Each year we are told that this is the most important election ever. In fact, this is a refrain that is heard so often we have almost become immune to it. It seems like it just have to be motivated by the fact that if we don’t deliver the votes that all hell will break loose. The gains that have been made from years of struggle will be lost if we don’t turn out at the polls and vote.
But this may be true for 2018. “The Make America Great Again(MAGA)” statement coming from the President seems to belittle the sacrifices made by the many who died believing in the American ideal that all men are created equal. It denies the importance of The Emancipation Proclamation, or Brown Versus the Topeka Board of Education, or Montgomery, or Little Rock, or Greensboro, or the Sit-ins, or Birmingham, or the March on Washington, or the Civil Rights Act or the Voting Rights Act, or the riots, or the deaths of Medgar and Malcolm and Martin, or the many acts of courage and conscious that led us to this point. These were not only important to African Americans, they were important for the whole country.
America is great but it can become better. The ideals spelled out in our constitution must become more than words on a sheet of paper. They should become the standard upon which we base our actions. We can become greater if we become the nation of our promise. We can become who we said we are. A union of imperfect people seeking to become the best we can be.
In this election we can decide if we continue on this course to improvement or will we revert to becoming what we were: a nation pretending to be something we are not. We have been treated to what good government should be like. Do we really believe we are better served by meanness and name calling? Should we lead with our egos rather than our thinking? Can we impose our will through our strength and go it alone or should we rely on diplomacy and allies? This vote may determine the direction we take. We can’t get it wrong.
In November, we will again decide as nation in what we believe. We can be guided by our fears or our principles. Our votes can determine what kind of congress leads our country and what kind of general assembly will lead our state. The people we elect will determine the public policy course of our state and nation. What does “change” look like? Does it mean we throw the baby out with the bathwater? I am not giving up. The change I want begins with me. I will do my part. I hope you will too.