Thursday, November 06, 2008

Civil Rights and the History of the Moment

My thoughts are on the amazing history of this week, and, in fact, this past year. I personally identified a great deal with what John McCain stood for, I could see a determination in his heart, in his words that I knew from the beginning he would make an excellent leader, an excellent president for our country. That what he said weren't merely words to get elected (as politicians, none in this group included) so often do. I could not find anyone else I could stand behind more in the run-up to and during the election.

I, in fact, did volunteer in the final hours for Sen. McCain because I could feel the gravity of the moment. I also offered my thoughts of the current events, in the wee hours of the morning of Election Day, because I knew in my heart what was at stake here: the honor of our country and the honor of the American people. I knew this election was different, but I did not see it completely the way a voting majority of the country saw it. Even if my predictions were incorrect, I ask that you to take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

'Scorched earth' was and is never a good policy of action. I think that we will see some of that in the coming weeks and months, unfortunately. This is indeed a historic time in our country's history, a very historic time.

I find a great deal of promise in Sen. Obama, something that others see even more in. There are a number of policies we don't see eye to eye. And beliefs that we fail to share, one regarding abortion—but his stance of how to deal with the root of the problem (and that is women in difficult situations) is at the very least understandable if not admirable. However, regardless the differences we share, he is a gifted politician adept at staying calm and cool that it reminds me of a difference of the 'Teflon' presidential years of the '80s...the validation or invalidation of this current reality will come soon enough.

Nevertheless, the history made on Tuesday is to be commended. It is a time to heal the racial divides in this country and actually get to helping those in need and to protect the rights of all Americans. We must stand up for the rights of all in this country of ours, and this is a step in that direction. There is much else to do and further rights to protect.

If we needed any further reminded let me quote the beginning of the Declaration of Independence:
"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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

We should always be wary of the abuses construed by those in power and ever vigilant of the rights we hold dear in this country of ours: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We must defend these rights for all, not just some. And, most importantly, realize once and for all human life is afforded those unalienable rights and are thus created equal. We are all called to have a voice, and we should always push further to form a more perfect union.

There is no "yes, we can"...for we have done, we are doing, and we will continue to do...all that is needed to ensure voices young and old, white or black, born or unborn are given the rights described in that Declaration of Independence.

We must never go quietly into the night. We must never be told to be quiet. If it is what it is, we must speak the truth of it. We must never stand for injustice. And for me, as we celebrate history, I must remember this as we celebrate one Civil Rights history and await another: the compassionate end of abortion where abortion is not necessarily illegal but simply and utterly unthinkable.

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