AND Stand for Something

November 6th, 2016

As we in the United States begin this week, we are invited to engage in the democratic activity of voting. There are countries in this world where such activity is neither valued nor allowed. Our country is built on the freedom to speak one’s truth and cast a vote for what we want the next steps in our self-governance to be.

There has been much media attention on polls for over a year, as we prepare for this week’s elections. So many pundits and commentaries have focused on what to vote against that many people have adopted a victim stance that their vote doesn’t matter unless it is cast to block the opponent. Such peer pressure, manipulation, and group think do not lead us to stand for a candidate or position.

No candidate has ever been or will ever be anything more than human, with strengths and vulnerabilities. No other candidates have run in national elections in this country so dominated by social media, hacking attempts to control the outcome of the election, and constant invasion of media to drive a desired result. The nastiness is not new. It occurred in the early elections that we can only study by reading about them, or studying old coverage where available.

What may be new is the barrage of personal attacks, criticism, and labeling that fill the media, with little or no regard for verified facts. Our capacity for listening to what we do not want to hear is at an all-time low.

Our society has become obsessed with celebrity, at a time when we need to examine who we are and what we will stand for. After many wars fought by brave men and women to preserve the right to vote and have our votes count, will we really pout that we don’t like the candidates who have survived the process and therefore, refuse to honor those hard-fought freedoms?

It is time to step back and look at what is worth fighting for, because a vote for someone means we are taking a stand for what we want valued in our democracy. The process isn’t perfect. Neither are we. However, our voice matters as much as the candidate we choose because it is the reminder to stand for something in life.

Tuesday is Election Day. Please vote.

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