Op-Ed by Bryan Bates, Doney Park, September 2018
Once upon a time, Republicans and Democrats talked and worked with each as was demonstrated daily by John McCain. Enter large monetary contributions hidden from public view per the “Citizens United” Supreme Court and other legal rulings, and political efforts become entrenched along the stipulations of a donor’s ideological stance. Combine the “you do what I pay you to do” political allegiance with the not-so coincidental entry of religion into politics, disregarding the Constitutional separation of Church and State, and we now find our nation divided within itself. Whether Democrat or Republican, Libertarian or Green, or Independent by frustration, our country faces a schism as threatening as the attacks of Sept 11, 2001.
While we call ourselves the United States, we are just as fractured in our states as we are nationally. Racism and sexism that has lasted for centuries is being unveiled, yet institutional inertia and legislative/ bureaucratic rules refuse to recognize the obvious violation that “all humans are created equal”. Our rights, per the Declaration of Independence, are subject to the political control of those individuals and corporations who make the largest political contributions.
It is easy to accuse each other, and that is exactly what attack ads do, but such childish rhetoric neither resolves the issue nor provides a path forward. Our November 6 election is of great importance because it will decide whether the institutionalization of racism, sexism, poverty, and defunding of education (to mention a few) will continue to the point of further dividing our nation.
It has always been and remains the responsibility of the individual to protect our national values. Thus it is critical that each reader not only register to vote, but also educates him/herself about the candidates and propositions. It is “We, the People” who need to take informed and deliberate action in the upcoming election so that WE decide the future of our nation.
It seems rather clear that the demagoguery of the status quo is not providing leadership, and the responsibility for critical thinking about what is of greatest value remains with our decisions in the upcoming election. Get educated and get to the polls.