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12 WEEKS TO GO! On Leading Ourselves

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

—James Baldwin

This series is gonna run every Wednesday until November 3, when we get to do the most amazing and radical thing a democracy is empowered to do—peacefully overthrow the government.

Hello from Nashville and welcome back to “where’s the unfollow button!” with your host, Gooding. In all seriousness, I want to thank you, because many of those who disagree with me in these videos and blogs are still keeping it civil, and I promise to do the same.

We are in the heaviest times most of us can remember. A global pandemic, a second civil rights era, rising income inequality, and the first president in my lifetime who leans into fear, chaos, and division every chance he gets

We have a president and an AG repeatedly attacking the legitimacy of our elections and even mentioning delaying them. It’s safe for our kids to go to school but not for us to vote?

We have a president who openly calls for violence, constantly bullies and pits us against one another, and gasses his own people to clear a street for a photo op.

We must lead ourselves for the next few weeks until we can make real change again. 

We must practice civility and kindness no matter how many times the president tries to paint half of America as good and the other half evil, retweeting garbage like “The only good democrat is a dead democrat” or “white power.”

We must believe in the courage of our convictions and trust our hearts, no matter how many hateful and racist things are said. We must remember that for the first time all of our major cities have been full of people of color and white people marching side by side for change and, despite some inevitable instances of violence, peaceful protests overall.

Those of us with plenty must remember those of us who are barely hanging on. Despite the stock market raging, there are thousands of mom-and-pop businesses going under, people unable to pay rent, and food lines around the block in many cities. Wealth has not trickled down but suffering certainly has.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, we must remember not to lose hope. 

Injustice prevails when we lose hope. Injustice prevails when apathy takes over and those who suffer start to blame one another instead of working together to build a better world.

It is hope that reminds us that we’re still one country. Hope that lets us organize and talk to our friends and neighbors about using our power to vote to protect this rare and precious democracy.

This incredible 245-year experiment called America requires just the tiniest bit of upkeep—asking only that we think for ourselves, study our choices in our elections, and pull those levers of power at the local, state, and federal levels.

Forty-five percent of us don’t vote. Many of us say, “My vote doesn’t count” or “They’re all the same.” Many of us would like to punish the Democratic Party for its behavior toward Bernie (and I understand this completely), but we don’t have that luxury this time, folks.

This election is not about Republican or Democrat or Independent. We must choose country over party, and we must course-correct now. I promise you, if this was a Democrat threatening to move an election, I would vote for the Republican in order to protect what generations of Americans have fought and died for.

I realize there will be much work to be done after November 3, and no one has all the answers, but November 3 is where a great deal of the healing will begin.

Thanks for listening and see you next Weds! #nov3 #vote

www.usa.gov/register-to-vote

—G

Gooding writes a new post most Wednesdays. Please like and subscribe on all social media sites with @goodingmusic. You can also subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed athttp://goodingmusic.com/blog/feed/.

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