Monday, July 18, 2016

Even Staying Home Is A Choice

I'm of an age that I remember the Omega symbols at protests on Boston Common.

I remember waiting for the draft numbers in the lottery.

I remember the boys who didn't come back.

I remember the people who went to Canada, even though they were in no danger from the draft , because the United States wasn't the home they had before.

I remember waking up in the middle of one night, turning on the radio for music so I could sleep, and hearing the breathless chaos in a ballroom where another tower of Camelot had fallen.

I've seen my dreams fall into the abyss of systematic bigotry, public indifference, organized greed and deceit and also saw them transform into nightmares of petty violence, corruption and a wholesale theft of the public weal not seen since Tammany Hall, all under the guise of "protection" from "big government.".

I have seen first hand, in my own person, and in the lives of those I've known and loved, the effects of discrimination and prejudice.

I despaired of where my nation would go.

But now I have to force myself to dream again. With four children and a granddaughter I have no choice.

I saw the campaign of the man I wanted, who was the mirror of my dreams of youth, fall apart from misguided zealotry and manipulation.

I've seen the campaign of a woman who is qualified, but with the baggage of decades of being the subject of right-wing hatred and lies, and as a not-so-close second choice be the one who could win.

I look at what the likes of Scalia, Alito and Thomas have done to our civil rights, and I fear mightily what would be the result of three or more of their ilk added to the Supreme Court.

And there are those who declare that they will vote third-party or write-in or not at all, and I want to take their faces and shove them into the mud and slime that were the results of "protest votes" that gave us and Bush II and wars that have surpassed in length even the times of occupation after World War II.

This election will be a turning point for our country.

We can choose either a deeply flawed Camelot or The Handmaid's Tale.

I've already been told I'm not a "real Progressive" for saying to vote for reality instead of a mirage of a Miracle of Rare Device.

I know what future I will choose with my vote.

With four children and a granddaughter I have no choice.

What will be yours?