Let us not despair but act. Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past – let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Here is a simple but oft forgotten truth. Democracy is a cause, not a result. Democracy is a way of being and relating, not a mere political system. Democracy is a moral vision, not ideological rhetoric.
So don’t vote for the lesser evil. That has been proven a failure, again and again. How many times do we need to repeat a mistake before we learn? The political elite in both of the main parties will use that kind of rhetoric. And guess what? When voters listen to them, the same political elite keep being elected and the status quo continues.
Imagine, instead, if all Americans voted for the greater good. Not just their own personal good or the good of their party or of their group. Your vote and all your activism should first and foremost go to the defense of democracy. Politics isn’t team sports. Anyone worthy of being president needs to represent all Americans.
We should envision the country we want to live in. Not be ruled by our fears. If our imagination is darkened by nightmares, we will create that self-fulfilling prophecy. To merely fight against something is to give it power. If anyone threatens you for not voting for them or their candidate, treat them with compassion. They are a lost soul who needs help. But don’t listen to them. Don’t let their dark thoughts darken your own mind.
Remember this. Democracy isn’t about votes and elections. We the People are democracy. If we want democracy, we have to act in a democratic fashion. Either we all win or we all lose. That is the reality of democracy. You might point out that isn’t how our society operates. And that is the problem.
No politician is going to give us democracy. We have to build democracy from the ground up. At best, voting merely can be an expression of this. But an election isn’t the heart of democracy nor even its ultimate result. If a campaign season like this is to have any meaning, the only thing that needs to be debated is democracy itself. When we figure out what democracy is or could be, then and only then can we work toward solving our shared problems.
Hold the vision of democracy close. Be sure it’s a vision worthy of fighting for. And then have the moral conviction to fight for it.