Some Thoughts on Democracy

“Democracy can’t succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

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This is my mom and dad on their wedding day 27 December 1952. My mom took a bus from Bucyrus Ohio to Deridder Louisiana to marry dad. He was stationed there in the Army. When the bus was south of the Mason-Dixon Line, as my mom told the story – every black person on the bus had to move to the back of the bus. When they stopped for a rest, there were separate bathrooms and drinking fountains for the “colored” people. 😦 My mom always said this made her feel so sad). Just three years later in 1955 Rosa Parks after a long day at work would refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man, and was arrested for her audacity.

My mom was the most enlightened woman of her age that I have ever known. She was a Democrat and pro-choice. She was a Catholic and loved God with all her heart, and my dad, even with his faults. She was a teacher. My dad was brave guy. Totally. He fought in WWII (his unit was stationed on Luzon) and he also served during Korea. And then he fought for himself as he entered middle age and gave up smoking and drinking.

They loved all their grandchildren, and I know they would love the little ones that are their great grandchildren. I also know in my heart that the hate and terrible actions by some people that are being carried out in the name of democracy would horrify both of them. My father would be horrified because he fought for an America where everyone (EVERYONE) could be free to pursue all the rights and liberties that the Constitution of the United States guarantees. My mother because she was a kind, loving person, who believed in being a strong woman and standing up for what is right always, would be equally horrified. If you really want to call yourself an American, then make sure you know what that means. It does not mean hating everyone who is not white or “like you”.

I am committed to making sure this country is a safe country for everyone – especially for my own grandchildren who will inherit this mess.

Thank you for reading. This has been a rough week for many of us, and predictions for a rough four years has not assuaged any of my fears. But I know that fear is just a symptom of needing to do the right thing.

“So much of our suffering—as individuals and as a society—is caused by fear.”

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