Tuesday this week is election day, though I've heard that the turnout for early voting has been significantly larger than it was four years ago. Some say that the numbers will rival the presidential election two years ago, which is very unusual for mid term elections. I encourage everyone to give careful thought to what form of government we want for our present, and for our future. What has made our democratic republic secure these past few centuries is the system of checks and balances ... similar to that of Great Britain's Parliament, with two opposing factions learning to find concensus in the middle of the divide.
Our three branches of government, currently, are each dominated by one of the two factions, and the system of checks and balances has been stymied, allowing one party to consistently override the other. This is not a healthy way to conduct government for our country.
But more distressing than the lopsided imbalance is the increasingly negative tone that dominates our newsfeeds ... the anger and disrespect toward our first amendment freedom of the press is only one aspect of the downward spiral ... the behavior of both politicians and their avid followers sets a very poor behavioral standard for our children and grandchildren.
Quilters are some of the most generous, good natured, kind, compassionate people I have ever known, and I wish all were more publicly visible to the larger populace. But you are not ... your charitable works, dedicated patience, and experienced wisdom remains unseen by much of America, more's the pity. One hundred years ago, such women mustered up the courage to speak publicly of their disagreements with the faction in power at the time ~ the male gender of privilege ~ the 'free, white and 21' citizens who could vote and own property, even after the turn of the century (1900.) And so they marched, and spoke, and shared their inequalities, and with patience and fortitude, they succeeded in turning the tide and gaining the right to be part of 'We the People.'
I ask that all of you vote with conscience ... vote your values, your true values, your privately held values, not the values printed on baseball caps and t-shirts by politicians' wealthy lobbyists. Whether you vote red or blue, vote true, for your and your children and grandchildren's lives do depend on what kind of government we have ahead of us in this new century.
Vote for people who will work to rebuild our reputation as a positive environment for all. Vote for people who will rebuild alliances with like-minded countries, rather than with autocrats and dictators who care little for human rights. Vote for people you will not be embarrassed by ... vote for people whose values mirror your own.