allow them to do their jobs and to tell them if I didn't like something.

Sadly, the division between the Obama camp and the McCain camp (or say Democrats and Republicans, if you want) is still simmering!! Why? The election is over! I'm getting emails that insinuate that Obama was elected by a population of poor, non-owners of land, who are more inclined toward crime! (facts mostly disproven via snopes.com; in fact, the same "facts" were floating around in the reverse in previous elections!) The tone of the email is that some votes are less important than others! Apparently because I own just a small plot of land, my vote should be weighted less than someone who own many acres. How divisive is that? People who send that are saying that our system is off center because poor, non owners elected Obama!! The facts are not valid, but there will be people who read it as gospel and believe it.

I just don't understand the need to put others down. And it is strong. I have to say that if McCain had been elected, I would have supported him, even though I didn't want him, like him or feel confidence in him, at least until he was shown to be as bad at the job as Bush has been. But there seems to be, at least amoung those I know personally, a lack of willingness to support our next President, and I will say it .... at least until he shows himself to be unworthy of the respect. He isn't even in office yet, and there are those who are issuing verbal snipes. What happened to being united with many voices? I don't expect you to accept my voice as your own, but stand beside me to fix the fissures.

Please.

~ ~ ~ ~

Here are the dynamic lyrics. I wish you could hear the song, because it moves me to tears every time I hear it:
JUST AMERICANS
RANDY SPARKS & The New Christie Mistrels

On the tenth of September
We were black and we were white
We were brown
We were yellow
We were left and we were right
We were folks from the country
We were city dwellers too
And we often took for granted
We were red, white and blue

We were rich and we were poor
We were up and we were down
We were those who didn't matter
On the other side of town
In a moment of forever
It was not so long ago
We were recreated equal
And in my heart I know:

[chorus]

On September the eleventh
We became Just Americans
Other names were rendered obsolete
All I know about my neighbors
Is that they are Just Americans
Shoulder to shoulder, now, the circle is complete
We have learned how it feels to be Just Americans
Without the words that spells out 'us' and 'them'
And there's more to this feeling for our fellow Americans
Than hate for those we condemn

We wear yarmulkes and turbans
And, occasionally, a crown
We wear straw hats and ball caps
And when the team's in town
We show signs of disrespect
For those who've lost or won
But we know it's just a game
That the war was all in fun

We speak Russian and Tagalog
We speak French and Japanese
And our gift to one another
Is to worship as we please
We quite often get together
To protest or to rejoice
And when we speak in anger
It is with a single voice

[chorus]

On September the eleventh
We became Just Americans
Other names were rendered obsolete
All I know about my neighbors
Is that they are Just Americans
Shoulder to shoulder, now, the circle is complete
And we will fight, side by side, in the trenches of the universe
The cause of precious freedom to defend
And let it be remembered that
We are Just Americans
May this day never end
And I pray this day will never end

4 comments:

  1. I'm tentatively hopeful for a blurring of party lines. Tentative not because of the man, but because of the people. But hopeful because of the man (and I didn't even vote for him! lol)

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  2. Jen, you got my point, exactly. "The people," us, that's the problem. Party-focused sniping isn't going to do anyone good, and that energy could be turned toward fixing the breaks!!

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  3. Toni and I were driving through town today and a Jeep in front of us still had his McCain sticker prominently placed on his back window right next to the taped-up picture of McCain and Palin hugging and waving to a crowd. We had to laugh because, "Come on already! Give it up!" But it is actually sad that they can't just quit being a sore loser and support our new president. THIS president of all presidents!! GEEZ.

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  4. Cathy, yeah .... GEEZ. Once the election is over, it is time to suck it up and move on!

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If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!