By C. Chadwick Taylor
Thank God for Colin Powell! Not one to invoke the deity in such matters, I find in this fellow citizen for me a sincere experience of national pride when this statesman pretty well said it all this past Sunday. In a rare moment of true patriotism, heroism and citizenship and in a moment of national service, that has somehow now become identified with wearing a lapel pin, flying a car flag and going shopping, we saw a call to our fellow citizens from a true leader. Not to be confused with rank politics, and there are those who will attack the messenger, this soldier, general and former Secretary of State, now engaged citizen, answered again the call to duty and to speak truth to power, political and religious.
He listed precisely and succinctly the real issues facing our country; our national standing and leadership, the moral crisis of a widening economic disparity at home and abroad, the environment, the energy crisis, our failing infrastructure and our host of other challenges not yet addressed and unresolved and the list goes on and on. He spoke to the limits of power, military and economic, and to the power of diplomacy, leadership by example, engagement and respect. He spoke of the opportunity in these challenges for Americans and America to regain our confidence, reestablish our leadership role and lead our fellow citizens worldwide to a brighter future than what we presently face.
The choice is evidently clear and becomes more so by day, and the world is watching and belongs to those that show up. The questions that remain are; will our fellow citizens answer the call and set aside our differences, will we not respond to fear by fear itself, will we be the citizens our forefathers said we will have to be, not to prosper economically but to prosper democratically, a society of engaged citizens, participating in our democracy, not just a democracy of the majority but one that protects the minority with the same passion and action.
I followed this General and Secretary of State into war, even though I didn’t agree, and I’ll follow this engaged citizen again, now that I do. I hope you do to, for the sake of our community, our country and the Earth, all citizens and all of life!
Unfortunately, Florida leads our nation in our national woes for many of the same misguided reasons and there is plenty to vote on here that needs change. Amendment #2 stands out as a callous, theocratic and dangerous breach of an important American value, separation of church and state, and brings to mind the very values we have supposedly gone to war for in the Middle East; freedom and democracy, that protects the rights of the minority with those of the majority. This amendment needs a resounding vote in the negative, as might #1 to a lesser degree. A yes vote on #3 thru #8 is a good thing even though I’m not in favor of littering our constitution with so many amendments but such is the failure of our legislature and our citizenry.
This Letter to the Editor was in my computer awaiting the motivation to completion when I noticed this morning my Obama sign was stolen from the yard. What a shame, on the individuals involved and by extension on our community. The meaning of association is a powerful statement and we should all work mightily and together for a more perfect Union. This requires a more engaged citizenry so at a minimum, vote and vote early, but it takes a whole lot more than that.
C. Chadwick Taylor