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11/04/2008

Election Day

Today is Election Day. By the time most of you read this, the votes will have been cast. Or at least, mine will have. By the end of this day the die will have been cast and the future of this country, and of the world, will be set in a new direction.

No one knows where that new direction will take us. Just as we don't know, at this point, who it is that will be at the helm of the Ship of State.

I could tell you whom I hope it is. But I will wait yet another day. Until after the decision we're all making today is decided and announced.

I have been reading about the young Turks who were responsible for what we see today as our form of government. Not the old guys. Not Washington or Adams or even Jefferson. No. The young guys - Madison and Hamilton, the guys in their thirties when all of this stuff was being decided. The guys who wrote the Constitution. The guys who rose to the challenge when their country needed them.

The amazing thing is their youth. Wisdom and understanding usually come with age and experience. Neither of which these guys had. All they had was an innate understanding of the principles of government as attributed to Jefferson - that the ability to govern comes from the consent of the governed. Actually, this thinking is an extension of the writings of the English political theorist John Locke, and was well expressed in the Virginia Bill of Rights, authored in 1776 (see section 6 of the Virginia Bill of Rights) by George Mason, then 51 years old.

Over time I have seen the good, the bad, the sinner, and the saint, rise and fall on the American political stage. Each has espoused a philosophy of one sort or other, but almost always, the real agenda of said politician has been hidden and unexpressed, except after rising to and gaining high office. The old saying is, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." It should be "Any power corrupts." There are no saints out there. The altruists did their best in the 1780's. There have been no true altruists since. Not in government, anyway.

Conservatives espouse a free market economy and smaller government. Liberals would create a more socialized environment in which the common wealth is spent for the common good. Both political views are valid and workable but that they do not allow for one simple and overriding factor that prostitutes either philosophy so that it is unworkable. Greed. Human greed and avarice. And, as it turns out, the greediest and most avaricious of us seem to become politicians.

I grew up believing, with all my heart and soul, that we live in the greatest country in the world. It saddens me that we no longer hold the high moral ground. In WWII, the feeling was that "God was on our side." Just ask anybody who was alive then. They knew. They felt it. As despicable and unconscionable as war is, this was seen as the 'good fight' and the sacrifice of the children of the time was seen in a different and 'holier' light. We were right. Our allies were right. It was time to fight.

There is no such feeling today. Much of the world hates and despises us. We torture and maim, and even kill, prisoners in this war on terror.

We have become what we are fighting against.

We are not right. We hold no higher moral ground. I'm not sure just who is on our side, but I don't think we can claim God as an enthusiastic supporter.

We need to get back to our roots. We need to get back to where we belong. On the high ground. Where we can look at what we do and be proud. And, just to be perfectly clear - so no one attributes the wrong motives to what I am saying - I am not talking about turning to the religious right for guidance. Or anything. The goodness of man lies in his soul. In his ability to love his fellow man. In his ability to do unto others as he would have them do unto him. To realize and understand that all men - ALL MEN - are created equal. No matter where they are. Or what they believe.

Madison and Hamilton have no equals - then - or today. It begs the question - where are the good guys when you really need them?

Pray for us, whatever we have decided.

Peace.

27 comments:

Huckdoll said...

Being from Canada and all, tomorrow is just another day, but I'm really excited for you guys.

This was actually the first political(ish) post I've read past the first line. It was quite beautifully written and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

My thoughts will be with you all tomorrow!

Nicole said...

Only the next year(s) will tell if the US made the right choice.
I'm just glad, it's not me that has to vote.
I just hope that someone great as a leader will be chosen, whichever one of the two it might be.

Shadow said...

if everyone just did what was good for them AND others, without personal agendas, there'd be no political fiascos to start off with... i agree, power corrupts.

Bee said...

The President can't fix the serious and complex that affect America. Only the American people can do that. So as a candidate for President either you inspire the people to get involved and debate and decide how to make the future better. Or you can suggest simplistic palliatives that serve the purpose of perpetuating your interests in the status quo. I'm voting today for someone who has inspired me to become involved and stay involved in ensuring a better future for everyone on the planet.

moneythoughts said...

Well said Lou. From the heart. A real American. We will see what we get.

witchypoo said...

I'm praying and crossing everything I have two of that you will take your country back.

Tash said...

Lou, you moved me to tears... "the goodness of man lies in his soul. In his ability to love his fellow man. In his ability to do unto others..."

You may be right about the USA no longer having the high moral ground, but your opening line evidences the position of power and influence held by your nation:

"By the end of this day ...the future of this country, and of the world, will be set in a new direction."

You are absolutely right. The direction of your country is inextricably linked to the direction the world takes.

If the leaders of our super powers were more like you, this world would be a better place.

A truly heartfelt post my friend!

I watch and wait with bated breath tonight!

Shadow said...

hiya! come over to my place, there's something for you...

Michael said...

Oh my god politics, its been on TV for ages now over here, so its finally voting day then

LceeL said...

Huckdoll: Thank you, Jenn. I am glad you enjoyed it. My 'non-partisan Political post'.

Nicole: I hope we're electing the right guy. Whichever one it turns out to be.

Shadow: Unfortunately, personal agendas will invariably come to the fore.

Bee: Hopefully, more people will become involved and stay involved.

Moneythoughts: Thank you, Fred. I guess we will.

Witchypoo: Me too, witchy. Me too.

Tash: Thank you, Tash. That was lovely.

Shadow: I went. I saw. I'll display it tomorrow. But my real 'award' is that you come here, you read, and you comment.

Michael: Yes. It is. All the flowery stuff aside, that's exactly right.

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

As this wasn't taking a side (even though I know which side you are on), I sorta agree to disagree. Even if power corrupts, there is still good. And, I'm not sure the Founding Fathers were very morally upright people, either, says the former US History teacher. Hamilton was an ass who got shot through the heart, Jefferson impregnated his slave and was notoriously immoral....

Cathy said...

I agree with you. I'm very, very tired of feeling angry at my country for starting this war and thumbing our nose at the world. I really hope there will be change after tonight!

Hyphen Mama said...

This post evokes hugely mixed emotions in me... as does the election today. I feel that it's truly unfortunate that neither side has put forth the best candidate to run this country and pull her up by her boot straps. I believe both sides have an agenda FOR THEMSELVES and it is the American people who will be left to suffer...some more. I truly hope the Chosen One does some good and does no more harm.

hockeychic said...

I'm very anxious today. Having voted last Friday, all there is to do is wait and hope and I'm horribly impatient.

I like the references to Madison and Hamilton, they were truly amazing.

Employee No. 3699 said...

Wonderful post.

I voted at 6:20 this morning. I admit I got a little choked up. I hope this is the beginning of the change this country needs.

Joyce-Anne said...

Well, I've voted. The kids came too and helped. I'm glad they get to see democracy in action.

Now I can go to Starbucks and get my free cup of coffee.

www.ayewonder.com said...

I believe the good guy is on the way, Lou.

ConverseMomma said...

No matter what political party you follow, I agree with your heart. That, my friend, defies party lines, and always rides the proper side. I would have more belief in this country if more men were as you are.

LceeL said...

AFF: It's just that the good is darn hard to find. No matter what they were personally, Madison and Hamilton did hte job they were asked to do.

Cathy: This war, more than anything, is the worst thing that's been done in our name.

Hyphen Mama: Me, too. Whomever the Chosen One turns out to be.

Hockeychic: Yes, they were. Their real innovation in formulating the Constitution was the Judiciary.

Employee: Me too, darlin'.

Joyce-Anne: Yes!!! Free Coffee.

Ayewonder: Fingers crossed.

Conversemomma: I don't know darlin'. There ain't a 'Politically Correct' bone in my body. Careful what you wish for. That said - you have no idea how much I really appreciate that comment. That made my day.

Momisodes said...

This is the most eloquent political post I've read today. I couldn't agree more with "The goodness of man lies in his soul."

I've voted today, and I'm on the edge of my seat.

Kelley said...

I will pray for ALL of us that you guys make the right decision.

I just checked and it is 50/50...

warriorwoman said...

I vote for Obama

maggie's mind said...

Best post about this election (and about so much more) that I've read all day, though I have read some really great ones today. Just so well put.

Loraine said...

While our founding fathers were important in shaping our country and constitution and they deserve honor for that, they were by far not perfect men. I think they are too glorified in our schools- practically immortalized as demi- gods of some sort- when they were almost all slave holders and sexists who denied women the rights to own their own bodies.

And don't forget the Native American contribution to our government system. The Seven Nations of Iroquois set a grand example.

tiff said...

I hope that things get better Lou. I hope that this new guy can turn things around. Thinking of you.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Peace, indeed....

Lady Language said...

Until every single person shows goodness of heart and truth in their soul we will continue down the same path in a fiery ball of flames. Both men were good, but they are still politicians and will have their own agenda.