carolf (carolf) wrote,

A veteran on my flist asks

Joining LJ gave me the gift of a friend I've never met who keeps me thinking ...

He is not happy about something in this election; so unhappy, in fact, that --

Well, behind the cut is my response to one of his posts.  You'll get the flavor of his unhappiness in the parts of his post I quote in my response.

[context:  California passed its Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage]

This is one of those days that makes me ashamed of my country-- and really makes me regret the days I spent in the military defending it. When this is what the United States of America is coming to... it isn't worth defending when it won't stand up for the rights of its own people.

I am deeply sorry you feel this way. I don't.

The US is not perfect -- and never will be -- but over the long haul it keeps plodding its way there. It's worth defending, it's worth our working at it. This blip, large as it is, doesn't change that. I am proud of you for your service, and can never regret it.

I take intellectual comfort in this: The proposition passed extremely narrowly. We are aware enough of the possibility that some of us are afraid of it. Many closets are now open. The issue is now an integral part of the Public Discourse. All of the above was not true just 50 years ago. We've come a very far way indeed.

I feel enormous pride and achievement in this: In the same election that brought you these feelings, this country elected a Black president. That, too, was impossible just 50 years ago. I'd say that alone makes your service priceless.

I believe, too, that this election did as much, and more, as your service for protecting this country. Nothing this country has done has caught the world so by surprise, created such new paradigms for the world to consider or provided such a different prism through which to see us -- since WWII.

And, despite the passion and the stakes, it was an efficient and relatively civil change of government -- much more so than 2000 or even 2004.

I am inspired and energized by this election. On level with my first election as a member of the 18-year-old-voter freshman class of 1972.

Yeah, I'm still plugged into the electricity of the past election.  The tighter the spring, the greater the aftershocks when sprung.  I'll get back to mundane things like building houses and daily living soon -- I hope.

(Actually, be glad that I'm not posting about daily living right now.  I'm sick- -- health-wise, I mean.  Icky for me, boring for you.)

Tags: philosophy, politics

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