We face a new sunrise dawning now with the start of 2008. And there is much work to be done. But first, we indulge in a bit of reflection, weighing the nature of the day, the strength and energy it will demand. There are bird feeders to be filled. And sidewalks to shovel or, in its season, lawns to be mowed.
The seeking fingers of daylight will be reaching further into the shadows this year. And it will be hard. Others are arising, shaking off somnolence, and we ask them, where have you been these past seven years? Or, having seen these past seven years, why now are you choosing another way of division?
But those others will have to hold account with themselves.
For each of us, the prime directive is VOTE. Shame us not with purple-fingered other countries. We must vote.
Sorrow us not again with lines ten hours long in rain drenched states trying to deny our brothers and sisters the basic right of every American. We must vote.
Through winter storms and frigid weather, through flooded Southern cities, through the largest of our cities under siege, lessons have been shown. We must vote.
The history is told of the founding of this nation and a woman’s question to Ben Franklin—republic, sir, or monarchy? “Republic, if you can keep it.”
Keeping our Republic calls us to a noble purpose of citizenry. Vote we must. But vote smart—not for trivialities or beer buddies, but for leaders who will nurture our better selves rather than pandering to the darkness inside. We must choose wisely those we charge with representing us in Congress and in the White House and statehouses. And we must do the hard work of holding them to account when times or actions demand.
Citizenship is not for the faint of heart nor the shirker. As citizenship—or the lack thereof—is waved like a matador’s cape to inflame, it would behoove those who have it to take better care of it.
It starts with your vote. Don’t say your vote doesn’t count, I’m a lonely-only blue in a red state…Leaders are built on the smallest foundations of democracy and grow from there. Vote smart in 2008—not divisiveness or wedge issues, but the issues that bind us together as a nation and deserve restoring and empowering.
Vote…for your dog catcher. For your schoolboard. For your township. For your city. For your state. For your country. Vote…in your primaries, and your caucuses, and the general election next fall. Because if you don’t, someone else will. And look at the mess that’s gotten us in.
It’s a long road ahead. There is work to be done. And miles to go before we sleep.