Monday, November 3, 2008

I Am A Patriot

Election Day Eve, 2008
Years ago, four to be precise, my sister sent me a couple of CDs. One was filled with "kid friendly" lullaby type songs, and though specifically for our newborn daughter it's still a favorite among all of us.

The other she simply called, "VOTE". It's election-themed so I pull it out every two years a few weeks before election day. One song has stuck with me this election cycle, more so than the past two: an Eddie Vedder solo version of "I Am a Patriot," penned by Steven Van Zandt.

When it comes to politics (which I rarely address here, but catch me outside of this blog . . . ) there are plenty of things to complain about. The generally apathetic and uninformed electorate and the lies, corruption, and greed at every level are two that bother me. But this year, more than anything else, I'm absolutely sick of the partisan bullsh*t, the false idea that some Americans aren't real Americans, that one party is more patriotic than the other party, that one party doesn't get the concept of country, freedom, apple pie, and baseball. The people who try to propagate this should be simply ashamed at what they've become.

I'm so glad people are standing up to these false dichotomies this year, rightly pointing out we are all Americans cherishing life and liberty and pursuing happiness. No one party has a monopoly on that idea, no one party can claim to "get it," referring to how to protect our shores along with our inalienable rights, while the other is completely ignorant. (I get that some individuals, members of all parties, may not "get it,"and that an uninformed or easily persuadable electorate can elect these folks and set back forward strides. But generally speaking I think most Americans, right or left of center, are all after the "American Dream.")

So, this song has been my anthem this year. I'm encouraged by what we've been seeing this cycle, I'm hopeful we'll see a fundamental change in how politics is played, regardless of who wins tomorrow. Something inspiring has been stirred up, and I'm hoping it's something contagious, unstoppable, and deep rooted. We can be the change we want to see in this world.

I Am A Patriot
And the river opens for the righteous, someday

I was walking with my brother
And he wondered what was on my mind
I said what I believe in my soul
It ain't what I see with my eyes
And we can't turn our backs this time

I am a patriot and I love my country
Because my country is all I know
I want to be with my family
With people who understand me
I got nowhere else to go
I am a patriot

And the river opens for the righteous, someday

I was talking with my sister
She looked so fine
I said baby what's on your mind
She said I want to run like the lion
Released from the cages
Released from the rages
Burning in my heart tonight

I am a patriot and I love my country
Because my country is all I know

And I ain't no communist, and I ain't no capitalist
And I ain't no socialist
and I sure ain't no imperialist
And I ain't no democrat
And I ain't no republican either
And I only know one party
and its name is freedom
I am a patriot

And the river opens for the righteous, someday



jan m said...

There was a lot of excitement at my polling place this morning, 6 a.m. and a line out the door!

noflickster said...

Hi Jan m,
We (the wife and daughter) showed up around 7:20-ish and found our polling place devoid of voters, just workers. We were told the early rush was huge, much more and earlier than in past elections. Glad we hit the lull: Reina and I had time to stop at a park for a bit before school!

Anonymous said...

Lots of excitement here too - about 1.5 hour wait when we arrived at 11 a.m. & equally long lines when we left. Went pretty smoothly though. I've been humming "I am a Patriot" all morning. Great post!
- Heidi (don't mean to be anon, but I always forget my google password)

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