Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Day of the Election:

The Crucible

For all of my partisan beliefs, I have one and only one over riding desire and that is to see America safe again.

Respect in the world? What do I need if we are not safe?

Allies? We have allies and we have stand on the sides and we have those who work against us in the dark of diplomatic halls. Always has been, always will be. The world will keep turning one way or the other.

I make no secret that I support President Bush and would rather not see Kerry in office. However, I do not despise Mr. Kerry so much as I believe that his policies are wrong and that he is the wrong kind of man for today. But I know, should he be elected tomorrow, I will not fall down in despair so much as be disappointed that we chose, in this hour, to no longer believe in America's ability to do great things, change the world.

I have studied history for many years and I always associated myself with the great generations that came before. The ones that, while desiring to stay home and be safe, when push came to shove, they were ready to shove back and stood firm against the tidal wave. Sacrificing safety, personal treasure and even life to make it happen. They never quit in the middle of the game, but only looked to the end for the results. They knew that victory was the only way to insure the peace. It is that greatness which I always associated with America.

Her people made her great, not just the pieces of paper on which her body was created, but the heart and soul that was the ingenuity, the grace, the stamina going back as far as the pilgrims who landed on a barren rock and made it home. The pioneers who tread on unknown paths, built sod houses and tilled rows in rocky fields with not but an ox and a single blade plow. The men who fought for the union of the states and eventually freed the slaves at so great a cost in blood. The doughboys of the first world war who put on their uniforms and sang "Over there" as they marched to the murderous trenches of Europe. The generation, the greatest generation, who fought a two front war against powerful nations and military. Landed on Normandy. Took Iwo Jima. Withstood the Bataan death march and learned the disaster of the holocaust to claim "never again".

They have sacrificed so much for the future generations. I have wondered for so long if we, this generation, has the will, the strength to sacrifice for our future as well. I did not even despair of that in the 90's because, I thought that we had entered into a new era of peace where world matters could be decided with commerce and a hand shake, where human rights and freedom were for all people and the chance was there. But I saw on September 11 that was not the world that I lived in. I had placed too much optimism in my fellow man, forgetting the faults that were inherent in man: greed, jealousy, hunger for power and his ability to be inhumane to his fellow humans.

I read in the bible that God had given man domain over the land and sea and the animals. We were to be better than the animals and yet, here we are, no more or no less than the lowest mammal on the face of earth, scratching, clawing and biting to reach the pinnacle, to be the head of the herd or the master of the pack.

Realizing that, I have become humbled in my own place in the pack. Not but one that works for the good of the pack and seeks dominance for it among the others.

I have not lost the optimism, the desire to see man change, but I have seen that it takes more than words, more than hope, more than a dream to make it happen. The change, the thing that has brought out the strength of our ancestors on these very shores, has always been the crucible. Having withstood the crucible, they always emerged, refined and strengthened by the fire.

We are in that crucible today. It is but a question of whether we can withstand the fires to emerge on the other side or if we will back away from the challenge and remain as we are. Or, if you understand where we are today, we are in the crucible already and the elections will only determine whether we go forward strongly and change the world as our ancestors have or remain in the fire for a little longer, slow to catch on that we have already gone beyond the point of return.

If Mr. Kerry is elected on November 2nd, it will not be the end, not even the beginning of our changing. But, whatever he plans or tries to implement, I will try to support it, though I might voice by opinion when I disagree. Simply put, as I have said, we are here and there is no turning back. Just different roads by which we might reach the end.

If President Bush is re-elected, I will not breath a sigh of relief. Far from it, I will buckle the girder tight and sharpen the blade as it means we go forth in battle formation and the fight will be hard and perilous with old enemies becoming new allies and the old allies possibly falling to the wayside or even worse, becoming the enemy.

In either event, I wanted to write here today that I understand what is most important and that is America.

I have one wish, and one desire after that. Having fought so hard in Iraq, talked to people that lived there, realized that they were me in another land and in another condition, I pray that we will not abandon them in this hour, when freedom is but a hard fight away. If we do, I will know that my generation has been lost and we will have to wait for the next generation to see if they are stronger and more capable of baring the burdens of the world.

But, I fear a decline in our people. The softness that has crept upon so many civilizations before whence they were no longer desiring or capable of holding forth against the "barbarians at the gate". I would like to know, in one hundred years, that America, my America, the country of pilgrims and pioneers, still holds these things sacred and would fight for them at whatever the cost. That we will still be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I can't see into the future, but I feel strongly that this day, this moment is the one that decides where we will end up at. If that is too melodramatic for some, I would say that they were too complacent in their dreams.

On November 3rd, should the outcome not be as I desire, I will return here and continue to write about bin Laden, the world and how it might change because November 3rd is not the end of me. Only a fork in the road.

So I end now with no prediction of the outcome of the election, but with these words:

God bless America. The land of the free and the home of the brave.

1 comment:

Tammi said...

Well said Kat. It's important that we remember what it's all about. Tomorrow we do go on, despite the results. I just hope we have the fortitude, as a people, to do that.