Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Peace Ticket

This morning, I reflected with my husband about 15 years ago on the morning of September 11th.  About how he was getting dressed with the tv on while our 4 month old was still in her crib, about how I had just arrived at my second day of my first job out of law school, about how scary and surreal it was to watch the images on tv, about how panicked I was on the ride home, about how we had no idea what would happen next and whether we might be at the beginning of a living hell.

And then, as I thought about all that has happened in the last 15 years, I felt deeply grateful for the ways that day made me realize how short and fragile our lives are, about all the ways it has pushed me to make the most of the time that I have.

And I felt heartbroken about how the fear generated on that day has shaped the world.  How the responses to what happened have unintentionally created September 11th experiences for people in other parts of the world.  How the fear has paved the way for widespread support of the use of killer drones and crossing more and more ethical boundaries on the treatment suspected terrorists or other prisoners.  How as a nation we have traveled so far from the unified and supportive feeling that was running high in the aftermath of that terrible day.

I fear that we've aggravated the very things that broke our hearts, and I feel with the entirety of my being that it is time for this chapter to end.  It is time that we really: Choose Peace.

United States of America, we need to call back that first word in our name and live up to it, and we can start the shift of the tides in this next presidential election.  We can choose a leader that does not want to continue all this fighting, at home or abroad.  One that will be focused on safety and defense and compassion for those whose homes are taken over by violence but will not continue the response of sending more weapons and violence into these war torn areas.  We can choose the leader that has the most support among our active military personnel.  We can choose a leader who wants to build bridges between Republicans and Democrats, not walls between us and our enemies.

We need to really ask ourselves and have the courage to act on the answer: who out of our options could possibly start us down a road to peace?  Both our mainstream candidates are looking to get a lot of votes that are just against the other candidate.  Could the win of either of those two candidates ever unify us?  Could the millions of people passionately opposed to that candidate ever come around?  I think we've seen enough to know the answer.

I've put a lot of time and thought into these questions, and I'll tell you that I have wholeheartedly come to the conclusion that Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are our best chance of turning this whole thing around.  I really believe they are the peace ticket in this 2016 presidential race. 

Johnson and Weld are high integrity human beings, with strong leadership resumes, and without the baggage of too much time in Washington DC.  I also see their Libertarian leaning platform as the only one under which a peaceful, diverse, and democratic society could sustain itself.  We all have such differing values, interests, and experiences.  A government that leaves room for us all to be as we are must be limited to its essential role, it must maximize our ability to pursue happiness in our own ways, it must both encourage and empower us to bring forth the best that we have to contribute.  I don't have a fantasy that electing them would be a magic wand that would give us a whole new government, but I strongly believe it would create common ground on which all these separated factions could begin to meet and cooperate.

Let's look through all this entertainment value and media sensationalism and place a higher value on authenticity, on honesty, on intelligence.  Let's pick leaders like we pick our friends, like we pick the people we trust with the most important aspects of our lives.  And let's listen to Stevie Wonder's advice from back in the 90s on picking a leader: "I want you to vote for that person who is going to commit to bringing unity to all people, not just throughout the world, but in this country."

People, please investigate Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, and these questions for yourself.  I really and truly believe he could start us down a path towards greater peace in both this country and throughout the world.  I believe that he will sincerely and selflessly dedicate his intelligence, his hard work, and his iron will (that got him to the top of the highest peak on each continent) to making this country better, to making us a better world citizen, and to helping us work together again.

I really think we need this and it is possible.  We just have the have the guts to vote our hope instead of our fear.

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