I should have posted a "Gone Fishing Political" sign on the blog for this past month. Though I have a queue of wonderful "heal the world" stories and a cool interview in my in-basket, I confess I can't concentrate on anything but the upcoming US election.
My big "what if" for the world has always included an assumption that once this election rolled around (way back before I even knew who the candidates would be) that we Americans would find our way to operating from hope instead of fear; and, we would turn our eyes towards possibilities for the future and not cling to outdated ideologies and divisions that distract us from being united states and better global citizens.
Even though I got the blues occasionally from the divisive, polarized rhetoric, mostly I have been enthralled and thrilled at what we the people are up to via my favorite media facilitator, the World Wide Web. I have become increasingly interested in, as Webster puts it, "politics: the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy."
In the past 4-6 years we have become a nation of activists, bloggers, and citizen journalists--informed, engaged citizens not so eager to gulp down the 5-second sound bites of a consolidated media.
We, the people, have access (just take a look at the sheer volume of links on Alltop) like we've never had access before--access to all the candidates policies and speeches online, our own poll analysts, our own Voter Protection Wiki, fact-checkers, YouTube, and more free and independent eyes and ears on the ground than the soundbite people at Fox or MSNBC (or insert your broadcast media of choice here) could ever hope to pay for.
I am not undecided. I am definitely voting for "that one", the hope and possibility guy. But, I honor everyone's right to disagree, to have their own strong opinions and I don't want it to divide us. I love the recent issue of Yes Magazine, where they look at the many more things we Americans have in common than the issues we think separate us. I highly recommend their Purple Nation edition here.
In one of my all-time favorite Charlie Rose segments, Craig Newmark (Craigslist) describes the possibilities that our on-line virtual communities give to "embolden" the moderates (commonly known as the majority) and diminish the sway of the minority of extremists. (Starts around ll:30.)
During this election cycle it has been thrilling to watch the potential he describes play out as Republicans, Democrats, Independents, pundits and philanthropists and millions of us regular people participate in that 200+-year old experiment in democracy.
If you're one our US citizen readers, please vote. Read Yes Magazine's 12 Ways to Safeguard Your Vote. And, for fun and inspiration, here are two of my favorite recent You-Tube Get-Out-The-Vote videos. If you're one of our international readers, wish us well.
The latest "Don't Vote Video.
The original "Don't Vote.
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