Vote Like An American

The Decision —  And now, we as a nation are faced with a thorny decision.  As the November elections loom on the immediate horizon, we as individuals must ask – what do we do?Do we NOT vote as protest to our sorry state – a perhaps senseless protest against those who through their inability gave us this time of trouble.  Or perhaps no group of honest or dishonest actors could act to change the events wrought through the innocent (?) decisions of thousands.Or do we vote the status quo to at least give those who successfully wooed our X in the block last time a chance to finish their task?  Or are all these praetors, I mean legislators, just fodder against the relentless cycles of economic, climatic and natural human truth?What do we do?  Do we pursue the division of the sheets, to ensure that our ideology is preserved, our icons enshrined and our own interests preserved?  What is our ideology?  How do we decide?I suggest the following – ask yourself — What do we as Americans bring to the table of civilization?  And how does my vote reflect that?Here is my answer.  If you could use one word, and only one word to describe what positive contribution America has brought to civilization – what would that word be?I urge you to decide for yourself, as an American what that word is for you – and then vote for those persons who most closely reflect that sensibility.  Don’t worry what those who are not American might use for an answer.  Because what the world thinks about Americans does not matter in terms of what we must decide for ourselves.  Do we expect Pakistani’s to decide fundamentally who they are in the cycle of human existence based on what Americans think about them?  No, Pakistan is the definer of their own legacy in this spin through time we call history.Speaking for myself, in order to come upon a singular word to describe America, I must take reflection on what I know of my America.  For I am American Indian, for I am of England and of Ireland and I am of Scotland.  For all this genealogy, I am truly American.  But enough of geography and immigration – what does it mean to be American expressed in one word?Is it Democracy?  A very Greek concept by virtue of history. But for me that is only part of the construct of America.Is it Republic?  Why yes, our system is republican in structure, but that is not it either, at least not for me.What is it that makes us American?  I believe it is not an esoteric question, it is the question that enables us to understand why and who we are.  Are we people of history and character? Or are we people of whimsy and greed?  Perhaps we are all these things.  I believe history is a series of repetitions and “do overs” that results precisely because human nature does not change – and humans are very messy players on the canvas of time.So, is the word Capitalism?  Hmmm, I like that one because I believe it is Capitalism that enables the non-capitalist philosophers, dreamers, poets and humanitarians to make this world a better place to exist.  The Greenpeace folks and people of faith survive on the generosity and excess wealth generated by Capitalism.  I know philosophically they hate that, but it is true.  Very few paupers, communists, socialists or fascist actors support the selfless people of the world.Is it Freedom?  Is this the word that encapsulates America?  Well certainly this is very close to that which makes us truly American – but that is not it for me.For me, the word that describes, identifies and exemplifies America is Liberty.  For me Liberty encompasses the good of Freedom, the boundary of individual and corporate Responsibility and the respect of personhood.  My Liberty is constrained by the boundary of your Liberty, and therefore by mutual respect we exercise the full measure of our freedom and responsibility to each other as Americans.So this November I urge you to consider you own definition of what it means to be an American – and VOTE FOR THOSE WHO EMBODY IT.  But before you do, look in the mirror and ask yourself four questions:  Who is responsible to taking care of me?  Who is responsible for taking care of people I know that are in need?  Who is responsible for paying for what I have?  Who is responsible for governing my country locally and nationally.  If your answer is the person in the mirror, then you are an American.  Vote like an American!

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