To the Editor,
“When in the course of human events” is the first clause of our founding document, The Declaration of Independence. We have, just this week, observed the 242 anniversary of the date we mark as the beginning of our nation. Though not leading to separation (one would hope) we have, indeed, found ourselves embroiled in quite a time and display of “human events.”
While pulling off to the side of the road to look upon mid evening fireworks displays on Wednesday many thoughts crossed my mind. I wondered to my wife about our American prospects; I acknowledged that those on the other side of my political viewpoint were probably seeing this night as the best July 4th they had ever experienced. Their “prospects” are looking up, if not America’s. They have a president (we all have him) who has settled into his job to the extent he ever will and who now has a Supreme Court nomination to make which could alter what we have come to view as American freedoms of choice and privacy. While this side of the aisle in America has, heretofore, decried government in our lives they are poised to insert government, heavily, into our lives. Our contradictions run very deep in this moment of “human events.”
Recently, I bought a little hanging banner on “peace.” It reads “to bring peace to the earth, strive to make your own life peaceful.” Though that is good advice I would like to say that, as a patriot myself, I would warn the other side of the political spectrum to not think that my banner suggests I have given up. Those that have read me in these pages through a couple of op-eds and many letters understand that I respect my parents and grandparents way too much to live a slovenly, unexamined and selfish life in America that giving up would suggest. I love the country too much, despite what other writers here would suggest in their rebuttals.
I will not give up while my president tears at the fabric of American life and while he, for self-serving purposes, tries to re-invent the office he holds and, most importantly, any ability we may still have to trust in facts instead of his sick hyperbole and rhetoric.
But one must be realistic about what can be accomplished in real time. Here is my plea to the reader: we can do things in real time. The most important thing, the only real thing that will matter, is that we can make it a solemn and non-negotiable trust to vote. We simply cannot allow any circumstance to keep us from voting. I want to suggest some steps to take. One, by September 1, I would suggest that everyone reading contact your registrar of voters (likely, here, in Riverside County) and verify that they have your registration and correct address. Further, ask how they have your ballot handled - are you a mail in voter, for instance. It may be very smart for you to ask to be a mail in voter if, for any reason whatsoever, you may find yourself overly busy around the second Tuesday after the first Monday in any voting year for primaries in June or general elections in November.
An overwhelming influx of voting is the prescription for what ails this country in our current course of human events.
This letter may incur the scoffs of those who do better when the majority is silent. It may incur scoffs from writers who laugh at serious items so as to not have to really consider the thought behind the suggestion. The scoffing is a common thread among those who have little to offer in terms of ideas or solutions. Dear reader, I do not write to those lost sheep of the pass. Those folks are intentionally shut off from ideas but many (very many) of us can see what is happening before our very eyes and are not so jaded as to denigrate our news sources if they do not tell us what we have already decided to hear. No, I do not speak to the lost sheep; I speak to your heart as an American who is concerned.
Scott Hamre, Cherry Valley