Despite all the challenges that we face as a country, I continue to believe that we in the United States are truly blessed. We still have the ability to discuss, to debate and to convince those who disagree with us on the merits of our position. The right to vote and to express one's will through voting is a precious right that should be exercised by all Americans.
I became hopeful when I read in the Orange County Register about a forecast of a 55% voter turnout. This is quite high for a midterm election. It shows that folks are more informed, want to be engaged and want their voice to be heard. Whatever one's political position may be, it is crucial for us all to exercise that right.
I had an opportunity to listen a number of former White House Staffers on C-Span. Although they are quite successful now and have leveraged their White House years into lucrative careers, it was still quite inspiring to hear them talk about how they realized that they (as well as the political leaders) understood that they were all custodians and had an obligation to the American People. I also was quite struck as to how humble they were and how they knew the signifcance of what they were doing. One of the many strengths that we have as a country is the dedication that such individuals have who elect to serve. Although the power and the prestige plays a crucial decision, I continue to be amazed as to why one wants to be Press Secretary or President.
I conclude my thoughts with the issue that is overriding everything for us as Americans: Iraq. I am sure I speak for many Americans when I say that I continue to be dismayed by the news out of Iraq. For all the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform and all their wonderful families have endured, I wonder if it has been worth it. I am proud that a member of my family is currently serving in Iraq and continue to be concerned and worried about him. I also read Juan Cole's Blog daily and cannot help but question the wisdom and the rationale behind the decision being made. It is true that we're there now. We have created a broken country. A lot of folks are counting on recommendations from the Baker-Hamilton Study Group. I don't know if their recommendations will be too little, too late. Time will tell.