It is the night before the 2016 US-Presidential Election and I am wondering what the country’s people will have decided when the last vote is counted.
A few months ago I took a pledge not to become involved in the political bickering that has marred this Election year. I chose to remain silence in lieu of a better way of expressing my anguish and unbelief at the “behavior of a certain political candidate and his supporters”.
This article is not about this aberrant behavior.
By writing this I am asking the people of my country to really spend the night in reflection about the country that they want to live in and then to vote accordingly.
I am an Expat and I have experienced this Election Year through the lens and filter of one living abroad. As an Expatriate, I have followed as closely as I dared the news of my home country. But I also have had the added visual of seeing how the USA is thought of in the various international media outlets, by my friends, associates and others that I encounter on a daily basis.
The key question that I am asked?
“What is wrong with America that someone like Trump can become a Presidential Candidate?”
After asking this they always laugh in unbelief. Always!
I been living in a Country that has had their first female Chancellor – Angela Merkel since 2005. She is now into her third term in office. Her political experience dates back to the Revolutions of 1989.
Yes, it took time for some of the people to adjust to her being Chancellor. Other politicians have done their best to malign her. The People however, have generally given their approval to her leadership.
The US Presidential Elections have at times resembled a horrible farce where blame is the name of the game.
When Barack Obama was running for the Presidency I was asked for my thoughts about him and what he could accomplish for the USA. Having an idea of the type of racial hatred he was facing and would continue to have to stand firmly against to do the work that he was elected to do, I simply answered, “That I didn’t know what he would accomplish but that he was the right person to elect to office.” The racially motivated political fallout was just the beginning of the ripping off of the hastily stitched together wound of race relations in the USA. All the festering under formerly applied bandages, showed in the refusal of elected officials to do the job that they were sent to Washington to do on behalf of the people.
This stink of racial hatred has not died. The pus of America’s racial wound has continued to fester. It is visible daily. We hear it in the language that’s been used for these last eight plus years and we hear and see it now in this election.
Still because of this things have changed.
What some Americans are has been show and all can see this clearly if they choose not to be blind.
President Obama’s time in office has shown us that we as a United People, have, can and must continue this process of reconciling our past in order to truly be one.
On the night before the Elections my questions for you are simple.
What does America mean to you?
What are you willing to do to continue to form America into a true home for all of us?
Whenever a person is elected to public office our (your) responsibility does not end with the casting of our votes.
We must be watchful to see if that person is doing the job that we elected them to do to the best of their ability.
If they are not, then we have to call them out on this.
We can write letters and/ or call their political office directly and band together to demonstrate our wish for them to be responsible to their Oath of Office.
I want to leave you with some two quotes and a stanza from a poem that I read today:
“Indeed, it is precisely in a period of great spiritual and societal hunger like our own that we most need to open minds, hearts, and memories to those times when women and men actually dreamed of new possibilities for our nation, for our world, and for their own lives. It is now that we may be able to convey the stunning idea that dreams, imagination, vision, and hope are actually powerful mechanisms in the creation of new realities — especially when the dreams go beyond speeches and songs to become embodied; to take on flesh, in real, hard places.” –Vince Harding Is America Possible
“What shall they do with the idea of an America in process, an America that is not a finished, sharp-edged block of white granite but is instead a malleable, multicolored gift of clay; still seeking, taking, giving shape, purpose, and direction?” .” – Vince Harding Is America Possible
We, the people, must redeem
Our land, the mines, the plants, the rivers,
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again. – Langston Hughes