On our bus tour of the city of Strasbourg, France, we passed the headquarters of the Council of Europe. It was founded on 5 May 1949 by the Treaty of London. After experiencing the atrocities of WW II, Sir Winston Churchill had a vision of the nations of Europe coming together to work for peace. The purpose of the Council of Europe is to promote Freedom, Democracy, and the Rule of Law. On this Independence Day I am thankful for organizations that promote peace rather than conflict.
Thankful for peace and freedom
Hotdogs on the grill
Photos: Dwight L. Roth
Yesterday, I cast my early vote at our local library. The candidates and supporters were confined to a yellow tape line on the sidewalk. It was set up to avoid harassment of people coming to vote. You could go to them, but you could also ignore them if you wished. Sometimes we may wonder weather our vote really does make any difference. Politics is sort of like playing the lottery. Most of the time our ticket comes up short of our expectation. Once in a while the person we cast our vote for really does make a positive difference in our world. In spite of that we still line up to cast our ballot.
I Voted… did you?
Leaves cover tree roots
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Frank Tassone asked us to examine the roots of our democracy and write a Haikia poem using or alluding to democracy.
Join in at: https://frankjtassone.com/2018/11/03/haikai-challenge-59-11-3-18-election-day-democracy-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/
Independence Day (a Haibun)
Perhaps our understanding of freedom and independence is skewed by misguided expectations. Our Republic was founded on the principles of freedom under law. The question becomes whose freedom and whose laws. It seems that every time there is a social push for change, the ensuing freedom comes with expectations that everyone will get on board. When that does not happen, then it (our newfound freedom) becomes means of control and forced compliance. Too bad we can’t just enjoy our freedoms without insisting everyone has to see things our way!
Freedom to control others
The way we see fit
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Frank Tassone asked us to look at the meaning Independence Day. What does it mean to be free and what are the necessities to remain that way. I believe we live in a country where the word freedom has been hijacked by those who want to control it. If that continues to happen we will no longer have a free society.
Join the Haikai challenge at:
#Haikai Challenge #40 (6/30/18): Independence #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga
Sometimes it may feel like there is no lifeguard on duty. But in a democracy that should not be the case. Our founding fathers set up a set of checks and balances that protect us from tyranny and anarchy. Watching the reaction to the election and the rioting in a few cities across the country I thought, “this looks just like it did in the 1960’s.” Protests against the war in Viet Nam hounded President Nixon as he took office. Today we face different challenges but the protests always seem to be there. This led me to reflect on what democracy really means to me.
Thoughts on Living in a Democracy
*Democracy is a choice we make to accept the agreed upon majority rule. It is not ‘Let’s vote and then scream and shout when the vote does not go our way!’
*Change is scary and leaves us anxious and unsettled. Give and take is natural and expected in a Democracy. We are all responsible to make this work. We cannot refuse to cooperate because we did not get our way.
*Our forefathers believed the people would vote their choice and then live with the results. After four years the people can come together to either vote them back in or vote them out! The majority makes the decision. If the people refuse to come out and vote, they have no grounds for criticizing the choices that are made.
*Democracy is responsible for the minorities who also have the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The government must allow for differences, but minorities also are responsible to accept the will of the people.
*To impose the will of minorities on the majority is to deconstruct democracy and undermines the founding principles our forefathers laid out for us. To live in a democracy is to accept majority rule. To bring about change the majority must be convinced to make it happen.
*Change in a democracy comes through our elected representatives whom we elected to do our work. They are responsible to work for the will of the people and for the common good. They too cannot arbitrarily decide not to do their job because they did not get their way. This is what caused so much stalemate in the past eight years. They should all be voted out and new representatives put in who will work for the people.
There are more, but this is all I will share for the time being!
Lifeguard Photo: Dwight L. Roth