Vote, or deaths on Sept. 11 will have been in vain |

Vote, or deaths on Sept. 11 will have been in vain

It’s been a remarkably subdued election time. No nasty attacks on candidates, (well, only one), not a lot of campaign signs cluttering our scenic viewsheds; pretty low-key, all in all.

Do I think it’s because this election season is dull and duller? Maybe statewide, but certainly not here in the heart of Disney Country. There are any number of crucial turning-points to be decided.

Then to what do I ascribe this seemingly calm, rational approach to the primary? I would like to think that it’s a result of Sept. 11. I would like to believe that that one day, out of all days in American history, has made us stop and really reflect on what it means to live in this country at this time, instead of merely giving lip-service to the ideal of freedom that so many of our ancestors, and now people just like us – mothers and fathers and children – have died for.

I would like to believe that it’s caused us to take a long, hard look at government promises, and how illusory they really are. Who can look at the accumulation of freedoms we’ve given up over the last 20 or 30 years, and now, in light of Sept. 11, believe that government provided the safety it promised in return for those freedoms?

Who, after Sept. 11, believes that the best support system is a government-provided safety net, instead of the compassion and strength of the American people, and the security and caring of community, friends, and family?

Who, after Sept. 11 and the incredible examples of heroism and selflessness, can look at the American people and say they’re nothing more than greedy, materialistic, uncaring, selfish consumers of the world’s resources when they’ve given their lives for strangers, and poured what, half a billion, a billion, dollars into funds for the victims and families of Sept. 11?

Not me.

I would like to believe that the quietude surrounding this election is not one of apathy, but rather the quietude of thousands of individual decisions to quit asking our country to do everything for us and take that responsibility on ourselves. To quit allowing the government to determine the pursuit of our happiness, and to pursue that freedom responsibly ourselves.

On Tuesday, March 5, please vote.

I don’t care who, or what, you vote for.

But vote responsibly. Vote intelligently. Vote your heart and your soul.

Otherwise, all those people on Sept. 11 died for nothing more than the fading illusion that government knows best.

Melinda Monaghan, a resident of Rough and Ready, writes a monthly column.

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