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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

VOTING, ELECTIONS, VETERANS, CANADA AND ASBURY PARK

     We are taking a short intermission from health, fitness and lifestyle to discuss politics because it is important.  This short detour into the political realm is very, very important...at least to me. 




     A couple of things struck me on the road to Super Tuesday.  First, over the last couple weeks, in blogs, facebook postings and in person, people have said that if Donald Trump is elected president, they are leaving the county...Canada here we come.  Second, for the first time, voting today was emotional.  It just felt so important...more than it ever has.

CANADA HERE WE COME

   I have to say...Americans, is your country not worth fighting for...I know, as I rule, most of us have checked out of the political process.  We've said you can't changed things...yada, yada, yada.  As someone who has participated in community organizing (Saul Alinsky style), I know the work is hard, tiring, frustrating, never-ending, important and rewarding.  I also know that if you've done it for an extended period of time you need to check out for awhile.  But seriously, you can effect change.  When groups of people with similar goals come together for a common purpose you can change the system.  You can hold government officials accountable.  Think the civil rights movement, the woman's movement and the gay rights movement.  Those are big and large causes.  All across this country, small pockets of regularly people are changing their communities. 



   So it makes me sad and angry when Americans say they want to pick up and flee.  They want to leave their country to the crazies.  Most of these people were talking about leaving before the primary vote was in.  There was still time to vote before the primaries.   

     I have to ask...not judgmentally but because I am curious...Did you do anything to try to get your person elected?  Most importantly did you vote today?  Did you give money to your candidate?  Did you man a phone bank?  Did you volunteer to be a poll watcher?  Are you having discussions (beyond leaving) with family, friends and neighbors?

     And if you are a liberal and want checks and balances against candidates like Donald Trump, are you contacting the House and Senate putting pressure on them to confirm a President Obama Supreme Court nominee?  It offers does offer some level of protection. 

    This weighed heavily on me while walking this past Sunday.  I starting thinking about the young men and women who volunteered for the military after 911.  These young men and women volunteered to fight to protect our country, our liberty, our freedom and our lives from a serious foreign threat.  Young people with a sense of bravery, pride and patriotism stepped forward to put their lives in danger in Iraq and Afghanistan when there was a foreign threat to our country. 

     This isn't about whether you agreed with the wars or not.  It is about our young people who were willing to fight.  We owe them a sense of gratitude.  They stood up when it was time to fight for their country. 

     My nephew enlisted in the military out of a sense of duty to his country to protect us.  He did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Thankfully he came home but many didn't.  Many families suffered losses of devastating losses of their sons and daughters. 

  Yet, in the face of a potential internal threat to our country, many talk about leaving.  I get that some want to live in another country to experience the culture or they are tired of the fight.  What I don't get is leaving because you don't like or fear a potential Presidential candidate.  From my perspective, that is more of a reason to stay.  It is the most important reason to stay.

EMOTIONAL

   When I walked out of that polling place today I became very emotional.  This is the most important election I have ever voted in and it is only the primary.  The stacks will be higher I fear in the election. 

ASBURY PARK

     Yes, I threatened you with my story of Asbury Park but I will save that for Part 2.  It is a story of people working to change a community.  It is a story of small, incremental changes.  It is a story of a community with a long way to go.  It is a story that warms my heart and makes me smile.  I love Asbury Park.


   

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