Sunday, October 30, 2022

The good news is...

 Lately, many of you have been feeling like we are at the base of a massive mountain, and we must ascend it with little to no climbing equipment.  We are mobilizing, strategizing, and getting out the vote.  We are fighting for our democracy which should supersede our kitchen and table issues.  The reason why is simple.  If we don’t then in a few years our kitchen and table issues will be the least of our problems.

We stood by in horror as the conservative majority that makes up the Supreme Court struck down Roe V Wade making it extremely difficult for a woman to get an abortion should she need one.  Instead, the issue has been left up to the states only to later be struck down by a proposed nationwide ban on abortions should the Republicans have their way and take back the house.

I don’t want to participate in the Us versus Them politics that have enveloped our fragile country.  There is too much of that already.  And yet, somewhere in this article, I must point out something that is glaringly obvious…Democrats did not cause this problem, at least not exclusively.  We participated in a two-party system, and when Americans cast their ballots, whoever won, won.  There was no yelling, screaming, protests, investigations, or refusal to accept the peaceful transfer of power.  Up until a few years ago, if you were a politician and you lost your bid for office, you conceded gracefully and called your opponent to congratulate them.  Up until the Trump era, this was the norm.

 Now, we have inter-party fighting, rampant conspiracy theories, poor sportsmanship, deceit, lies…not to be confused with the “big lie.”  Our democracy was always in a precarious state, but none as volatile as where we are right now.

But here is some good news:  It does not have to be like this.  We can make our voices heard and you can get out the vote and take people with you.  We don’t have to live in fear that we will lose everything that we have worked so hard for over the past 55 years.  I’m talking about civil and LGBTQ+ rights.  I’m talking about the right for a woman to choose when she can start a family or not. 

I am talking about the possibility of voting out the same people that don’t believe in free and fair elections unless they win.  That is not democracy.  That is holding our democratic processes hostage; and all of this comes at the expense of the American people.

Friends, it is hard to write about politics without pointing a finger.  But I don’t have to point fingers to tell you what you already know…now is the time to get out and vote.

Everybody deserves to have their voices heard…even the ones that we would prefer not to hear.  But just like you have the right to say what you personally believe; I also have the right not to listen to it, especially if I find it personally offensive.  That’s my personal liberty.

But we are in a critical time where basic freedoms that you have enjoyed for decades can be stripped away from you with the stroke of a pen.

I love this country, but I hate what it is becoming because our democratic and constitutional norms are being used against us.  How can someone that doesn't believe in a free and fair elections use our democratic norms to get into office unless win?  That's an oxymoron.  Meanwhile, we have a domestic terrorist problem that needs to be addressed.  We have voices that are angry and is willing to do violence in the name of politics.

I simply cannot or will not call out anyone that disagrees with my worldview.  What we are going through is so much more than that.

But here’s the thing: we all have value.  We all deserve to be heard…every single one of us.  I will respect your right to free speech but in turn, you must respect mine.  There is no negotiating that simple fact.

Equality has always been a problem in this country, and it has always come down to one basic ideology; there are the “haves” and “have nots.”  The “haves” possess a world view that is removed from the average citizens, including the ones that think that they are a part of the “haves.”

The “have nots” will struggle with basic kitchen table issues like food and gas prices.  The “haves” have no idea what it is like to struggle with these issues.  Because of their wealth, it is simply not in their reality.

My reality is one where I spend much of my time writing, blogging, writing essays, connecting with my Twitter following and enjoying my life as I know it.  I search for peace mind, body, and spirit.  I think we all do.

But the key to this is to first, get out there and make your voices heard.  We may not get everything that we want, but we may get some of what we need.

~ J.L. Whitehead


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