How would you vote if you weren’t afraid?

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I know, I know, if you aren’t afraid, you probably aren’t paying attention. But let’s be hypothetical for a moment; everybody needs a break now and then.

Would you do anything differently if you could just vote your honest-to-goodness-conscience with no fear of the consequences? It’s something I’ve been pondering a good deal recently, for obvious reasons if you follow American politics.

There are so many of us, with so many different wants, goals, needs, dreams: how many of us really vote for someone we truly, fully believe in, without fear of what will happen if we don’t vote against something or someone?

Just hypothetically, how would you vote if you could vote without fear?

Would you vote for Bernie Sanders, or the Green Party candidate, or the Libertarian candidate, or your Uncle Jim? Is there even a Tea Party Candidate?

I was reading the other day that Norway has four parties, and they govern together, based on percentage of votes. I don’t suppose that is a perfect system, it still involves people, but it certainly seemed interesting. I DO know that Norwegians statistically have a better quality of life than those of us in the US, so who knows?

And what about the ISSUES?

Would we vote for the obscenely rich – especially corporations – to pay their fair share in taxes if we didn’t have to be afraid of abortion getting tacked onto the platform?

Would we vote for our families to have better quality, more affordable health care if weren’t afraid the government would take all our money,  or the death panels would come for grandma?

Maybe I’m naive, but I can’t shake the thought that if we could all freely vote our conscience, education would be so well funded that teachers’ salaries would put doctors’ salaries to shame!

If you could create a platform built on your own values, what would it look like? 

For me:

Fair taxes!  I don’t mind paying taxes. Really. It is a right and a responsibility of citizenship, and I’m a citizen. I LIKE having good roads, reliable electricity, and a functional police force. But two things I DO mind: corporations and billionaires not having to pay anything like a fair share of taxes, and my tax money being used predominantly for things that don’t have a substantial positive impact on the quality of my daily life. Or at least the lives of those I care about more than I care about big corporations’ profits and needless foreign wars.

Political Campaign Reform (i.e. separation of Corporation and State)!  We used to have to fear the all powerful King or Dictator. Now we have to fear the huge, wealthy corporations that own our government. This isn’t better. Especially since you can assassinate the King or Dictator, in a pinch, but corporations can’t be dispatched in so simple, complete a manner.

Education and children’s services!  I don’t have kids myself, but even if I were completely selfish, having the US workforce of the future be the best in the world just makes good sense to me. Especially in that part of the future when I’m old and need social security and well educated doctors! As it is, I am also just unselfish enough to think kids deserve better too.

Single Payer Healthcare!   We are SOOO far behind all developed nations on this that it’s embarrassing, and worse, it’s dangerous. And freaking expensive. Also, it irks me that healthcare is a big reason people stay in jobs that steal their lives.

There are definitely others, but let us start there, hit those with all our might, then tackle the next thing.

Now, your list is probably very different from mine.

What are your top dreams for the future of our nation, and your family’s lives?

In this season, of course, I’m pondering  whether I’ll need to vote for a woman I neither respect or trust, out of fear of having Donald Trump become president of my nation – a concept that I still struggle to imagine as anything but a bad Saturday Night Live skit – or whether voting for people I actually respect and even approach trusting is a viable option.

At the same time, I know that some of my fellow travellers have to decide whether to vote for a man they neither respect nor trust, out of fear of having Hilary Clinton become President of the their nation, or whether voting for someone they actually respect and perhaps even approach trusting is a viable option.

I don’t know, yet, what I’m going to choose. A lot of it depends on my man Bernie, but he, too, has these fears to grapple with.

In one respect, it’s only four years, and I do acknowledge that so much in life is SO MUCH more significant than one election. On the other hand, there are ripple effects from such an election and they matter.

It is almost certainly going to be painful for a lot of us to make our decisions about voting this year. And certainly it’s scary. Maybe we can at least support each other, and give each other a little extra grace to make things easier in the mean times.

If anyone has suggestions, thoughts, prayer requests, or prayers to offer, please do leave a note.

We ARE all in this together. Even if we are on polar opposite sides. Because we all live with the outcomes.

 

Be well. 

Monday Delight: All I Need

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You ever fall in love at first sight?

I do.

All the time.

Well, not always at first sight, though that too is a problem, but I frequently fall in love at first sound. One such occasion was a delightful little song called All I Need.

For the longest time I’ve had to enjoy All I Need only when near my own computer or CD player, because it had not made it to YouTube or any other ubiquitous source.

But JOY!!!

The other day I was wishing I could share it with all of you, and THERE IT WAS ON YOUTUBE! Not the most compelling video, I admit, but that’s okay because the song is SO COMPELLING.

If you are in need of life, or peace, or hope this week, this one’s for you! 

 

I think we all have those periods where it’s a struggle to trust that the light IS there at the end of the tunnel, and there IS a home at the end of the highway. I know I do.

This song is a perfect reminder that hope IS real, and is the right choice.

This is my ‘It is going to be okay. REALLY.’ song. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Be well. 

 

While I don’t know this band personally, I corresponded with them briefly in my search for a CD of All I Need and I found them to be really lovely guys. They were, at that time, mostly disbanded because half of them had rushed off to assist in the Hurricane Katrina crisis, which was enough on its own for me to love them. You can find them at https://www.facebook.com/Steadwack/

Adventures in Optimism Episode 1

 

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Well, here I am in the delightful Pacific North West!

Even though this is the worst time of year for my vampiric little soul, it has still been a blessing: temperatures in the 70s and low 80s instead of 90’s and100’s for my first week, and even a couple days of rain!

As I had feared, road trip + acclimating + catching up with old friends + just dealing with everything has resulted in Not Much Writing Time.

A few tidbits, though, from the journey so far:

The road trip here was just LOVELY! It was cloudy from a mile outside my town until I was nearly here, and it rained a good deal of the way. So much nicer than the glaring sun, A/C all the way trip I had feared. One of the highlights of the trip was a hawk sitting in the median right beside me, just surveying the land. I also drove by a little farm with an enormous, gorgeous pig in the front pasture. It is a rare joy these days to see a pig able to live like a pig.

And one of the special joys since I arrived has been catching up with a dear friend who I hadn’t seen in YEARS. That alone would be worth the trip.

Rather less sleep than needed for my ideal disposition, but so far no major crimes committed. 

I arrived at my temporary home in good time (such good time, in fact, that I hit Portland, Oregon at rush hour – NOT something I’d recommend) and have found it to be fairly tolerable.

I am not at all well suited to hotel / mass people storage living, so definitely not unmitigated delight, but it’s liveable. My room even looks out onto a little wooded area. Complete with bunnies!

In fact, the only real flaw in the home-away-from-home (except that it’s AWAY and I’m a homebody) is that the soundproofing is Just. Not. Adequate.

Any time I have next door neighbours it sounds like someone is herding elephants through the bedroom.

And I am absolutely the Princess and the Pea when it comes to sleep:  noise, light, heat, cold – doesn’t matter, it will keep me awake! Sigh.

The hotel staff have been great, but there is only so much that can be done. It’s only a month,  it’s only a month…

My actual home life aside, the surrounding area is LOVELY.

Despite recent housing booms, there are still many little forested areas, and a fifteen minute drive in nealry any direction brings me past at least one lake or river!

(If you grew up in any remotely normal environment go ahead and laugh, but I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, so having random forests, lakes, and rivers show up inside a five mile commute is a HUGE novelty.)

Curious detail of the week: I’ve read for ages that this Northwestern area is among the least Christian in the country; now, maybe I just happened into the Christian Ghetto,  but I’ve not seen so many Churches in one place since my last trip through the Bible Belt!

So, that’s my week in a nutshell.

This weekend the ‘Could I live a frugal life here?’ research begins in earnest.

I still swing between nearly calm and nearly hysterical when contemplating that, but am working to keep up the positive perspective!

 

Be well.