Whether you are on the left or the right of the political spectrum--you feel it: Tension. Anger. Frustration. Social fatigue. Animosity. Hostility. Name calling. Blaming. Helplessness. So many of my friends on both sides are exhibiting symptoms of a country in crisis. And we deserve it. We earned this calamity.
Every disenfranchised American who just gave up on the political process merited this national heartache. Every eligible voter who found an excuse not to exercise their privilege to be counted are reaping the reward of their complacency. Every disheartened citizen who turned a cynical eye to news and information scored a win for hopelessness.
"Yeah, but," you may say, "Polling locations are rigged in my neighborhood," or, "Voter suppression is strong in my state demanding photo ID's and intimidating minority groups such as Hispanics, African-Americans, and transgendered voters," or "There are long lines," or, "I can't take off from work," or, "the voting machines didn't work," or, "I didn't like any of the candidates and stayed home." Yeah, you can say that. Forty percent of eligible voters did. Hence, my point, we deserve what we reap.
Now for the good news. It hurts. Americans have a high threshold for pain. But maybe beyond that threshold, it hurts enough to change. Perhaps we may just find ourselves introspective, asking fundamental questions about who we truly are as a people, what our values are, what our country stands for, who we want to be. And maybe, just maybe, we may discover the power and recourse within ourselves to become a United States of America, dedicated to a higher consciousness , not of one of self-loathing, but self-confidence, not a country of castigation and censure but a nation of collaboration and consensus, not a country of us and them, but a country of We The People.
We can do this. It begins with a voice. It begins with a vote.