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Why I'm Voting For America On Election Day

I am not undecided.

On Election Day, I will cast the one and only vote I have for America.

The candidate of my choice.

America offers more than self-interest and party loyalty over public good.

No, America is not perfect. Let's be clear about that. Check out America's campaign bio and you'll see slavery, a civil war, discrimination, intolerance, arrogance, greed and a variety of other things that range from imperfections to outright evils.

America is human.

Clearly.

And completely.

America is you and me, so what choice does America have but to reflect the actions, passions, and beliefs of each of us?

For better or for worse, we, the people, are the only people America has got. So we vote for it or we vote against it.

Imperfections and everything, but who am I to cast the first stone?

My ancestors didn't walk on water to cross the ocean that brought them here and I have followed in their footsteps.

America's past is an open book.

An open history book.

You can read everything. It's all there. Humanity in one big nutshell.

But despite America's flaws, there is so much good. So much hope. So much belief and optimism and overcoming the most outrageous and often self-inflicted and grievous wounds.

America frequently talks big, I know. Sometimes the talk is so much loftier than the walk. But America always means well and yes, it has on occasion set the bar much higher than its reach. But the thing about America, which I greatly admire, is that it keeps striving to reach that bar.

Look how long the whole “all men are created equal” thing took. And, yes, in some ways it still continues, but America doesn't quit trying to live up to its ideals. America isn't simply blowing hot air.

There is true compassion, a desire to help others, showing through America's political career like a vivid vein of gold in hard stone.

Some may think America is over the hill, past its prime and that at 236 years old it's time to give someone else a chance.

Hey, it's America, go for it.

But many of us believe America is far from done, so stick your forks in something else.

America's political creed and manifesto have been clearly documented and it is not based on a philosophy of every man and woman for themselves.

The following words say it all, for me.

“With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

America said that, emphatically and without restraint, choosing those specific words as the concluding grand finale crescendo of its Declaration of Independence.

A declaration of faith and, in fact, of our interdependence upon each other if America is to be provided with the means to be its truest self. We don't build that truest America by ourselves. We don't build that alone. We didn't build that and we cannot build that alone.

As our Founding Fathers knew, and what every signer of the Declaration of Independence boldly put their necks on the line to declare is this: “we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

They knew they could not build America by themselves. They knew the nation's creation would take all of them, just as it needs all of us. Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, John Adams, George Wythe, Benjamin Franklin, and the other 51 signers of the Declaration of Independence were willing to risk their lives to state that truth in writing together.

A loaves and fishes moment, immortalized in the Declaration of Independence.

Jesus, seeing so many hungry people, asked how many loaves and fishes there were. He didn't marginalize those without a loaf or a fish. He didn't consider them second-class followers and let them go hungry. He did not preside over a meal, or join in a meal, only for those who had one of the seven loaves or one of the few small fishes. He encouraged those with loaves and fishes to mutually pledge them to everyone gathered-to bring themselves together, to offer what they had and who they were in common cause and purpose for the common good. And Jesus was then able to feed the multitude.

When we bring our own loaves and fishes together to build a better nation and society of people there is a nobility of purpose that transcends partisan politics and fosters that great spirit of “We, the people.” Great things can then happen.

That is why I am voting to reelect the President of the United States, Barack Obama, who was elected four years ago by a majority of the voters in this nation, a majority of voters in our state of Virginia, and a majority of voters in our own community-including a ten percent margin of victory in Prince Edward County.

That America gets my vote, as it did four years ago.

There are friends and family who will join me, and friends and family who will vote, with equal conviction, for someone else, also certain they are voting for America's best vision. That's as it should be. That's what makes America great.

But whoever wins on Election Day, I will keep bringing my loaf to the table. And, when I have one, a fish.

I pray that we all do, as the Founding Fathers hoped we would, because on that our future depends.

-JKW-