Tuesday, November 6, 2012

...And I Approve This Message

I love politics.  I study it.  I observe it. I analyze it.  Publicly, I keep it to myself.

It's not that I don't appreciate my right to free speech.  It's not that I am timid or afraid to offend.  It's not that I straddle the metaphorical fence.  Ask those close to me.  I am willing to engage in the discussion passionately, thoughtfully and without reservation.

I remember as a child, maybe 4 years old, going to vote with my daddy.  We walked behind the curtain, #2 pencil and ballot in hand.  The writing platform was well above my reach.   I remember asking, "Who are you voting for?  Are you voting for the Easter Bunny?  Are you voting for Santa Clause?"  I couldn't see what he was writing but I knew it was important.  I treasure that memory.


Today I choose.  I choose the President that will lead this nation through the next four years.  I choose if Idaho will transform through controversial Education reform.  I choose the neighbors that will be my voice through their service of representation.

Most importantly, I choose to look forward. 

Many of those that I love, that I call family, that I call friends, that I call co-workers, that I call people whom I respect, that I call my fellow Americans.....   will be disappointed tonight.  They will look at the candidate and the reform that they cared so deeply about and realize that tomorrow, their hope for an America, led by an individual or guided by policy, is no longer. 

Hearts will hurt.

Tomorrow, when the blackened eyes of a hard-fought political battle emerge, I promise this:  I will be empathetic. I will consider the feelings of others when I speak about concrete results.  I will not make generalized comments about who should have won or who should not have won. 

I will contribute.  I will look forward.  Even if the ballot I cast today is not reflective of tomorrow.

We are made of our experiences.  We believe our truths based upon the circumstances that we have faced and the disposition that we use to navigate our trials.

I believe that people who hold their values close to the vest are noble.  I believe that people who care deeply about issues are noble. I believe that the people who catapult themselves into the public spotlight to be of service to their neighbors are noble.  On either side of the ballot. 

Today, those noble individuals are hopeful.  Tomorrow, many will feel defeated.

For myself, for my community and for my nation, that after months of divisive dialogue, just needs to be healed, I will contribute.  I will be part of the solution. I will engage in dialogue that works toward a common goal and a shared vision.

Won't you join me?

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