Editor: The Republican and Democratic conventions gave us a panoramic view of America in 2016. I won’t go so far as to say that we are two countries but we are a study in contrasts, with very different opinions about how to address our problems and improve the lives of all Americans.
I do not think that our challenges are insurmountable — if we use our ingenuity, our idealism and our optimism to identify and go about addressing them. Americans have a special talent for problem-solving — principally because of our founders’ belief in government of, for and by the people. We the people are in charge of our personal and collective destinies. It is at once an empowering and daunting assignment. The late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis observed that the most important job in our American democracy is that of citizen. I believe that civic responsibility is a privilege — that the right to be responsible for the public good is the most precious right we have.
We face an unusual challenge. I speak as a Democrat but I think the challenge goes beyond politics. We cannot afford to put our nation in the hands of a person who is inexperienced in government and proud of that — and considers himself capable of governing this nation and continuing our global leadership all on his own. Call it naïve. Call it narcissistic. Call it scary.
I know that my views will not convince Donald Trump’s supporters. But for those of us who honor the values of our party and our nation — Hillary Clinton supporters, Bernie Sanders supporters, independents and undecided voters — I urge you to vote. Volunteer to get out the vote — reminding people, driving people — whatever it takes.
President Obama wrote eloquently about the audacity of hope. We need hope but we also need to translate that hope into action — because our fate is in our hands.
Scranton Times-Tribune 8/28/16