On Tuesday Democrats across Virginia went to the polls to nominate their choice for governor for the next four years. The Republicans had done this earlier and made their choice.
On neither day was there a big celebration, no fireworks, no parade, no horns honking. It was just another day. Even so, it was a day unique because it was a free people making a choice, that in many other countries of the world would have resulted in an armed fight with the ruling party.
Before January 6th 2021 few of us could have imagined that happening in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We live in an America where proudly place our hands over our hearts and stand as the flag is unfurled. But then a would-be dictator attempted to take that away from all of us.
On Tuesday there should have been flags flying everywhere, churches should have been filled with people giving thanks that we remain free to exercise our right to choose, regardless of whether our selection in November should win or lose. The result will be the choice of most of the people and quietly we will accept the outcome. And when all is said a done this country remains, not perfect, but where we strive, most days, to improve the life of every citizen.
This is the America I choose for my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. A country where truth means more than lies. Where honor means more than privilege. Where love and compassion mean more than hate. Where work means more than hand-outs. Where diversity is a gift from God and not a racial slur.
This is what America is all about. This is why at the entrance to New York’s harbor a Statue stands, this poem chiseled into the base on which she stands:
“Give me your tired, your poor,/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,/The wretched refuse of your teeming shore./ Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,/ I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” —Emma Lazarus