eThoughts : November 1, 2008: Election Time

Sometime back, before the primaries, I wrote in one of these posts about my support of Barack Obama. I also noted at various other times, both before and after that post, about my take on politicians. I’m staying with Obama and I’m staying with my take on politicians.

The kind of person it will take to not let the office and the power shape them has to be extraordinary. Environment plays a very aggressive role in shaping who we are, biologically, psychologically, and sociologically. It seems to me that the office is the odds-on favorite to take over leadership rather than the other way around. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had some who managed to follow a heading that was not about Faustian deals, but that is a rarity.

Anytime an ecological change in the political and economic landscape is coming, the probability of chaos is increased. Okay, chaos seems to be the real player with human endeavors aimed at its opposite—order. Quite a task and a bit foolish at that. However, David Bohm, a relatively well-known physicist said that chaos is simply unrecognized order. He has a point I think. We can construct order in the midst of chaos and live that order even while chaos is reigning around us. Think of it like a roof in the rain, we can now enjoy nature’s doings instead of standing guard about catching something bad—even if we have to maintain the roof.

What’s at stake in this election is crucial—some self-created structure that will allow us to come in out of the rain. We are not voting to stop the rain—make no mistake—we are voting to create a roof over our heads. And this roof is fundamentally better than the economic and political umbrella we’ve managed to keep voting for and buying into for some time now.

However, some of us are fighting fear—a known enemy is better than an unknown friend. So, we are doing more than voting for some other people to build the roof for us, we are voting to pay attention and to help those we elect accomplish what we decided or to change course if we find we were incorrect. This is not about support of the office or the individual—that is a deadly focus—it is about supporting the need to change how we do business. That’s an entirely different heading than merely changing compass headings, something we’ve been doing for a long time—get tired of where we started and we simply vote to go another direction. The conservative position has blundered so here comes liberalism, just like what happened when liberalism floundered. That’s not change, that’s a correction. We are talking about reinvention, not alterations.

And make no mistake about this either, this election is not about patriotism or national pride, it is about returning to many of the more than basic drives in every human being: The need for acceptance, the need to make a positive contribution, the need to be forgiven. We cannot rule through fear. Heck, we cannot even rule. The forces of the universe, of which we are but a small part, rule. But we can ride. And when we know those basic, common, human needs we are no longer swimming upstream, against the grain of others. We do something that this country was founded on—to allow people to be free, to help them be free, to honor that freedom—those inalienable rights. But we have to realize that the tree of freedom doesn’t have to be refreshed by the spilling of blood, that tree is better served by the spilling of sweat in the healthy work undertaken by us all, for us all.

So folks, let’s vote for us. All of us, everyone. Then let’s all of us get to work for all of us. That would be a great new beginning, a change worth sweating for. And if the folks we voted for to help lead the way, lose the way, let’s remind them. That’s part of our job—all of us, everyone.

And speaking about our job, here’s my take on California’s Proposition 8, supposedly to make gay-marriages illegal. Here’s the deal as I see it: A yes vote states that gay marriages are wrong and imposes that belief system on others. A no vote is not a vote for gay marriage, it is a vote to not impose one’s belief on others when there is nothing more than belief involved. One does not have to support gay marriage to support the rights of others to live as they believe when those beliefs cause no harm other than it pisses some people off. Have we not learned anything from the era that birthed civil rights? And do not go off on all the problems that could be, we don’t stop heterosexual marriages because there is a danger in getting married and/or that it could result in divorce. A civil right—an inalienable right like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—honors everyone, regardless of any particular individual’s personal belief in what life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness should look like. In fact, I think we could make the argument that a yes vote on prop 8 does not support our troops or anyone that died for the freedom to pursue those inalienable rights. And I’m not in the least comforted by the knowledge that it won’t be the first time and likely won’t be the last.

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