One-issue voting.

My youngest sister G called me recently.  She sounded excitable and at the same time disheartened.  Here’s a part of the conversation I had with her that day:

G – You know my friend Penny Ante?

Me – Yes, I think I remember her.  (Actually I remember her quite well.)

G – (Talking nonstop.)  She called me this morning and do you know what she asked me?!  She wanted to know if I would put a Romney sign in my front yard.  I told her no I wouldn’t put her sign in my yard because I’m voting for Obama.  Then Penny screeched, “You mean you’re FOR abortion!?”

At this point my sister, talking to me, lamented, “I don’t know anyone who’s for abortion.  Do you?”  I agreed with her, “No, I don’t.”

(I have just returned from a brisk two-mile walk through the neighborhood.  I often take this sort of break when I feel myself stepping on a slippery slope.  It helps me to arrange my thoughts into a meaningful perspective.)

It seems to me that voting is a multifaceted proposition.  When we take one issue and make it our reason for voting, we cheat ourselves, and in a sense, the American system.  It’s also, in my opinion, the lazy path to voting.

Voting is a privilege and a responsibility.  The responsibility part is sometimes difficult.  It requires us to be informed voters.  It means we listen to several angles on the same topics.  It means reading letters to the editor in the local newspaper.  It means listening to a friend who disagrees with you.  It means researching a candidate’s record on the matters that are important to you.  The fact that you and a candidate agree on one issue does not necessarily make him/her a good candidate.

Make a list (well, at least a mental one) of the issues that matter most to you.  Then, set about finding out how the candidates view those items on your list.  You can’t get the true picture by watching the same news channel all the time.  We all have biases and often they show.  It’s hard work to wade through all the garbage that accompanies our political races these days.  But it’s worth the effort.  And it’s our job!

Go on now, examine those candidates carefully.  Then vote!  Please.

I hereby retire my soapbox.  Well, for now. 

My Obama dream.

Last night I dreamed about President Obama.  With nothing but politics on television and in the newspapers, it isn’t strange that I would be dreaming about a candidate.  I’m glad it was Obama and not his opponent Mitt Romney.  I woke up feeling relaxed and hopeful.  Had I dreamed of Romney, I’m pretty sure I would have felt agitated and tired.

The dream.  Obama is mingling with the crowd and probably driving the Secret Service crazy.  It’s a fund-raising event.  These are people who can afford to donate twenty dollars to the cause, not twenty million.  I notice the President is looking from side to side as if he’s searching for something or someone.  His eyes come to rest on me.  (Isn’t this a cool dream?)  Then he says to me, “You!  Aren’t you the one who gave me that piece of fabric?”  I nod.  He continues, “I wasn’t impressed when you gave it to me, but look at it now!  Isn’t it magnificent?”

He points to a nearby wall.  On the wall hangs a tapestry.  It’s the most beautiful, colorful tapestry I have ever seen or even imagined.  There are numerous pieces of fabric, artfully joined together in glorious profusion as if they were born that way.  Every piece, every color is perfectly placed.  A wonder to behold!

President O puts a hand on my shoulder (I told you this is an awesome dream.), and somewhat wistfully states, “What great things we could accomplish if we would all come together like the pieces of this tapestry.”

Credit:  “Tapestry” donated by my granddaughter Maddy.