We the People

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#CherishedBlogfest
We The People
#FeeltheLove

Now that the Democratic National Convention is over, maybe I can get some rest. I’ve been riveted to the TV these last four nights and the hope I feel is palpable. The differences between the DNC and the RNC all boiled down to one theme for me: do I choose fear or love?

We live in the greatest country on earth and it is not an overblown sense of importance or hyperbole that causes me to say it. I believe it. Even when America is at her worst, bullying, beating, and bruising each other raw over issues of race, economics, who we can love, and whether a woman is fit to be a marine, or president (!), we are still trying to improve, moving forward, engaging in the dialogue, and working at reinventing ourselves to get to the next level of well-being even when it seems as though we are hopelessly far from that goal. The reason? Our democracy is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” to quote Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and since that speech in November 1863, America has been doing her darnedest to assure that such a government “shall not perish from the earth.” If the bloodiest civil conflict in American history couldn’t tear our political fabric apart then neither will the hackers, the haters, the Citizens United crowd, or even our own government who has at times justified spying from within in the name of assuring no terror from without.

We make decisions as a nation through our elected representatives. We are a government of individuals that form a conscious collective. In this system, we speak our minds and if we get others to speak with us, change happens, and if we speak alone, we still get to talk. It doesn’t happen like this anywhere else, people. The Constitution starts with “We the People…” and it keeps getting better from there. Even forward thinkers cannot always see the endgame. While the framers were brilliant and brave, they had no idea what the future would look like, but they sure left us a blueprint for navigating it. Their legacy, and our gift, was the living, breathing document that would grow with the times and change with the majority will of the people.

The United States didn’t “invent” the concept of democracy and “We the People” have always had our differences. Every brick of this social experiment we call the United States was built on dialogue and compromise. Athens may have been the birthplace of Democracy, but we saw Her to adulthood. When the framers signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring the “self-evident” truths that all men are created equal, they went the Athenians one better. Now we have our first woman running as a presidential candidate for the Democratic party. It’s unprecedented and exciting and history-making and challenging. Here we go again.

p.j.lazos 7.28.16

About pjlazos

writer, blogger, environmentally hopeful
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30 Responses to We the People

  1. A Kinder Way says:

    This is a great post! The difference between those two conventions was insane. I can’t understand using the fear tactics the RNC used when the facts show how much better off our country is right now. And in my opinion even if Hillary is not your cup of tea…the alternative should scare the heck out people.

    Like

  2. simonfalk28 says:

    Here is Aussieland we’ve had elections recently. When I get tetchy about some of the political argy-bargy, I remember we have the right for democratic process and we can vote in safety and peace. I hope the outcome is good for your country.

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    • pjlazos says:

      Okay, so I may need a bit of a translation. “Tetchy”? I’m going to guess something like super annoyed. How about “political argy-bargy”? A political fracas, perhaps? In words only, of course, although maybe not so in Australia?! Do tell, Simon!

      Liked by 1 person

      • simonfalk28 says:

        Tetchy, hmm. Agitated and snaps at others about the annoying topic. Yes. I don’t even use the expression ‘argy-bargy’ often. When raised voices make attacks to the other person, as much at them as at the issue debated, in an aggressive fashion, that, at times, does not even let an opponent finish their sentence before interjecting. Does that help?

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      • pjlazos says:

        Ah, yes. We definitely have our share of tetchy individuals and political argy-bargy! Thanks for the translation, Simon. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. dconnollyislandgmailcom says:

    Hi, Pam:
    Like Debbie D., I am also a Canadian. I totally agree with her that “your neighbors to the North are waiting with bated breath for the outcome.” What we are all whispering under our collective breath is:
    “Dear America, Please choose LOVE over FEAR.”
    Thanks for a very well-written, thought-provoking post on this topic.
    Donna

    Like

    • pjlazos says:

      Howdy neighbor. I can’t even imagine how insane the rest of the world thinks we Americans have become — gone “totally ’round the bend” as my South African friend used to say. Fingers crossed that cooler minds prevail.

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  4. Kassie22 says:

    I, too, was amazed by the differences in the two conventions (and some peoples inability to acknowledge it). You could read it on the faces and expressions of the crowd, and it truly was fear versus love. You put everything I think so many people have been angsting over (or at least I certainly have been trying to wrap my brain around it) into words about this particular election, and said it better than I ever could. Thanks so much for sharing this.

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  5. miladyronel says:

    Democracy should be cherished. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. agmoye says:

    Love over Hate means “We the People” move forward.not backwards

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  7. Liesbet says:

    Well said, Pam. Love, respect and common sense will hopefully pave the way into the next presidential cycle! If not, I do fear that the “potholed” road will lead to hell.

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  8. Debbie D. says:

    Your neighbours to the north (of which I am one) are amazed at the level of vitriol that gets spewed in U.S. politics. Love over hate is always the best option. 🙂 From my perspective, Hillary is the only possible sane choice, here. We in Canada are waiting with bated breath for the outcome. Donald Trump has absolutely no diplomacy skills and that is the least of his problems.

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    • pjlazos says:

      Hi Neighbor! I have family in Montreal so have visited and am always struck by how much more forgiving and patient the Canadians are in comparison to us Americans. Thanks for holding out calm and sensible as an option. 🙂

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  9. Paul says:

    Thought-provoking post. We have so much to be grateful for in this country, and our freedom to choose our elected representatives should certainly be high on the list.

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  10. I was staying off all discussion of election because I am sick of the rancor between people who should be on the “same side” and yet was pleased wit this post. I have lost friends over their anger at my worries over various candidates, and was shocked that such a thing could happen (I mean I have friends who are on the “opposite” side who are still friends, tho not Trump supporters.) This election will come and go, and I hope our constitution is not taken apart by the crazies in the country — many of whom belong to what used to be my party. Thanks you for thoughtful words. Until the last few years I had not realized how much I cherish our constitution, the balance of power, and the fourth estate (now gone, I think.) From a co-host, Kate. Following…

    Like

    • pjlazos says:

      I find myself in the same situation, Kate. I have lost some friends over the last decade or so and this time around I am trying to focus my attention less on what things are called and more on what they deliver. I was struck by how inclusive and love-filled the DNC was and how opposite the RNC was. I don’t want to follow leaders who have fear and anger as their central platform. (Not that I ever followed that type of leader before, but you get what I mean.) Thanks for commenting, Kate. I was on your blog. I love your watercolors!

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  11. I think you sum up things nicely with this line – “Every brick of this social experiment we call the United States was built on dialogue and compromise.” This sure is going to prove to be a very interesting election cycle. I hope no matter who wins, everyone can work together through dialogue and compromise.

    Like

  12. wgr56 says:

    Very well said! We’ve been riveted, too, and it’s a very easy choice for us, as I suspect it will be for you.

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  13. Dan Antion says:

    We have such opportunity in this country. Many of us don’t seem to cherish the freedom we have or the cost at which it was secured and maintained. Thanks for calling attention to a basic freedom that those of us in the US often overlook.

    Thanks for joining us, Dan – cohost – #CBF16

    Like

  14. bikerchick57 says:

    The outcome of this election will be interesting. I would prefer to choose love over hate this time around. Thanks for participating in the Cherished Blogfest. This was a very thought-provoking post.
    CBF Cohost

    Liked by 1 person

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