Oh, people, look around you
The signs are everywhere
You’ve left it for somebody other than you
To be the one to care
—Rock Me on the Water
I grew up in fundamentalism. “The end” was always near. It never came. But it will next week.
The world ends on Tuesday.
The signs are everywhere. You can read it in the papers, see it in the polls, feel it the air. Democracy is imperiled.
White is right. Right is white.
(Make America white again.)
Good is evil. Evil is good.
False is true. True is false.
Treason is patriotism. Patriotism is treason.
Winners are losers. Losers are winners.
Napoleon is unbound.
Oh, people, look around, the signs are everywhere.
The world as we know it is about to end.
No, the seas won’t swallow the land. An asteroid won’t pulverize the planet. But a cabal of treacherous, treasonous, duplicitous candidates will be elected.
Elections be damned. Votes don’t count. People don’t count. Conspiracies count. Winning counts.
Get ready to kiss democracy goodbye.
Get ready to welcome its rebirth.
I choose rebirth.
In our end is our beginning.
Democracy is born of the earth. It’s mortal. What human hands make, human hands can unmake. And remake again and again.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put democracy together again because kings don’t want to. Neither does Napoleon or his minions.
But we the people do. More of us than we can count.
Yes, voting is necessary, but it’s not sufficient.
Vote. Then grip “the gospel plow.”
No one who puts hand to plow and then turns back is fit for the kingdom of God. Luke 9.62.
There is no “king” in the kingdom of God. And no “God” either. There is no realm, no throne, no crown, no spears, no swords. But there is a plow.
“The kingdom of God” is wherever freedom, justice, compassion, and equality rule. For God is love. But love don’t come easy. Nor does freedom, justice, and equality. If we want democracy, we must work to keep it.
Oh, people, look among you,
It’s there your hope must lie.
We all must do the best we can
And then hang on to that gospel plow.
What’s one thing we can do to strengthen democracy? Please share your answer below.
* * *
I did three things. My very impressive grandson, who just became an Eagle Scout, was also sporting a TRUMP bracelet at his Congratulations Party. As we were leaving I commended him for his accomplishment but then I pointed to his bracelet and said, “One thing though, this man is evil.” For this I received an uncertain chuckle from him and a look of disapproval from his mother.
The other thing I did was spend a week describing the telltale signs of Fascism and linking them to the Orange one. This was on my Wisdomkeepers emails (billobrienconsciousnesscoaching.com/contact).
A third thing I did was write an article denouncing Christian Nationalism and its Pennsylvania proponent Doug Mastriano, running for Governor. It was published in the local paper here on Friday. (The Ambler Gazette reaches several near-in suburban counties of Philadelphia with many Independent voters. Here’s the link:
Finally, I haven’t done it yet but on Tuesday I am going to vote.
I stopped trusting the polls in 2016 🤞🏼🤞🏼
Oh Hell Yeah!!! What a blessing this essay is in its truth as real as this holy ground we walk on. I’m gonna hold onto that gospel plow behind that plodding mule planting seeds of a future filled with the Spirit of Love.
The one thing we can all do to ensure democracy is to be kind to one another.
It’s Roevember. Y’all know what to do.
Be a poll worker.
Joe Hill, the IWW firebrand and troubadour, reportedly commented before he faced a Utah firing squad for a murder he didn’t commit, “Don’t mourn me. Organize!”
Bob Marley enjoined us to, “Get up stand up! Stand up for your rights!”
“I won’t back down,” Tom Petty encouraged.
Jimi Hendrix exhorted, “Keep on pushing, straight ahead!”
Next, stop listening to the mumbled jabbering of prognosticators, polls and pundits who are too enthralled with the sounds of their own clanging.
John Paul Jones, who has recently fallen in to disrepute, supposedly retorted when invited to strike his colors, “I’ve just begun to fight,” even while his ship was sinking while lashed to his opponents.
There is no quit. Keep on marching to the freedom land!
William Cullen Bryant asserted, “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.” It will rise as we speak the truth in love, even if our voices shake. It will rise as we vote, as we contact our local, state and national representatives, as we back local efforts of activism and as we support democracy-centered groups such as Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and the Poor People’s Campaign—just name a few. Attitudes color actions. Act, we must; plow, we must—but with a humble perspective, one not based on immediate “results”, but on a kind of deep hope of yearning for peace and justice.
Listen, discuss, don’t be a one news source ninny. And VOTE.
I’m not giving up! I voted and also wrote hundreds of postcards to Pennsylvania, and persuaded friends to do the same. Trying to do some online texting as well. And I pray.
Gratitude…Choose to breathe in lite, walking behind the tilling plow; planting seeds of peace & hope; singing all those songs with all y’all!! Thank you for this glorious piece, coming at just the perfect time…
Well, we voted early! And we’re broadening our boundaries of community, visiting and meeting people farther away and closer-in. And we’re paying attention to and meditating on what’s essential♥️
Thank you. My sentiments. Comments are of interest to me too. I will add, because I can’t help expressing myself, that I think I am in shock, but now have a better understanding of the complications us humans endure. I feel in good company with your blog. I voted, knowing my choices were not going to “win”, but I found solace the process. The people in the room (the very nice renovated room of the Charles Town building) and the reverence i felt, seeing the diversity there, and the good poll workers ( I was not going to assign them a party). There were two guys dressed as I imagine proud boys might dress…but that doesn’t make them that, but I imagined If they were, they might observe they were seeing a group of diverse people, quiet, and friendly, together voting, for who knows who…just being present together, voting in America.
Don’t give up. But remember “don’t look up.”
What can we do – We CAN do – a lot – even in our small space and time. I believe I am making a difference, in my own way. I appreciate your writing.
Everyone needs to be gracious in winning and gracious in losing.
It’s not the end, there are many more election days ahead.
What we need to look for is the Public Servant that follows the 8th Commandment.
The one thing we can do to ensure Democracy thrives is to support our public schools. It is in the public schoolhouse where children of diverse cultures and languages come together and learn to respect one another; it is in the public schoolhouse where bullies are reported and held accountable for their actions; …..where children learn to read, write, and compute….where young people learn about citizenship and, in many places, community service and volunteerism….where equity and equality are the “standard” in determining who gets what….it is in the public schoolhouse that Democracy rests and will thrive.
How about creating and building some kind of “underground railroad“ support network for election workers? Safe houses for those whose homes and families are threatened, escorts to help them move safely to their posts, and recruitment and training that promotes following the rules and resisting attempts to subvert legitimate votes.
Do not accept the lies from liars and enablers. Speak up in defense of truth.