I have many friends that I value and who make my life all the better for being in it. I am proud to say that they are of every political and social stripe. Some are Democrats, some are Republicans, some are libertarians, some are socialists, some communist (yes, the ideal still exists), some are highly religious even religious leaders, some are simply spiritual, some agnostic, some are fiercely atheist, some gay, some straight, single parents, happily married, young people, elderly folks, some a bit messy, others steady and solid. And I have to say that I'm inspired to know all of these people. They are ALL good hearted individuals who try and live by their ideals. Who have and express their opinions. Who embody the ideas that are written into our Constitution of freedom of thought, expression and faith. An idea that is still better than we have yet achieved, but inspires us to keep reaching. People who want leaders that represent them, their needs, their experience, their beliefs in our government, whatever those ideals might be. I'm proud of them because they care enough to listen, speak up and then vote! And despite a disturbing trend in our politicians and our media to create and feed disunity and divisiveness amongst us in order to get their man or woman elected, what we vote for does not decide whether we are friends, but the quality and character of the human beings that we are is what determines it.
I am proud that I have friends of every political stripe who feel compelled to use their vote to address their personal views and needs. We are not products, we are not villains, we are people. People with different opinions and vastly different experiences that mold our attitudes and needs. People who think. People who care. And by our example, by refusing to take part in the destructive campaign of political spite, by practicing cooperation and communication with each other, by talking, by working FOR rather than AGAINST ideas, we will force those who we all vote for to do the same. To achieve results for us. To begin to find solutions rather than simply throw mud. To stop vilifying those who disagree with them as the enemy. To grow up and become stewards for the country rather than schoolyard bullies, and to work in our best interest together. Pushing and pulling, not always agreeing, but moving forward with positive action. We have the strength to make that happen if we want it. We've got more power within us common folk than we even realize.
You all inspire me to vote it, use it and live it. And I thank you for that.