It was a walk up a long, steep hill, but it was worth it. Last Saturday my wife and I voted. It had the feeling of accomplishment. The long, steep hill was also a symbol. Wearing masks, sucking breath in through fabric in the single nation hardest hit—this great rudderless ship—we went to say “enough.” The clearest indication of evil in the present administration (and here we’re starved for choices) is the open attempt to sabotage voting. Some GOPers are placing fake ballot boxes in public locations while the pretender-in-chief has encouraged his followers to vote twice and has tried to prevent his “fellow Americans” from having their legitimate say. Sometimes you have to climb a high hill, but the view from the top may just be worth all that effort.
We are a suffering nation. Not only have we become divided, that division has been stirred, and prodded, and poked by a man who knows the only way to win is to divide and conquer. Untie what used to be the United States for personal aggrandizement. Voting is more than a right, it’s an absolute duty. All who do it are patriots. In this we can be united. Perhaps a bit winded, stop to take a look at the trees on the hills showing their true colors. We woke up stuck in a nightmare four years ago. We’ve lost four years of our lives. We’ve climbed so many hills and sunk into dark, deep valleys. Does that flag look a little tattered to you?
Back in high school we all wondered how autocrats like Hitler and Mussolini came to power. We’ve watched it happen in a nation that was the avowed enemy of fascism within living memory. And for what? The right to wear red baseball caps that claim our nation wasn’t great to begin with? Great is not the same as perfect, to be sure. We were producing the technology (that is by definition “progressive”) that the world craved. We were ensuring the rights of all people. We were cleaning the environment. What within all of this isn’t great? How has it become better in these four misspent years of worry and weariness, bringing us to the brink of nuclear war without a thought of the incredible effort it took to build all of this. Or the effort it took to walk up this long, steep hill.