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We The People

January 16, 2016

 

I am what they call a “DAR.”

Daughter of the American Revolution.

That is my great, great, great (if I’m being honest, I’ve lost track how many “Greats” ago) grandparents, fought in the American Revolution.

One side of my lineage arrived by boat with the early settlers in the 1500’s.

They participated in some of the early Thanksgivings.

Another side of my lineage were indentured servants.  Sent here as a child to work for the family she was sent with.  She would belong to that family until she was 18.  In exchange, they paid for her to come to America.  Her parents believed it was a small price to pay for their child to have a chance.

They ran from famine.  They ran from prosecution over religion.  They ran from taxes.

They ran toward hope, toward tomorrow, toward a life they couldn’t believe existed at the time.

But for me and everyone I know, the life they dreamed of exists and we are the ones living it.

We live in a country called a democracy.

We live in a place where the vast majority truly believe, “All men are created equal.”

Freedom of Speech matters.  And it is practiced and protected.

Church and state are separate.

Votes are counted.

Anyone.  Yes, Anyone.  Can be the President.

And yet, we have gotten so sensitive about our politics that some believe it is socially

unacceptable to talk about our politics, our opinions, the things that are important

to us publicly.

Even to debate things with our friends and family.  To share our ideas, talk about

our future and be honest with each other that our futures are tied together.

God forbid, we say it, express or otherwise convey it on Facebook or any other social media.

I hear my Granddaddy’s rolling over in their graves.

Their bones creek against the rights they fought and died for.

Their souls scream for American’s to get their shit together and quit being babies.

Our forefather’s said it when they signed the constitution, “You’ve got your Republic, if you can keep it.”

They knew that talking politics is awkward.  Sometimes it’s painful.  Sometimes it pisses

you off.

I understand not everybody wants to be frustrated on facebook every day, but

I argue that keeping an open, functioning democracy may be the most important thing in

your life.

Like air, you don’t notice it’s importance until it’s gone.

And, here’s the thing.  Listening to political points of view, understanding and giving

thought to your own

is what is REQUIRED of you as a citizen of this great country.  You have to think for

yourself.

If you can’t handle opinions, some that aren’t like yours, go to a country that doesn’t allow

them.

If you don’t have opinion, start asking questions, start trying to understand.

We, Americans, need you to!

That’s how this works.

And it’s not enough to understand that ‘those people’ that live all the way in another part

of the country believe ‘that crazy shit.’

Listen to the people you care about.

Talk to them about your opinions too!

People you love believe things that you don’t agree with.

My brother believes that the 2nd amendment is sacred and nothing should ever touch it.

Just in case a government gets out of hand.

My best friend believes that same sex marriage should be a given.

Another best friend believes it violates God’s teachings.

One parent believes refugees should be kept out.

Another believes we should let them in.

“Those people” are the people that you care about.

And they aren’t crazy and their ideas aren’t crazy (most of the time.)

They just come from a different experience in this vast country of varied experience.

They are Americans, voicing an opinion.

Voice yours.

For God’s sake – HAVE ONE!

Argue your point.  Be respectful.  Look up the facts.

Try to understand opposing ideas whenever you can.

Don’t be afraid to change your opinion on something.

Our country is built on “The People” caring enough to think.

Taking the time to talk.

Having the courage to question themselves and others.

Having the wisdom to see that the media and many political candidates are just trying to

sell us something.

Back away, talk to the people you know.

They are the only ones that truly matter anyway.

And you’ll realize that your own life is filled with just as much diversity of thought

as our country.

“Those people” are “Your people”  and “Those crazy ideas” are those of “Your friends or

family.”

And, they are Americans first.

Trying to make sure that this country remains

Of the People, By the People and For the People.

 

 

 

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