How do you decide to whom to give your vote?

Created October 8th, 2020

This year, everything may depend on it.

The whole planetary environment, and our own fair land, is burning and flooding at the same time. Plagues released by our own hands in the invasion of forests and jungles are severely curtailing our ways of life everywhere in the world.

The greatest most idealistic and yet practical nation that has ever existed on Earth is almost as torn in two as it was in the American Civil War nearly two centuries ago.

“The hope of the world”, as people in every country on Earth have called the USA at one time or another.

The great rainbow hope that contains a little bit of everywhere and everyone. The seed for peace and unity connecting us all as brothers and sisters.

There are other things we have been taught to value as part of the American Dream.

But none of them is as central to our mission as to bring unity and kindness across everyone, inclusively. Yes, kindness.

Who said “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

It was Abraham Lincoln. He also said: “I do not like that man. I will have to get to know him better.” This is the Spirit of America, the mother lode, the real patriotism. Gung Ho!

Who said, when pointing out the factionalism dangers of institutionalizing a two-party system:

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism.”

It was the Father of our Country, George Washington. If it’s not yet clear from reading his words above, Washington denounced the two-party system when it arose in 1796 as a “horrid threat to the Republic.” Until the two- party system took hold in America that year, the fair-minded founders of our country had set it up so that the runner-up in the presidential election would become vice president. No parties were written into any of the foundational documents.

The design of the Great American Experiment was to allow people as individuals to elect representatives to reach consensus by civil conversation, good will, and American inventiveness. All the careful working out of the checks and balances were intended to minimize the risk that power and control would concentrate into very few hands – as it always had before.

Ironic that we have so forgotten our bedrock principles that some of the leaders of today’s political parties openly talk about seizing control over the Senate, the Courts, the Presidency, etc.

This was what Washington distrusted about the two-party system, he saw the divisiveness coming. He could tell from the friction in the country during 1796 leading up to the presidential election, the first with two parties. This had the potential to overcome all the careful balancing of power so that once again as throughout history a small number of people could wind up controlling everything and everybody.

Washington also said:

“Lenience will operate with greater force, in some instances than rigor. It is therefore my first wish to have all of my conduct distinguished by it.”

One of our first presidents in his first Inaugural Address felt he had to re-create unity, due to the bitterness of the campaigning preceding the 1796 election between the Republican Democrats (long before they split into two parties) and the Federalists. At the time, the short code for the Republican Democrats was “the Republicans” meaning “for the public”. This is what he said:

“During the throes and convulsions of the ancient world, during the agonizing spasms of infuriated man, seeking through blood and slaughter his long lost liberty, it was not wonderful that the agitation of the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore; that this should be more felt and feared by some and less by others; and should divide opinions as to measures of safety; but every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all republicans: we are all federalists.”

We Americans must remember that we are all brethren of the same principles.

The same man, Thomas Jefferson, years earlier had said “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Who said:

  • “Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.” …
  • “He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.” …
  • “There never was a good war or a bad peace.” …

That was Benjamin Franklin.

These are the clearly stated moral codes of the Founders of the United States of America.

No matter how hard one looks, one cannot find things said by the Founders of the USA that endorse the kind of ripping into one another – those of the other party – that has become our taken-for-granted, daily habit today, as if it has always been that way and always will be, a natural law.

When did so many of us start to identify more with our political party than with our unity as Americans?

Either we are off course – or I am. And if I am, so were the people who against all odds and at risk of losing all, set up the paradise in which we are lucky enough to live.

We must not betray the trust that they placed in future generations to carry out their idealistic and yet achievable dreams.

Do your own research into what our country’s founders really said. Make up your OWN mind where to invest your sacred vote.

Why “sacred”? Because I see America as more than a country, it’s a reform movement for the whole human race, an idea of how we can reach consensus together rather than merely electing one strong man to decide everything for us, and a very detailed plan for making that difficult consensus-building task work. Put together by a number of the wisest minds to ever exist on Earth, and themselves inspired by even wiser minds throughout history. Not just thrown together.

Keep their words in mind and your vote will be the right one, true to your own inner being. That’s what republican democracy is all about.

A Song for Today [God Bless America – Rosemary Clooney]

May the Center hold.

God bless us all,

Bill

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