I want a thriving nation, not a wealthy nation. That doesn’t mean that everyone makes the same amount of money, drives the same kind of cars, and lives in the same size of houses. Instead, I want to live in a nation where physical and mental health are the norm, we are not overworked, and we are able to find satisfaction in our daily lives. This is not a utopian ideal; this is just the pursuit of progress that benefits the majority, not the few.
We have to stop depending on our politicians to make our country better. Yes, there are big things that we individual citizens are not capable of doing on our own, but this is our country. We don’t have to wait for others to make it a better, more equitable place for all of us.
But we need to start seeing more than red and blue. We need to see each other (and our leaders) as more than representatives of our political identity and ideology and demand that our leadership work for all of us. And we need to require that of each other.
When I walk into church, I am a Christian first, an American second. When I walk into the voting booth, I am an American first, a Christian second. That isn’t because my faith doesn’t take priority over everything else, but because it is my duty as an American to vote in the best interests of my country, my whole country. I’m not voting to further the heavenly kingdom; I’m voting for the creation of a more perfect union.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t frightened about what will happen next week. I am the most frightened I’ve ever been about the future of my country and the most hopeful I’ve ever been about real, lasting, impactful change. The election won’t be over on Tuesday, November 3. Coronovirus won’t disappear on November 4. All of our problems will not go away on January 20. But I’m hopeful about the future because people not only want change, but they are fighting for it.
I will never choose to look backward to a time when America was great, because it can always, always be better. I will never choose to seek the perfect candidates down the ballot because that person doesn’t exist, but I will vote for the people with plans to move forward. I will vote for those with a plan for a better future, always a better future.