Archive for March, 2008
Something is greatly disturbing me on this Election Day. Reading comments on blogs, reading news stories from the wire services, and receiving three phone calls last night from Republican friends asking for advice on which judges to vote for on the Democratic ballot has made me shake my head in wonder. How have we come to this? Has the casino mentality really entered our election process? For years, I have felt that the comparison to horse races and other sports events didn’t bode well for how we looked at elections, but this year has made me convinced that we have come to what may be seen as a new low.
The crux of my concern is this, folks; apparently the Republicans led by Rush Limbaugh believe that their boy John McCain has a better chance in November if the Democratic nominee is Hillary Clinton. Hence, Republicans switching parties to help us Democrats choose our candidate to run in November. Does anyone else think that this scenario is terribly wrong? Independents are the only ones who should decide on Election Day if they want to back one particular party over another to nominate a candidate for president.
Don’t get me wrong. If a Republican or Democrat truly believes that the ideology of their party no longer represents what they believe then by all means change parties, but to cynically change parties for the short term for the ability to choose the candidate for the general election, because you have no race in your own party, is just PLAIN WRONG!!
The first time I saw this happen was when Democratic women were urged to vote for Robert Dole in the primary so that in November a pro-choice candidate would win the presidency. I thought it was cynical and wrong then, and I still do. We should not be switching parties like we do last year’s fashions. But then again, does this speak to a much deeper problem within our party system?
I think that the bigger question might be why is there such little loyalty to a party that switching is no big deal? Could it mean that the party system is little more than frosting to hide the fact that under the surface not much is different between them? Would anyone say that either party speaks to a large percentage of Americans or, would it be safe to say that each party speaks more to smaller factions and special interests while the huge majority of us feel like poor wayfaring strangers?
After the dust settles and the winners are announced later tonight, several questions will remain? Just whose interests were served today? And, how can we fault voters for cynically feeling that the votes they cast really don’t mean very much? I challenge each and every one of us to turn this country toward a new day and get off this cynical self-interested merry-go-round that infiltrates one of the cornerstones of our republic. We need to treat our election process with the respect and dignity that it deserves. Our ancestors who founded this country and those of us who had ancestors who came here for a better life deserve better from us their descendents. Our children and grandchildren deserve a better legacy that what we are forging today.
I hope that each and every one of you voted today for someone that you believed in and not because you thought that that person would lose in November. How very sad that some of us see changing parties as a valid option, not because of a change in belief but trying to achieve an outcome. We need to remember that this is not a game of chance but the future of our country. We may not agree on how to get to where we are going, but we should all agree on how damn important it is.
Tomorrow we vote for two very important issues that identify us as a community. The voters of Cuyahoga County consistently support quality of life issues that affect our communities. These are hard times financially for a lot of folks in our communities in Cuyahoga County, but I believe that again our voters will rise to the occasion and vote “YES” on these two issues.
Issue Two will be voted on by the people of Cleveland. The Cleveland Public Library at its inception was noted as “the People’s University”. That moniker has been resurrected by Library Director Andrew Venable and succinctly voices the place that this library holds in our community. Ranked third nationally in the “best in research”, right behind the Boston and Chicago Public Libraries, our library stands with some great company.
While researching for a quote earlier today, I found the perfect one on Dr. John Ellison’s website. Dr. Ellison is an associate professor of Library and Information Studies at the University at Buffalo. His website was a rightful place to find a quote on the importance of libraries. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s words ring as true now as they did then.
“It seems to me that the dedication of a library is in itself an act of faith. To bring together the records of the past and to house them in buildings where they will be preserved for the use of men and women in the future, a nation must believe in three things:
It must believe in the past.
It must believe in the future.
It must, above all, believe in the capacity of its own people so to learn from the past that they can gain in judgment in creating their own future.”
(Remarks at the dedication of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, June 30, 1941.)
Issue 15 will be decided by a majority vote of all Cuyahoga County voters. And, a reason to vote for Issue 15 needs nothing more in my book than the words of Hubert Humphrey: This quote comes to you thanks to Brainy Quotes-a place where I find many of the quotes that I can’t quite place in regards to who said it or how it was said. Please Vote March 4th.
It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.