I love living in the South. The summers are hot(the way I like it), and the winters are mild. I didn’t encounter snow on a serious level until I joined the U.S Army when I was 21 years old. Until that time a severe winter to me was when the temperature dropped to about 40 degrees above zero! There is sweet tea in the south,and no I’m no talking about iced tea that you can just add sugar to. The south is full of hospitality and a laid back attitude that is infectious. Cities in the south also have in my estimation a little quality called character that I just don’t feel in other regions of the US. I realize that my feelings are based more on nostalgia and folklore but these feelings are real and they lay some important foundations of my personality.
Prior to 1999 I never thought much of the concept of red states and blue states. Growing up I knew,rather peripherally that most blacks were democrats and most whites were republicans. Left wing and right wing had no connection to fiscal policy, Social Justice or military engagement until after I went to college and the military. A clearer picture that ties together the founding of the nation, the history of slavery and the Civil War is now apparent. The geographical relationship between States and their politics makes a lot more sense to me now. Giving this insight I sort of conceded that as much as I love living in the south I cannot fully expect the local politics to truly reflect my beliefs.
There must be something mentally transformative about being middle aged because I now believe that accepting that political belief is lazy. It is lazy because it lets politicians off the hook and it asks noting of the constituants. I am a registered democrat. A lot of the government officials in power where I live are republicans. They more likely than not ran on a conservative platform but that does not absolve them of the responsibility to all( even those that voted against them) of the people living in their districts. No matter what party a politician ran as, they are not elected to represent only the people that agree with them. Their duty is to all of us and our duty as citizens is to give a voice to all that concern us.
The currency of a politician is votes, numbers and voices. If we speak loudly, if we organize in mass and if we vote then we don’t have to concede any sort of political reality. We can actually forge any political reality we want. This is a nation that is made of the people for the people. Change does not happen without sweat equity and persistence. We cannot waiver. We can and will have a just nation if we lean forward and do the hard work ourselves. To once again quote Former President Barack Obama “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” So let’s get to work and be the agents of change.