In the past decade, we have spilled a lot of ink and vented a lot of anger fighting to declare and defend who we are – our race, our gender, our sexuality, our religion, our heritage, our disabilities, our class – our political party.
It has been unsettling for everyone. But I believe that we are stronger for these fights. For the first time, we are becoming aware of one another as who we really are. We are each learning what it is like to be empowered to speak on an equal footing.
We are also becoming aware of our nation’s most powerful treasure: the rich variety of perspectives and backgrounds that we can bring to bear on any situation. Nature isn’t kind to mono-cultures.
We The People
But what about the identity we share? We The People sets us apart from almost every other human being in history. Take a moment to think about that.
We The People are the first nation in history to be founded with a purpose and two simple principles: 1. All men are created equal. 2. Government exists only by the consent of the governed. In all the history of the world, few people have been given such a privilege. In many countries, people are still dying for the right to vote.
To throw away your vote is to throw away a part of your identity. It is to throw away your connection to one of the most profound stories in history. It isn’t a pretty story. From the very start, we have never lived up to our stated principles.
Still, it a story that offers a rare promise: the right to self-determination.
The Consent Thing
Our government seems to have forgotten that it is constitutionally required to seek our consent. [Frankly, the power elite seem to be strangers to the notion of consent in any context.] Washington and Raleigh have forgotten We The People. They hope that we forget, too.
We each defend our respective identities as a mother bear defends its cub. God help the person who comes between me and my religion; between me and my gender, my race, my family.
Why, then, do so many of us, throw away the one element of our identity that protects all the others? Why would anyone who cares about their identity throw away their vote? Activism that does not make itself heard at the ballot box is a voice shouting in wilderness.
The Forgotten Pronoun
We The People need a WE TOO movement. This movement doesn’t require any tweets, marches, or money. All you have to do is visit the ballot box.
Please … on election day make your pronoun “We”. Join We The People. Vote like your life depended on it.