The Political Speech I Want To Hear

great-speakers

Great speeches sink into our souls and linger in our bones. The best writers and orators know how to move our emotions into actions. They convict, inspire, and drive us to move.

Most of the speeches I hear to day are mere rhetoric; empty shells of hollow words meant to anger our enemies, pacify our critics, and satisfy our friends. This is a low bar to reach and a boring one.

The political speech I want to hear invites (healthy) conflict and dialogue. The political speech I want to hear challenges me to think more deeply, to love more courageously, and to admit I don’t know. The political speech I want to hear goes something like this:

Not long ago, a motley band of misfits set out in hopes of creating a new life for themselves. They faced persecution and made the courageous decision to flee. We still see their faces around the world today.

They embraced uncertainty and risked their lives for their children’s children’s children. We are those children. We stand on the shoulders of unnamed giants lost to the anonymity of history. Though their names are forgotten, their bodies long decayed, their sacrifices live on in our blood.

These misfits disagreed on much, but they were united in their quest for something greater than themselves. They were united in their quest for something greater than the world had ever seen.

In the journey for survival, greatness was born. It was forged in battle and nurtured in heartache. Good men died fighting for dreams never realized. Families were torn apart in a war against ourselves and we were faced, once again, with the thought of “will we survive?”

In our darkest times, we forgot that all men are created equal. We denied the humanity of our people and we paid the price; a price we still pay today.

We will not be able to make amends this side of heaven, for what justice can their be for enslavement, rape and murder? Still, we remember and we will fight to right the wrongs we face today – imprisonment, education, rape, and murder.

When we think of the Hassan’s and the Abboud’s and fear rises in our bones, we remember when it was the O’Kelly’s and O’hare’s we feared. We will not confuse peace and harmony with safety and security. To be a refuge, we must accept the refugee.

We will fight; fight to protect our borders and the values dear to us. We remember those who have died to protect these values of freedom, speech, and religion. We will fight the lie that the danger is only outside of us.

We will fight the evil that harms women and children. We will fight the wicked who seek harm and not prosperity; those who use women and children as shields and objects of war. We will take the fight to them so they cannot bring it to us.

We will hold seemingly opposing ideas together and fight for unity, though the force of these oppositions will threaten to break us apart. We will love the refugee and hate the perpetrator who made them flee. We will love women, all women, and stand for their right for life; be they Syrian, elderly, or unborn.

We will disagree with our neighbors and defend their rights to believe it. We will fight to protect those who disagree with us because freedom is greater than homogeneity.

To the villains who use violence to threaten or intimidate others, your time is up – be it in nightclubs, churches, mosques, or abortion clinics; we will not rest until we see justice. We will uphold the values of justice and mercy even when the force of them together threatens to rip us apart.

We, the people, of the United States will stand united in the face of tyranny and oppression; whether they come from within or outside. We have hope because we find our courage runs deeper than our fear.

Why President Obama Should Nominate the Next Supreme Court Justice (and Why I’m not voting for Donald Trump)

1200324_1280x720Over the next week, South Carolina will become the third state to cast its vote on the way to nominating the next candidates for President of the United States.

Personally, I’m on the AnyonebutTrump bandwagon so if that disqualifies me in your mind, feel free to stop reading now.

If choosing a President isn’t enough, we are also fighting for the nomination of the next Supreme Court Justice. If there was ever a time to be interested in politics this is it. In what I think is one of the greatest strokes of beauty in our system of government, multiple bodies hold tremendous power over the decisions made for the nation and yet, none of them is independent from the other.

The death of Justice Scalia has only ramped up the fervor and spit-fire that has already accompanied this election cycle. Blinded by passion, many people have abandoned their principles for the convenient (and self-serving) position.

It is the role of the President to appoint Supreme Court Justices and the role of Congress to approve or block the nomination. Period. There is no clause that states except in an election year. Principles, laws, and rules exist to maintain order, longevity of government, and as close to fairness as we will get in this world. You don’t get to pick and choose when you want the system to work for you. Principles are meant to guide us in the difficult times, not merely support our argument when it’s convenient. If you espouse the virtues of democracy (ahem, republic) then you must accept them when you disagree – THAT is the beauty and power of the system; individuals with conflicting ideas coexisting and even thriving among tension while working for the betterment of all.

It is not always convenient to have a conversation with someone you disagree with. Sometimes, our beliefs lead us down a path we would rather not go. Justice Scalia was famous for and skilled at following and argument to its logical end.

The decisions made by the next President, like many before, will have grand implications for the future of our country. This is one of the main reasons (among many) I wholeheartedly cannot support Donald Trump for President. His pandering to voters is a thin mask concealing his love of self (and only himself). A man who does not ask for forgiveness is a man who values himself above all others. Power and selfishness together have destroyed many more people, families, and nations than any flawed government program.

As you prepare to vote I challenge you to think critically about your own beliefs – what are the far-reaching conclusions that result when you follow out your line of thinking? What about the views of your candidate? You may not always like where they lead (I know I don’t), but at least you will be honest about what you (and they) do or do not believe.