Election Day

It is no great secret (at least to those who have known me for many years) that I have not been a staunch believ­er in this the­o­ry of gov­ern­ment called democ­ra­cy. There was a time, not so long ago, when a more impetu­ous and pre­ten­tious younger ver­sion of my self made free with very provoca­tive neg­a­tive opin­ions regard­ing the prac­ti­cal­i­ty and the coher­ence of the Amer­i­can exper­i­ment. I like to cher­ish the hope that such inflam­ma­to­ry rhetor­i­cal immod­er­a­tion is behind me now, but one nev­er can tell.

Although I am no longer an angry scoffer at the very con­cept of pop­u­lar gov­er­nance, I think it is very clear that any such sys­tem is a frag­ile thing, and that our cur­rent sys­tem is, if not deeply flawed, at the very least sore­ly com­pro­mised in the areas of integri­ty and acces­si­bil­i­ty. And whether any­thing like the will of the peo­ple is expressed in the elec­tion process is a point that is present­ly debat­able in the extreme. The great­est bar­ri­er I see to the effec­tive func­tion­ing of our democ­ra­cy is the par­ty sys­tem, and with it the empha­sis not on rep­re­sen­ta­tion but on win­ning. Until we can abol­ish the sense­less and use­less dichoto­my between Demo­c­rat and Repub­li­can we will nev­er have any­thing more than a choice between evils in this coun­try, and I can’t believe that this is the best we can do. Before I die I want to be able to vote for a can­di­date for pub­lic office who tru­ly rep­re­sents the val­ues and pri­or­i­ties that are most impor­tant to me, not just for a can­di­date who offends my sen­si­bil­i­ties the least. All too often we are pre­sent­ed with no can­di­date we can vote for, only those we can vote against. The state of our nation and our world are I believe sol­id tes­ti­mo­ny to the effi­ca­cy of such a proceeding.

I am not a nat­ur­al thinker; my mode is feel­ing, and to pre­tend oth­er­wise, as I have done often over the years, is a futile exer­cise. I don’t have clear ratio­nal solu­tions for any of our nation’s prob­lems, large or small. But I know that things are not right here, and that it will require a great groundswell of active­ly con­cerned cit­i­zens through­out all the stra­ta of our soci­ety to effect the changes nec­es­sary to return this nation to the path of glo­ry, to make this nation once again a place we can be proud to call home.

So start today. Go out and cast your bal­lot. Play your part in the game as it is cur­rent­ly played. And then, start­ing tomor­row, let each and every one of us take per­son­al respon­si­bil­i­ty for the qual­i­ty of our nation, and work togeth­er to make it a bet­ter place, a land where all can be tru­ly free.

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