Monday, November 5, 2012


No, I am not planning to stay up all tomorrow night to watch the returns.  No, I am not not going to vote tomorrow;  I have already voted.  I am thoroughly tired of the election process that spends billions of dollars of money that is needed elsewhere.  But I AM a voter and I do care about the issues that face this nation.  I also see it part of my Christian duty to vote and be involved in the discussions that face the commonweal.

To just say I am tired of politics does not quite describe what I feel.  When we moved to TX from IL when I was 4 years old, my family found a state that ran with a single party.  Everyone was a Democrat.  It was hard to find Republican anywhere here.  I grew up with my parents complaining that they couldn't vote in most primaries because they were not registered as a Democrat.

Now, my mother's people had come across the Appalachian Trail with the Lincoln family and settled in Sangamon County, IL before Abe was born.  So when Abe went into politics and when the Union divided, the McKinneys voted with the relatively new Republican party which supported the individual farmers' interests, small town values and was anti-slavery.  Of course we were Republicans.  Grandmother had a picture of Ike prominently displayed on the wall of her office.  She served as the county tax assessor into her 80's and was a notary public in the small town in MO where the family had finally settled.  I grew up in Fort Worth knowing that I was different--not because I was lesbian but because we were Republican!

Now that I have moved back to TX after living in NY, MD, CA, MO, LA and in Mexico, I have to get used to living in a one-party state again.  I don't like it.  When there is only one party, democracy gets short-changed.  Upstate NY was a bit one-party too but at least you could talk about politics with others.  Here, it nigh on impossible to talk about the political issues facing government today.  One can only shout politics these days.  Lies abound on both sides.  There is no civil discussion of the issues.  And this has bled into the national scene.

Over the 40 years that I have been gone from TX, the parties have changed so that now TX is Republican and I am a Democrat.  But the politics really haven't.  There is still a deep underlying racism and states' rights that motivate politics here.  Now it has become big business when it was once oil and cattle that moved the economic picture here.  This is a property state now.  The little guy has no voice here and even the little guys vote for the big guys hoping that they will one day be big guys.  It is still a deeply ingrained machoness to politics that leaves women and LGBTQ folks in the dust.

What has been lost in the American political scene over the past 20 years is a discussion of the issues that face us is the ability to discuss issues that face the nation.  Pundits are complaining that we are so polarized that our political system has come to a halt.

If one reads history the way I do, whenever a nation's political system cannot meet the needs of the nation, the populace will overturn it.  It happens every time.  Revolution happens because the government cannot respond to the needs of the majority of the people.  And I believe that we are headed for a revolution because we cannot talk about politics.

This happened to Israel in the 2nd century BCE.  The Pharisees and the Sadducees were so bitter with one another that they had to invite the Romans to come in and keep order for them.  It lead to the complete subjugation of Israel and a brutal destruction of the entire nation for almost 2,000 years.  We all  know the issues that led to the downfall of the Roman Empire.  The loss of effective government under the Republic finally devolved to caesars ruling with clenched fists and continued coups to institute new leaders that devolved into tyrants for about 8 centuries.  It happened in France in the 1700's; it happened in Germany so regularly that Hitler was able to sneak in without anyone noticing because he promised order.

The American 'experiment' is not a government that has outlived its time.  It requires the vigilance and the concern of the majority of the people.  It requires the willingness to think.  It requires the willingness to discuss politics and to hear the truth about what is happening to people around the country and around the world. We cannot afford to outsource our political system.  We have become lazy.  We want others to think for us.  Democracy isn't about platforms or campaign promises. It isn't about big government or small government. It isn't about who can shout the loudest. It is about the commonweal--the well-being of the majority of the people and how we as a nation manage that.  It cannot be about 1% or 99%; it can't be about big or small business.  It HAS to be about how well people can live or have the chance to prosper otherwise the majority will eventually revolt.

So tomorrow is a sacred day.  It is a day that we as a nation say "It isn't about me; it is about US.  It is about the good of the whole.  So even if you have not discussed politics this year, or if you have been shouting about politics for the past 18 months--"Get thee to the polls!"  I have already been.  And let's work with whomever is elected  to be about moving this country off the stalemate we have been in for the past 12 years for the good of the whole, for the good of the United States, for the good of the world.


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