P.S.-Pooh Says...

"What day is it? - 'It's today' - squeaked Piglet. 'My favourite day' - said Pooh."- A.A. Milne

05 November 2012

"The Responsibility is Clear"-Yes, it Matters!

"And what they’re counting on now is that you’re going to be so worn down by all the squabbling, so tired of the dysfunction, so weary of what goes on, on Capitol Hill, that you’re just going to give up and walk away—and just put them back in power, or let them stay there. In other words, their bet is on cynicism...my bet is on you. Barack Obama


"The margin is narrow,but the responsibility is clear"  
John F. Kennedy

I grew up in the Post-Watergate era, deeply rooted  political cynicism left me asking for many years -"what's the point?", why bother?" Politicians were just actors after all and then of course Ronald Reagan was elected and proved me right. I have, however, always been a political junkie-watching an election unfold and sitting on my high horse examining the "people", such fun! and one of my favorite spectator sports....but a spectator cannot change the game and then must live with the final score-that doesn't work for me. Nor does it work in a world where every decision a leader makes reverberates around the globe, where too many have too little, and where the future sits in the hands of so many who can only look backward.  

Does one vote count? Who would miss my vote if I stayed home on Tuesday? Well probably no one, but then again Al Gore might think differently about that. I have learned, as I hope we all have, that one vote or not it is the act  of voting itself that has significance, it has power and it matters. 


"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people"  John F Kennedy

It seems like such a simple thing, why such a fuss?  History that's why.  We take the responsibility of voting for granted because we have always had the right to vote or not vote as we pleased.  For so many  for so much of history voting was not their right.  Of all my memories of September 11, which was also a primary day in Massachusetts, I remember my grandmother insisting on going to vote that day.  I tried to dissuade her fearing I don't know what given the events of the day, but as a first generation American, who came of age just as women received the right to vote, she understood what I did not- voting is not a casual exercise,nor a whim, but an act that whether it changes an election or not demands respect not simply for its power, but also because of the ghosts of all who could not vote.  The act of voting is a right and a privilege that so many battled so hard to win, many died for this simple act, and many around the world still do not have the ability to just cast a vote and make their voice heard.


 "We would say to people,you know,you've been living here for 40 years,for 50 years.  Your street is not paved.  You have a dirt road.  You don't have clean water.  If you want to change that,you must register and you must vote.  You can get someone else elected.  Come to a mass meeting,come next Monday.  The neighbors are coming.  Your Uncle is coming.  Your children are coming.  You should be there.  I tell people,we're going to have a march for the right to vote.  Don't be afraid.  You may get arrested but a lot of other people will be getting arrested with you.  And some people would be convinced,and some would not."  John Lewis


 So I can sit by and fuss and fume over what does or not get done, what does or does not change, what does or does not improve, all the privilege of living in a democracy---or I can pick up a marker and fill in a circle--not too tough. It may not change the planet right then and there, but I will be standing for not only my opinions but for the generations before that could not vote and the generations to come that hopefully will benefit from my filling that little circle. In an election where "Forward" is the only path, we need to look back first and realize -Yes, it Matters!

"In the words of my Mom, go vote. 
It makes you feel big and strong"  Bob Schieffer