Friday, October 31, 2008

The Potential of Tuesday

I'm not the only one who feels it.

In these waning days before the 2008 election - when the United States can elect an intelligent, grounded, inspiring man who would also become the nation's first African-American President, and when California can turn the tide on anti-LGBT sentiment in this country and even the world - the historic nature of this moment is palpable.

Newspapers and TV news and blogs and probably carrier pigeons are all sounding a similar theme. The Democratic primary alone made history in several directions. And the GOP Vice Presidential candidate, while completely unqualified for the job, does represent a milestone for that party. Everywhere you look, the tectonic shift occurring in our politics carries once-in-a-lifetime import.

Which made me wonder why it felt so familiar.

What happens on Tuesday has the potential not just to elect one candidate or another, or to shoot down one proposition or another, but to help this nation evolve. Will we choose compassion and mutual responsibility, or fear and isolationism? Will mutual respect win the day, or will one group foist their beliefs on another? Will we act like adults and finally live the values we were taught in kindergarten - sharing, playing well together, using our imaginations - or will we remain childish, insisting that there are monsters under the bed that need to be destroyed?

There was another Tuesday not that long ago when this country was also given the opportunity to evolve. Following the attacks on September 11, the world poured out enormous compassion towards the United States, mourning beside us in our grief. They stood with us graveside, their hearts opened by our loss, and offered the embrace of friendship in solace. The potential in that moment for humanity to come together and become better than we had been was incalcuable, though bought at a terrible cost.

I believe that of all the horrible things George W. Bush has done during his presidency, the squandering of that potential is the one for which he will pay the highest karmic price. In the weeks after the attacks, he and his administration flung off the world's embrace and told everyone to piss off. Their behavior during that crisis only began the litany of failures that followed, including a far higher body count than claimed by the Twin Towers.

However, the American people have another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity before us on November 4th. And this time, the power is in our hands, not dependent on a small group of small-minded people. This time, we can move humanity forward without the sacrifice of 3,000 more lives. This time, we can make a different choice, with our hearts wide open and the strength of millions of voices calling for change as one.

On this Tuesday, we can let the angels of our better natures carry the day. There's no one to hold us back but ourselves.

Read another post of mine about Tuesdays...

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