Friday, January 13, 2012

Encouraging Words for Those Who Feel Overburdened by American Politics by Jaye Lewis

Hello friends,

I suppose that I should send a copy of this blog post to each of the candidates in every election in the United States.  I doubt they would listen, but then, maybe they would understand just how much they exhaust us, and sometimes disgust us.

Yes, I, as an American voter, do become disgusted with the political sniping, barbs, innuendos, lies, and cruel remarks.  I am disgusted with the new definition of “truth.”  Remember when your grandmother, at least my grandmother, said, “If you can’t say something good about someone, then say nothing at all?” Another grandmother of mine used to say, “There are three sides to every story:  yours, mine, and the truth.”  Truth would be nice for a change.  And when did it become okay to claim truth when facts are twisted, so that truth is no longer truth, but a lie?  Billy Graham tells of a woman who came to him and asked, "Dr. Graham, how can I stop exaggerating all the time?"  Billy Graham's answer was, "Call it a lie."

A wise teacher once said to me, “Right is right when nothing is right, and wrong is wrong when everything is right.”  Meaning, no matter how you flavor it, snipes, barbs, innuendos, lies, and cruel remarks are never the truth, no matter how blind society becomes.

You know, in the early days of our Country, we had real heroes, who risked “their lives, their fortunes, and their honor,” all in the defense of liberty.  Patrick Henry, a fiery red-head, and true patriot, said, “I care not which course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”  Where is today’s Patrick Henry?  Where is today’s George Washington, who could have been, but who refused to be, King?  Where are the heroes of our time?  Where is honor and truth?  We once knew what that was.  

To my friends from other countries, you know of what I speak.  It is written in the hearts of all of us.  We long for honor and truth, and when we don’t have it, we are not fooled by false heroes.  We know truth, even if, as it is in some countries, you dare not speak it.

In America, with all our faults and imperfections, I am free to write this blog and criticize, by name, if I want to, every leader in my country, from the President of the United States, down to the smallest clerk in the smallest town.  I can speak my mind, out in the open, and disagree, and most of the time, no one will molest me.  In spite of the many ways that I am disappointed in my leaders, I’m proud of that right that I have to speak out, and to have my speech protected.

I may not be thrilled with the selection of people that I have to choose from, in an American election, but if I want to, I can decline to vote, and stay home.  Or I can choose whom I think is the best candidate.  Or I can even vote for the least worst candidate.  Sometimes we have great choices:  Ronald Regan; Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Teddy Roosevelt, Bill Clinton.  Great Presidents, not perfect men.  Then, there are others who were not so great.  I will let you choose the losers.

My mother always said, “The office of President makes the man, not the other way around.”  She, of all people, inspired my interest in the American political process, and I have never been able to shake the need to know, “who’s on first.”  Now that I have a laptop on my lap, and I have the internet, Google, Facebook, and the World Wide Web, I have at my fingertips more information in a minute, than my mother had available in a year.  And, still, my mother was more informed than I.  I remember that fondly about her, and the memory always makes my eyes sting and my heart smile.

To many of my friends overseas, if you live in a repressed country, where fear follows every utterance of your tongue, do not give up in working for change.  Change, no matter where you are, comes from within.  Small changes within oneself can make big changes possible.  If you live in a free country, the message is the same.  Change comes from within.

In my own country, you don’t have to be a genius to see the things that are wrong.  Read the remarks after every news article on the web:

“The President is perfect,” if you are a Democrat.

“The President is evil,” if you are a Republican.

“You must vote for this candidate, or you are not a true Republican,” says the Republican establishment.

“If you don’t vote for this candidate, then you are at war with Free Enterprise and Capitalism,” again says the Republican establishment.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be told who I must vote for; and I certainly don’t like to be told that I’m some kind of traitor for not buckling under.  If you try to control me, I am likely to do exactly what you do not want me to do.  I’m not easily pushed, and bullying has never worked.

My friends overseas are obviously confused about what they see on our news, so I will let you know, that the very arguing that you see on TV, while often offensive, is the direct result of total freedom.  In the end, we are still friends.  We still love our country, and we honor our laws.  If necessary, when attacked we fight as a unit.  When you harm one of us, you harm all of us.

As Americans, let us remember the day of September 11th.  While the dust still filled the sky, and our hearts and country was wounded, spontaneously, on the steps of our Capitol, all of our Congress members broke out into one of our favorite hymns:  God Bless American.  Let us understand that they are our leaders, flawed though they may be.  So, I guess my message today is as much for me, as it is for you.

We live in a blessed nation, which most of us believe is “under God.”  We care about one another.  Our hearts swell with pride, and our eyes fill with tears, at the first strains of our national anthem.  In our strange and imperfect way, we love each other.  We love our country, and no matter our faith, most of us, love God.  We may see Him in different colors, races, and creeds, but we all know in our hearts, that we need not fear that He might not know who He is.  Because He does.

For whatever strange and wonderful reason, America is blessed by God.  We know it, and we wonder why, but then, He knows why.  God knows why.  Have faith.  We are still in His hands.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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