Exercising Your Rights
No matter how important the issue, everything is politicized these days. As evidenced by the cross country 24/7 debates and political ads, stridency has become an acceptable form of discourse, especially when you are not face-to-face with your opposite side (to a discussion).
So at the dawn of the midterm elections, our country is divided, not by race, not by religion, not by income, but by extreme ideology. Those extremes have driven from one side of the ideological political spectrum to the other in a period of less than six years. Now, as we face the 2010 mid-term election, we have all come to appreciate more the liberties and freedoms afforded us by our Constitution. We have the right, among others, to vote our choice for the citizens who will lead our Nation. Today, we observe the fact that elected office is a privilege, and not a right.
In the year 2000 it became fashionable to use labels as verbal weapons. So the "staunch conservative" right said the word "liberal" with all of the venom that could be mustered as though it was a dirty word instead of an honored political philosophy. This morning we are no better off than we were in 2006. In fact, it is probably the opposite. The pendulum of political persuasion, ideology and rhetoric may have shifted and swung, but we are just as polarized...in fact, we are more likely on the verge of being rent into fragments. Perhaps that should be the fear - - - that instead of a polarized America we are fast becoming a fragmented America. We have become socially, ideologically, politically, economically, religiously and otherwise dis-unified.
Negative emotions regarding President Obama are at least as high as they were against GWB. Disagreement with public policy is now branded as racist and un-American because of who we elected as President and because the levels of discontent are so high and so disparate across social groups and geography.
We each are entitled to our opinions, and in today's Internet world, people can find and reinforce their attitudes in myriad places. We are not the same country we were on September 10, 2001 or on September 12, 2001. The post-inauguration risks and threats are many. Yes, there is a storm coming, or perhaps it is the "winds of change." We'll see what kind of change we're in for starting in about 12 hours when the polls close. In the meantime, it is best that every American remember that we are all Americans, none more or less equal than the other. No matter on which side you stand, VOTE - - - Its is your right. And remember that the center matters.