As readers of this blog know, my parents just celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary with an incredible party and a top of the line cruise around the Mediterranean with visits to some of the world’s most fabulous places. Places many of us would enjoy seeing in person, and my Mom and Dad certainly did.
At some points on the trip they were the only English-speaking people about, and my Mom was taken aback by the language skills of everyone they met. As soon my parents were identified as Americans, the speaker would switch to flawless English… one of several languages they could speak. As someone with absolutely no faculty for languages (even pig latin), this is cool.
But then the distances in Europe are so much smaller. Imagine if different languages were spoken in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. We’d all speak both too. We’d have to.
And while my Mom and Dad were treated like royalty aboard ship, they both commented on the way the average European lives compared to how most people live here in America. Average homes here are considered villas over there. Our public restrooms are free. Costs for everything from food to fuel are higher… sometimes obscenely so. The gulf between rich and poor is wider.
Sometimes we forget how really good we have it in this country.
In the midst of all the election day foolishness, a ratings-hungry media’s utter lack of objectivity on any issue, and the average person’s frustration with the way things are going, it’s easy to forget. To get mad, maybe join in on the rampant America-bashing going on out there, while secretly hoping some all-powerful hero will rise up and solve the many problems we face, with little or no effort on our part.
You and I both know it doesn’t work that way. It never will.
So rather than whining and complaining… a fruitless exercise that’s gotten us nowhere, let’s do something more constructive. Vote and send a message to Washington… to the media and our President. Maybe to ourselves. And if your candidate loses, don’t give up. Keep in touch with your representatives and senators to let them know what you think… what’s important to you… and most important of all, that you’re watching what they do.
In the end, we need to remember that this country… as troubled and tempestuous as it can be, is still so much better than any other place out there. If it wasn’t, why are an endless stream of immigrants so intent on coming (and staying) here?
Because it’s great here. I think maybe Winston Churchill had it right…
“Democracy is the worst form of government
except for all those others that have been tried.”
So get out there and V-O-T-E. Send the message. American’s have died to give you this right… don’t throw it away because you’re too busy, too lazy, too certain nothing will ever change to bother getting yourself to the polls.
Do nothing and it won’t change. Guaranteed.
Unlike other parts of the world, the biggest threat you’ll face as you approach your polling place in this country is the gauntlet of sign-toting campaign die-hards who are convinced the sign they hold is the one to win your vote before you cross the threshold. Just smile at them, avoid eye contact, (unless you’re up for a political discussion with all the finesse of a used car sales pitch), and be about your business.