They Told You
Creative Strategy #76: The miracle of Democracy
They told you your vote didn’t matter.
They told you somebody was trying to steal another election.
They told you you were being cheated. Before you even voted.
They told you elections don’t matter if they don’t win.
They broke the post office to make it harder for you to vote.
They told you that the wrong people were voting.
They told you that you don’t have the right to control your body.
To love who you love.
To be who you are.
They told you that Covid was a fraud.
They told you not to believe your eyes and ears.
Over and over and over.
They told us. They lied to our faces.
They told you to love God and America and hate everything they stand for.
They told you the poor were to blame for your misery;
they were taking your jobs, and getting all the goodies—your goodies.
They told you democracy was a mug’s game.
And when you play by the rules, you lose.
They told you the world isn’t burning and they fanned the flames.
They told you government was the problem
so they appointed incompetents and cronies
who botched and impeded and corroded rather than governed.
They shook hands with Putin and North Korea.
Then they paraded their patriotic smiles throughout the midwest.
They had no policy, no agenda, no plans but to funnel cash back
to their wealthy donors, gum up the works.
Remember the Heathcare plan they promised?
They never had one.
You know why people love Gretchen Whitmer?
A stone’s throw from where I am typing this they are “Fixing the damn roads.”
Gretch’s campaign promise years ago when we elected her.
They’ve been fixing the damn road for YEARS.
Because every Michigander who has ever driven has broken a rim,
flattened a tire or two, and wrecked their suspensions
on the potholes of this beautiful beautiful State.
That is government. That is what government does. Fixes. Improves. Saves.
The first responders. Fire. Police. Teachers. Hospitals. The Mail. The Vote.
We daily need good and competent public servants to maintain and improve this land.
It’s too big to slough it off. It’s too vital to pretend it’s showbiz.
It needs a living breathing citizen workforce who show up, do their jobs,
cut no corners and make our government work.
Secure our welfare. Provide for the commonwealth. Protect our lives.
I voted on a perfect sunny autumn day.
In an oddly cozy miniature basketball court at a local middle school.
It was the first feeling I’ve had of being in a sacred space
in a long time.
No Cathedral could compete with the quiet joy and determination I felt in that gym.
A hushed sunny place, with kind, unhurried people,
who took the time to talk, explain, hand you a pen.
While I waited for my wife to finish voting I thanked them sincerely.
The volunteers who wore Hijab, pearls, ball caps seemed touched.
They knew I knew it took real courage to stand up to naked empires.
They knew the dangers.
They clearly recall the last time there was an important vote count.
If I, an atheist, can feel the awe of simple people doing simple good
caring, sharing, in the fairest way possible, voting
and choosing light—anybody can.
Makes my crabby old heart happy.
It means they told you who they were and you believed them.
In short, they told you they didn’t want to govern,
but they wouldn’t accept defeat if they lost.
They don’t want a job. They want a stage.
They don’t want to serve; they want to rule.
Because they think they own America.
But they don’t. We do.
Thank you, America, for seeing that.
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