Not On My Watch
by Amy Vossbrinck
Early this year, it became abundantly clear to me that I could not sit out the 2016 election cycle. I arranged to use my vacation days at work, contacted a friend in Ohio (a swing state) to offer my volunteer help, paid for my flights and a car rental, and sent in a check for the maximum donation allowed by law.
I spent close to a month in Ohio making phone calls non-stop during the week to identify volunteers to go door-to-door, and going door-to-door myself on the weekends. I could not, with good conscience, watch almost 100 years of progress regarding human rights, common decency, and compassion slowly slip away.
Over 90 million eligible voters did not vote in this election, giving up their constitutional right to have a say in their future and in the destiny of their country. One can only wonder why.
If there is a silver lining to the results of the 2016 election, it is this; the majority of those who voted said “NO” to divisiveness, “NO” to bigotry, “NO” to the degradation of minorities, women, and the disabled, and “NO” to intolerance. They said this by what is currently a margin of nearly 2.9 million popular votes for the Democratic candidate, and that number continues to grow.
I have deep concerns for the future and even deeper concerns for the many people who—feeling that their voices were not being heard—are trusting that driving people of ethnic origins and religions other than their own out of the country will give them more opportunities, are believing that manufacturing jobs that have been fully automated for many years will suddenly reappear, and who somehow reason that a divided country will bring prosperity.
The progress our nation has made on so many fronts regarding how we treat each other, our precious planet, and all life drives people to risk their lives for an opportunity to live in the United States.
So, for me, standing by to see all we have worked for and for which so many have sacrificed slip away is not an option. Not on my watch, not as long as I am breathing, and not while I still have the energy to speak out in support of compassion and justice.
As I process my experience in Ohio, what is happening to our country, and what seems to be a tragic loss, I try to remember and trust that there are universal forces at work which are beyond my knowing. I strive to acknowledge the wisdom of this simple statement:
"Live truth, work excellence, reach toward your ideal, but trouble not your soul about the meagerness of material results, for all spiritual laborers work along invisible lines to unforeseen and universal results . . . they always seem to miss their aim and always hit a larger and more eternal mark. Let all things move freely around you and float you on the eternal currents."
– J. W. Lloyd
Amy Vossbrinck is an Executive Assistant at the seventh most popular internet website. Throughout her 40-year career she has worked primarily at non-profits dedicated to enhancing global cooperation and understanding. For six years, she scheduled for a US Congressman and for his two runs for President of the US. She is the proud mother of twin sons.