RIGHT TO VOTE—
We are headed to the primary elections that will eventually lead us to another, more final one in the next two months. The finality of the one that comes after the primary is that we will be deciding whom to put to office from a list of those we have selected.
While this process is clear, the procedure in keeping with what the phrase ‘the right to vote’ means, the results might not necessarily translate to what we need at this time.
What we need in this time of widespread recession and the loss of hope resulting from this widespread recession are competent leaders who concretely understand where we are and who know how to lead us get out of this mess that has become our lot in the last two years or so.
What we need are leaders who can tell us how to draw up a vision again, one of the future, a vision that includes as a marker the continuing increase of the number of middles class Americans and not the slide of this number to a level that reveals a deep divide between those who have so much and the majority that has so little.
We need leaders who are not only good with words—we need the words that can heal our wounded hearts and minds at this time—but also leaders who are also good with how these words are translated into action, leaders therefore who can tell us exactly where do we begin to start walking again in order to pursue the Promised Land, a pursuit that is not empty but with substance.
This is the reason why the right to vote comes always with a correlative: the duty to vote.
In this duty to vote is the responsibility in our hands—the responsibility to assure us that the leaders we elect in the primaries are also the same leaders that will lead us to the light, to hope, and to a new vision for us all.
In the older times, voting was called—we still refer to it sometimes—suffrage.
Suffrage is prayer, petition, and request. It carries with it the weight of ritual and ceremony—and the weight of faith.
It behooves on us then to think again: that even as we take part in the primaries and in the November elections, we are taking part as well in the social ritual for prayer, for petition, for request, and thus, it is necessary that we do the right thing.
Our duty is to educate ourselves to the demands of the choices that we will have to make. These choices are a prelude to the kind of a future our children and we are headed.
Certainly, our prayer is to not falter.
Certainly, our prayer is for this ritual of the elections to come together with our educated, discriminating choices.
We cannot fail—we ought not to fail in these elections.
For one thing, we can no longer afford the cost of widespread recession and hopelessness.