Tuesday, September 23, 2008

rock the vote.

For someone who's an international studies major with a focus in political science, active in the ADL, and generally just "aware" of the issues we're faced with, i'm admittedly apathetic when it comes to half the crap that goes on in politics these days. i tune out when i want to, and rarely speak up unless there is something wise to be said. so sue me. but a recent blog post by one of my favorite americans, adam duritz of the counting crows, really ignited that fire in me that i so badly needed just 5 short weeks away from election day.

read on, or don't...i could care less as long as you know that one day i'm gonna marry this boy. :)

"Let me get this out of the way first. I can't stress how important I think it is for you to vote in this election. It's time for our nation to reclaim it's place as a beacon in the world. We may never set the example we might have around the world again as a leader in foreign policy or diplomacy. It's possible we are just too tied to powerful lobbying interest groups to make those kinds of changes. But there's nothing that says we can't set the example of a country of free men and women banding together to decide our future as one nation. We CAN remind the world how a democracy truly works, why it works, and why it matters that it works. A democracy matters because, on its most basic level, it says that every single person matters. It says that no one person is of lesser or greater importance than another. It disputes and it spits in the face of a way of thinking that had gone on for thousands and thousands of years, basically the entirety of human existence, until we came along two hundred and thirty-two years ago and said there was a better way.

I hear a lot of people talk about patriotism and flags and American values but the truth is there is only one truly American value: your right to vote. It is the definition of America. It is the way we decided to define ourselves that set us apart from all the other countries in the world at that time and it is the reason we fought that first war. It took 72 years for the first group of women to organize a conference to seriously discuss getting themselves the right to vote and another 72 years of hard fought struggle before they got it. That's 144 years your great grandmother and their great grandmothers fought to secure those rights for their daughters and granddaughters and you. Can you seriously hold so little respect for them in your hearts that you would throw that right away?

For the first hundred years of our nation's existence, we actually had slaves, people considered by some to be less than human. Their children and their children's children hold their own fate in their hands in 2008 but their ancestors paid a heavy heavy price to carry them here over the chasm of that injustice. We have come to this country from every point across the globe and we have made a pact with one another. We will live here together and we will decide our future together and then we will abide by that decision and live out that future, whatever it may be, together. The proof of the strength of a true democracy does not lie in your ability to elect the person you want; it lies in our ability as a people to lose an election and still abide and stand by the pact. Democracy is hard that way. Sometimes you lose. But we have kept the pact for over two hundred years, failing only once to abide and that one time was the worst disaster in American history.

Our country may not be perfect but the ideal is. And anyway, it's still our country. If you don't like the way something's being done, we have a system in place that allows for peaceful change. All you have to do is take part. If you're over the age of 18 and you're an American citizen, get yourself registered and vote. Just go to the front page of CountingCrows.com and click on the flag. It'll register you anywhere in the United States for any party you like. Then come out on the first Tuesday in November and take part in the birth of a new nation, one that is reborn over and over and over again. Every time you step in to that booth, you breathe new life into the ideals that began this country two hundred and thirty two years ago.

It's your turn now. There is nothing more important you can ever do for this world than to wake up and be a part of it." -adam duritz, http://www.countingcrows.com/, 9/20/08

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