Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New President

A new election and a new president. Where does our country go from here? In the past, I would just have shrugged and said, 'Well, we'll see what happens in the next four years', but this time it's different. I heard a statement on the radio as I was driving to vote, and it hit me hard.

"There is nothing set in stone that says America is going to be a republic forever."

True as the statement is, was I the only one naive enough to think that it would be like this forever? I love our country, and love everything it has always offered us. Would it be the same if it becomes different? I don't know much about different countries and the way they are ruled, but they work and their people can be happy, too, right?

But there is something else. I'm delving into the history of the Roman Empire. Great, grand era, lots of opportunity, wealth abounded. Then came wars, and Julius Caesar, who carefully lifted a republic out of being a republic. The sad thing is, who did it? The people did. One could argue about the details of why and the situation they were in and such, but the bottom line came down to suddenly Rome was ruled by a dictator. The only ones who saw a problem to it had no power to change it, except to assassinate him. We can see where that led. Unfortunately, the people of whom decided to allow dictator rule were the same people whom, only a generation back, were vehemently fighting against having a king. Within years, this republic became an empire. Decades of growth led to a division to be able to properly handle the new empire, and then came the fall of Rome, and the dark ages.

I am told that history repeats itself. Our country began with many parties, not just two. Many will say that we still have more than just two parties. However, as I went to the polls it was to my surprise that in all my research about those that were running for President not one thing was turned up about the independent or other party choices that suddenly were on my ballot. And, I will ask, why are they never invited now to the debates? It appears to me that the two strong parties are limiting our choices. When I was talking politics to a friend and mentioned that I didn't approve of either candidate for president, I was told if I wrote in, I'd be wasting my vote.

It's MY VOTE... It's who I WANT to be president. So, is it that many people in our beloved country feel that way, that if not Rep or Dem they are 'wasting' their vote? So how many are getting sucked into voting for one or the other when they might pull together and elect a completely different person, if they didn't feel that vote would be 'wasted'. One may say I wasted my vote, but I used it to show the ideals that I want represented.

Speaking of votes, how many thousands, nay, millions of us are there that are not in these so called battleground states that are treated as if our vote doesn't really matter? How many of us walk up to the polls and mark based on party, because everyone else will be voting that way, or our senators are already marked for whom they are behind?

Is it possible that slowly, ever so slowly, there comes a decline in the amount our votes matter? That we are all getting out to vote and feeling all good about ourselves just to be herded like cattle to a dictatorship or other like government?

Some may argue whether or not Rome even fell, but the truth is that the republic or empire whichever it may be, exists as it had no more. Our beloved United States is not set in stone to be a republic, or even united, forever. It will take a whole country of people wanting it to be to keep us here. I hope we can, and keep the freedom of our republic around for much, much longer than the Romans kept theirs.