30 October 2020

NOTE FROM NORM: Vote for All Our Freedoms

If you believe that China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and a host of other nations are hellbent on our nation’s destruction, then do something to thwart them:  Vote.

That’s right.

If you want to demonstrate the strength, vigor and resilience of American democracy in a world of tyrants and oppressors who are dedicated to depriving their people, and people of the world, of freedom and liberty then stop them:  Vote.

In 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared in his 8th State of the Union Speech what was widely declared to be the “Four Freedoms” speech:

“In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression – everywhere in the world. The second is freedoms of every person to worship god in his own way – everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want…everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear…anywhere in the world. That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation.”

This speech, and America’s subsequent leadership in the world after World War II, has been marked by an unwavering commitment to liberating humanity from those committed to enslaving them.

Time and time again our efforts have been met with fierce resistance from those nations whose leaders are equally committed to their own worldview.

One in which they, and not their people, determine the future of their country and their lives.

While they control their populations with bullets, Americans have been controlling their country with ballots.

According to MarketWatch.com, “Election Day is still five days away, but nearly 83 million Americans already have cast their ballots, surpassing an estimated early-votes total of about 58 million for the 2016 election.

The current early vote for the 2020 election is more than half of the total votes from 2016.

It’s conceivable, if current trends continue, that America could have the highest rate of turnout in 50 years.

What a stunning exclamation point to the power of democracy in America and a powerful message to the rest of the world.

The efforts of the collective group of bad actors in the world to undermine American’s confidence in our system of governance has never been more aggressive.

It is intended, not to elect one candidate or the other President of the United States, it is intended to undermine confidence in our institutions.

They can’t change your vote but they hope to change your mind in the fundamental transformative power of democracy to make your life better.

More strategically, it is their goal to undermine confidence in democracy around the world in the hopes that their own ideological goals can be more easily achieved.

Totalitarian governments achieve power by destabilizing other nations and by stabilizing their own hold on power by oppressing and repressing entire populations.

Whatever faults we may find with our system of governance Winston Churchill was right when he said ‘Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…’

We have, for the better part of 2020, felt like a nation under a siege.

A global pandemic has undermined our economy, robbed us of jobs, curtailed our freedom of movement and deprived us of thousands of our fellow Americans.

Coming in the midst of a bitter election season it can feel like the worst of times.

Yet, in the midst of all of this suffering, anxiety and confusion can emerge something powerful for the future of America.

New medical research intended to thwart COVID-19 will undoubtedly lead to new medicines and procedures that will benefit humanity far beyond conquering a single disease.

A review of shortcomings in our equipment, material and natural resources supply line will most certainly change, in positive ways, how we ensure that America is never at the mercy of any nation in the future when it comes to protecting our national interests.

And, with more Americans, potentially, turning out to vote for this year’s election, we can add an exclamation point that our nation’s democracy has never been more vibrant, alive and important.

For far too many in the world bullets, not ballots, are what determines their future and their fate.

Let’s send them, and those who oppress and repress them, a powerful message that the Four Freedoms extolled by an American President nearly 80 years ago burn as brightly in America as they ever have.