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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Because it's the right thing to do

  • Thankfully, I can now watch television again without wanting to throw something at the box when the political commercials come on the air.
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  • Thankfully, I can now watch television again without wanting to throw something at the box when the political commercials come on the air.
    Don't get me wrong, I love the political process. At one time, I considered myself a C-SPAN junkie because I like watching how the process actually works.
    But this influx of money into the campaigns is just too much. It simply gets old.
    Since the reelection of President Obama, the political wheels have not slowed down. In fact, they seem to be turning faster than ever. Finger pointing and the blame game are in full swing.
    But what did happen?
    The so-called experts will say everything from Hurricane Sandy to, and this is so out of touch, "voter suppression" by the Democrats.
    Really?
    Don't get me wrong, voter suppression attempts are happening all across the nation, including right here in Pennsylvania.
    We heard of an incident in Wayne County where a poll worker actually demanded a person's identification and then had the gall to pull the man's drivers license out of his wallet.
    All this in spite of the fact you still don't have to show ID to vote in this state.
    That's how far the zealots have gone when it comes to politics.
    But what I find fascinating is that the public is paying attention.
    I've said that for years. The people are smarter than the political machines think. The public does pay attention and then reacts accordingly.
    Take Florida, for example.
    In spite of the fact the Republican governor refused to extend early voting hours, the people held their ground and stood in line for hours upon hours. Even after the national election was called, voters stayed in line. They wanted their votes counted.
    That, to me, is what made the difference.
    The public is sick and tired of taking abuse from the elected officials. Voting is a basic right in this country and there are those who simply don't want others to cast ballots. This is not a debatable issue though many will say I'm some crazy, left-wing liberal who is pointing fingers.
    Page 2 of 3 - That is simply not the fact.
    The facts are plain and simple. Americans want, and deserve, the right to cast a ballot. They should be given every opportunity to cast those ballots instead of running into brick walls created by those who want things their own way.
    If those who insist on suppressing the vote didn't get the message this time, well, they may never get the message.
    But it may not matter.
    The reason is the people have had enough and will eventually throw those trying to do this out of office — which is what they deserve.
    Another reason things are changing so much is the fact the makeup of this country is different and will continue to change.
    This may be the one issue which drives the old guard the craziest.
    America is more diverse that it has ever been — and there are those who can't stand it. They think America should be made up of white folks who rule the roost. They are racists and many of them proudly display it openly.
    There is a good, but very terrible, example of this in the world of Twitter. I won't go into great detail because these people deserve no publicity. But if you've ever watched the movie, "Blazing Saddles" and know about the scene where the sheriff is coming to town, you get the message.
    It's hatred on the worst level and those who foster it know who they are.
    Let's just be blunt honest here — the President is black and there are many people who just can't stand that fact. It reared its ugly head the past few years, though many are in denial.
    I'm a middle aged white guy who grew up in racist west-central Indiana. I know the signs.
    The difference with me, however, is that I've matured and grown up over the years. Too many others have not.
    If it were up to some, slavery would be reinstated and women could not vote because they should be barefoot, pregnant and doing the housework.
    Page 3 of 3 - Interestingly enough, however, those are the attitudes which are changing this country.
    No longer does the majority care about who somebody loves or who can serve in the military. Those people are now in the minority.
    But the struggles are not over. They will continue to spew their racial and sexist hatred for years to come. The good news, however, is that there will be more and more funerals and it will eventually fade away into the sunset.
    That may sound cruel, but life is sometimes cruel.
    Some will blast me as a zealot myself and that's fine because I have history on my side.
    Just look at issues like slavery, the Jim Crow laws, giving the women the right to vote, equal pay and more.
    In each case, against much resistance, things did change. In the long run, the right things will happen. Attitudes change because the majority matures. Living in the past and holding onto disgusting "values" does not work.
    Some will claim this column is an endorsement of Obama and his victory.
    Nothing could be further from the truth.
    This column is about fairness and understanding. To realize that a person's heritage has no bearing on a person's worth as a human being is what changes attitudes. That is what's important in this melting pot we call America.
    Ironic, isn't it, that this country was founded by a rag-tag bunch of immigrants and defectors and now some criticize people who want exactly what those folks did so long ago.
    It's time for people to look into the mirror and ask themselves why they think they are better than others. If they answer honestly, things will change. If they don't, well, things will change anyway because it's the right thing to do.
     
    Little is editor of The Wayne Independent and can be reached at editor@wayneindependent.com.
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