“ Lest WE Forget ”
I’m Just Sayin’ Dr.T Column 11/10/21
We just had an election in Virginia. There were also elections in other states around the country, but we’ve all heard the expression that “all politics are local.” The real-life consequences of “free and fair” elections can never be under appreciated. In the United States of America, it must never be forgotten that our democratic system of electing those who will represent us in public office has not always been FREE, neither has the appearance of freedom always made the election process fair. And yet, we have continued to use the process of holding elections as a demonstration of a national commitment to self-governance in a country that espouses a government “Of the People, by the People, and for the People.” Although many may be disappointed by the final results of any given election, we who are committed to democracy and a representative system of self-governance continue to submit ourselves to the “will of the People” when the votes are finally tallied. That has been true for generations and generations of American voters until the 2020 presidential election, when a group of violent insurrectionists committed to STOPPING the certification of our election and overturning the results of that election in order to keep the man they wanted to be president in the office, took charge of the US Capitol and held hostage the elected officials charged with certifying the peaceful transfer of power. They attempted, for the first time in American history, to nullify a free and fair election because they didn’t like the results. The consequences of that act on January 6, 2021 will reverberate throughout the annals of American history forever.
“Lest we forget…”, is an expression taken from a poem written by Rudyard Kipling honoring the sacrifices of those who have fought on the battlefields to defend the nation and all the freedoms and liberties it stands for in addition to its people and its land. The poet implores us to remember the consequences of past triumphs and actions, in order that we might both honor and celebrate them aa we also commemorate, mourn and remember those we lost in pursuit and defense of freedom, liberty, and justice for all. Veteran’s Day is a sacred holiday, and we should ALL take time to honor those for whom the day has been dedicated. That is the formal inspiration and purpose for the line in the poem, “Lest we forget.” However, there are warriors on the battlefield for justice and freedom that should also be remembered and celebrated, honored and mourned. All wars are not fought against other countries or nations, some are fought against bigotry and injustice. Those who are lost while fighting for the cause of freedom, liberty, equality, and justice should also never be forgotten. There are wars that we fight amongst ourselves as citizens and those are the wars that keep us most divided. When we fight an enemy that is a foreign nation, most Americans can come together with a singular focus to defeat the outside enemy. It is much more difficult when we find that the enemy of freedom and justice comes from within the house itself. That is Civil War. And when there is dishonesty and blind allegiance to maintaining power instead of the recognition of our common-unity as citizens of the United States of America, democracy itself is in serious peril.
We just had an election in Virginia! Our election results have not been challenged, even though many people are not happy with the outcome. The candidates that have been elected have been elected in a free and fair election process. We elected the first Black woman as our Lieutenant Governor, the next one in line to be the Chief Executive of the State of Virginia. That means that Virginia could make history by having the first Black woman ever to be Governor of any state in the United States. It is historic. Made possible because no one is whipping up false claims of fraud or massive assault on voter integrity simply because their candidate didn’t win. Creating chaos based on LIES and false narratives in order to undermine the most fundamental right any citizen has as an American is not only the most unpatriotic and reprehensible thing an individual could do, but it is also corrosive to our core beliefs and principles as a Democracy. “Lest we forget.” Congratulations to ALL the winners! For those who are dissatisfied, we hope to offer a better argument for the next election. That’s what Democracy looks like!