I Wish We All Voted

I WISH WE ALL VOTED

Ken Rumery
10/24/12

I wish we all voted, like the citizens of Iraq, smiling proudly,
showing purpled fingers, risking danger for the right to have their
say. I wish we took our democracy to heart, a power that expands from
all of us, that grows from the bottom up like a great tree. I wish
people were drawn to politics to do right for all the people in their
districts and beyond, who listen to them, feel their hopes, know their
needs, weep with them, laugh with them, share their joy. I wish our
representatives put bias aside for the sake of mutual goals to find
the best practical solutions for the problems of the day. I wish they
could find how to look toward the future and imagine better days for
all. Above all, I wish they were open and honest with us, like
trusted friends.

This place exists in our minds and souls and is called Utopia, a much
better place than the distopia we seem to inhabit. Political
advertising is far from uplifting. It seems supported by those who
own unimaginable resources and appear to seek control for personal
benefit. Many people running for office are not who they seem and we
are not sure who is behind their masks. Some change positions so
often we wonder who they are and if they really believe what they say.

Such people are difficult to trust. Some of them depend on voters who
seem to forget what was said last week. Some of them depend on voters
who aren’t paying attention.
Some are afraid that more people will turn out. For some, “Honesty
is not a good policy unless kept strictly under control.” [Don
Marquis]

If you close your eyes, you can imagine political talk and action as a
grammar school playground with its groupings of friends, playground
bullies (and their followers), isolated children and so on. You might
be able to discount the adult bodies and voices of elected people and
see the children who inhabit those bodies. Perhaps you can see the
political scene as a playground full of these children–some taunting
others, bullying, controlling–some happy playing together–some
dreaming about a wonderful future–some hostile–some hurt by others.

If you watch carefully, you can see behind the smiling or stern faces
of people to see who is phony and who is real. You can test what they
say to sort deception from truth-telling. You can tell if they are
with us or simply using us to gain power.

I know who I will vote for. They are people I believe are honest with
us, have earned our trust, are smart, know how to think, have learned
how to be practical and dream at the same time–and feel they are one
with us.

I wish we all voted. I wish we worked together to maintain that
“shining city on the hill.” I wish we spent time wishing, dreaming,
wondering and marveling together. [don’t forget laughing]

Posted in Letters to the Editor.