For much of my career working for one of the world’s largest healthcare companies, I was the only woman in the room. I had to work hard, smart, and develop a thick coat of armor to be successful, to eventually become one of the company’s presidents. As a result, I have nothing but respect and admiration for Hillary Clinton. She is a pioneer who has endured more public floggings than any human being in recent history as she transitioned from First Lady to Senator, to Secretary of State, to Presidential candidate. She brings courage, experience, toughness, and brains to our country at a tumultuous time.
She is not perfect. But our democracy was not created with perfection.
In Lin-Manuel Miranda’s award-winning Broadway musical, Hamilton, a performance based on Ron Chernow’s book, Alexander Hamilton, President George Washington tells the bright, egocentric, passionate Hamilton “Winning was easy, young man, governing is harder.” Washington instructs his protégé that he must slog through the compromises necessary to create a monetary system critical to the survival of the nation. He must find a way to work with those who oppose him.
Our democracy was built on the unsexy, arduous, often messy, job of compromise.
As a result, the polarizing language used by Donald Trump alarms me. When I hear him revving up his followers, urging a “Revolution,” I fear we are in the midst of our own “Arab Spring,” where violence could tear apart our families and communities. We do not need to abandon a Constitution that has survived over two hundred years, a Civil War, two World Wars, and made us a world leader. We do need to elect people at all levels of government who are willing to look for the common ground, to sweat through negotiations with people of differing views in order to make our country even greater. We need to support those who respect the separation of power outlined in the Constitution, willing to ensure our judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government are functioning at the highest possible level for the good of the people. All people.
In the book Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in a Cynical Time, Paul Rogat Loeb says: “We mistrust our own ability to make a difference. The magnitude of the issues at hand, coupled with this sense of powerlessness, has led far too many of us to conclude that social involvement isn’t worth the cost… it’s what psychologists call learned helplessness. Society has systematically taught us to ignore the ills we see, and leave them to others to handle.”
Admittedly, the political rhetoric has been so divisive, so suffocating, so long-lasting, that it can be tempting to turn away in an exhausted heap and leave there for voting to others. But we cannot afford to sit out this election. We shape the lives of our children by our example. We shape the life of our country by our involvement. We must vote.
On November 8, we choose between a candidate who understands and has experienced the underpinnings of democracy and one who appears to be a demagogue. To me, the choice is so obvious there is no choice. But the real beauty of being an American is that we can agree to disagree and still live peacefully alongside one another.
That is a fundamental principle worth protecting.
from your local bookstore
or online retailer
and on this site.
The Ideal Gift
Tiny Treasures, a collection of wildflower photographs and poetic prose, available by clicking on the Purchase Products button below.
The 2nd Edition of Tiny Treasures is designed for use on PCs, tablets, and phones and is available at online stores. To learn more, click on the Ibook/Ebook button below: