Friday, February 14, 2020

Show love by voting on Valentine's Day

What better way to say I love you than to vote on Valentine’s Day?

That was my first thought upon awaking this morning at 4:30 a.m.  I don’t know why? I’m strange like that sometimes. Thoughts come to me from divergent places. Get it. Voting. Love. I know, you don’t get it.

It took considerable time for me to process the significance of correlating voting with the day created to give men a chance to recuperate after a year of endless mistakes. What better way to say you’re sorry for being a worthless example of simmering testosterone than with a box of chocolate and a dozen roses.

It never helps when a man beats his chest while exclaiming, “I’m a good man, woman!” It’s best to get the chocolate and roses, no matter how little time was spent sleeping on the couch while eating dog biscuits. Staying out of the doghouse is a major accomplishment, but, in most cases, forgetting Valentine’s Day will lead to a temporary suspension.

Voting isn’t a romantic activity. Right? Did I miss something since the last Presidential election? Have the rules shifted? Wait! That’s it.

I’ve sensed deep barrenness since Trump defeated Clinton. The way people talk – both to themselves and to each other – has radically changed. Everyone seems more antsy than before. I’ve witnessed more rolling of eyes, snapped fingers and hands on the hips. There is a devoid in patience occupied by limited listening, partial understanding and no trust.

Things are more tense than before. Politics has morphed into a game mimicking mortal combat. Words are weapons thrust on the battlefield with an intent to destroy the ideology of anyone standing in the way. T-shirts and baseball caps are the new age uniforms of soldiers shoved into battle by conflicting beliefs. Political statements are everywhere, MAGA, CNN FAKE NEWS, MAKE AMERICA THINK AGAIN and shirts that make a joke to keep people from crying -” the problem with political jokes is sometimes they get elected”.

Insensitivity has replaced common decency. Making a point translates into I don’t care what you think.  The workplace is often a warzone and churches are places to rally the troops.

What’s love got to do with it?

Maybe it’s something in my dreams. Maybe it’s something I heard in a song, a prayer, a thought or a moment of weakness. Maybe that moment of weakness is the thing granting me strength and hope to believe.

In what? What is left to believe? Love? A world where we can love again?

The best way to show love, to be the embodiment of love, is to vote on Valentine’s Day. In voting there is hope we can fix it. All of it. By voting we have an opportunity to elevate our local communities, our state and national government beyond the chaos eating at our souls. By electing people determined to restore sanity into a nation inundated with a desire to fight, we can find love again.

Some will argue we never had it. Love, some say, is no more than an emotion familiar within the context of tribalism. I’ll love my family; you love your own, defines what we have always been. For some, it is all we will ever be. It’s sad to think that might be true. If it is, what we have now is an amplification of what has always been true.

God knows I hope that’s not true. I pray we can do better than this.

I show love on Valentine’s Day with my vote. My vote reflects my love for America. It’s a statement regarding the world I envision for myself, my children and all the little children of the world. My vote is an expression of the life I want for all of us – united, one nation, under God. For those who don’t believe in God, one nation under the God of your own understanding.

 My vote is a prayer for unity infused with a bunch of love.

 America, I do love you.

 Now, shut up and kiss me.

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