BY SHARON MARTIN
Two kinds of people, perhaps three, vote in this country. One kind believes in sharing resources. Another thinks they are somehow more deserving than others. Some voters just get splinters or a thrill from being wooed by hucksters. However you vote, it is this peaceful transfer of power that has allowed us to grow into an economic and military powerhouse, a beacon for people fleeing oppression or seeking opportunity.
Folks who take action to free themselves from dictators and hardships have made this country stronger, smarter, and more courageous.
It takes great courage to cross an ocean or a border. It takes intelligence and courage to start over in a new place, speaking a new language. It takes stamina and belief in oneself to start a new life. And it has taken almost 230 years, with steps forward and backward, to get where we are today.
We still have a ways to go, if the party in power doesn’t undo all we have accomplished this far.
Right now, our president is a would-be dictator. He wouldn’t have made it into office without collaborators, men and women who were willing to sell us out, to upset the balance of power.
The coup started with Ronald Reagan and the busted unions. It gained power with Grover Norquist and his no-taxes pledge. In 2000, during Bush 43’s administration, the real prize was redistricting. With gerrymandered districts, the Voting Rights Act gutted, and a Supreme Court justice’s seat stolen, we stand to lose everything.
Here’s a partial list of what we’ve lost so far:
– Press access to the White House
– Thoughtful diplomacy
– Any measure of security [because bluster and gaffes, not to mention threats of nuclear war, don’t make us safe]
– The respect of our allies
– Free and fair elections
– The right to peaceably assemble without a foreign dictator’s body guards beating you
– The promise of affordable and accessible healthcare
We have come this far through the doggedness of the real patriots – civil rights activists, suffragists, union organizers, photographers and journalists, legal aid lawyers, social workers, healthcare professionals who treat those without access, teachers, church people, all who have opened their doors and their hearts to the needy.
The most dangerous and least patriotic thing one can do right now is to stand by and watch our Constitution become meaningless. – Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer