Voting equals Black Lives Matter. My future and the futures of those I love most are in danger. This is real and felt by those I work with and the people in my life who are queer, disabled, hold differing religious beliefs and are people of color.
America is a place people should come to for refuge from the turmoil of their countries. America is a country that is clear and consistent on its values of torture, fascism, occupation, climate change. This is a dream, I know. The past four years have brought us farther away from these values than at any point in my lifetime. My father and Uncle fought in the Army for freedom, my wife and her father fought in the Army for these values too. My life is owed to soldiers who fought in WWII to save us from fascism. America cannot embrace the era we are in nor the ideals of hatred and fear that have spread lies and misinformation. Voting makes a difference!
Climate change and our participation in a global community matters to the future of all of us. The judges that are appointed to the federal bench change the lives of vulnerable people through policy changed dictated by law. The treatment of the vulnerable and the ones who need just a bit of a hand up to thrive are impacted by the census, by prison reform and by defunding the police. Our way of life will change no matter who wins in November but today feels like a true fork in the road of America. For or against fascism, allow our country to be manipulated by influences that are not for the health and safety of the people (or the country) of the United States or not. Voting changes lives!
As of this day in October 2020 a secret dream of mine is coming true. More than 25 million people have already voted by mail or stood on lines for many hours in order to cast their vote. The America I have dreamed of is activated towards the arc of justice with the power of the vote. I believe the voice of power is happening right now and the moment needs deep recognition. People are putting their lives in danger in order to vote because voting creates the only way to have systemic equity. Voting creates possibility for all!
My family voted by mail this week. For the first time, our son wanted to help, and we let him fill in all the ovals for the people and measures we were for or against. There was lively discussion and research and clear values expressed. This is how it was when I was child. My parents didn’t always agree but I got to vote with each of them, in turn. My parents instilled in me the honor and responsibility of voting. The other day, my wife and I passed this down to our son. When voter suppression happens over decades/centuries to those who feel (and are left) behind by our country it is hard to see a way towards this change. Gerrymandering, threatening voters, disappearing postal collection sites and the erosion of trust have created the feeling that people’s voices don’t matter and creating change hasn’t been possible. It is possible. Voting is viral!