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Opinion Reader Contributed

Op-Ed: We’re All in This Together

West Hartford protest, June 2, 2020. Photo submitted by Lee Gold

By Lee Gold

I struggle to find the words to describe what I witness daily in the news cycle. I am outraged by what I see and hear. How do I explain to my children what this all means?

I believe in democracy. I believe in freedom of speech. I believe in representative government and free elections. One of the tenets of our democracy is representative government. I question our national leaders. I question their innate beliefs in supporting our democracy. I question their complacency. We are left to see clips and partial thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. I crave more.

I remember reading and learning in history classes about The Federalist Papers. Thoughtful, detailed explanations in support of our Constitution – for all to read. Why are we looking for the next soundbite when we should be begging for the next essay about how we strive to be better. Continue to fight – peacefully – to ensure the survival of the United States and the freedoms it is supposed to foster and protect.

We as citizens have entered into a social contract. One in which we all gain security free from chaos and anarchy in exchange for a set of rules and laws to live by. Established by an assembly of those elected members of our society. We need to protect those around us and fight for those who cannot fight or stand up for themselves.

Tyranny, injustice, senseless killings need to stop. We need to keep safe the sacred institution our founding fathers established to break away from monarchy and tyrannical rule. The same institution that helped to undo terrible wrongs that happened to many of our ancestors in years past.

The United States needs to stand for all. The Constitution begins: WE THE PEOPLE. All the people. Together. We are all equal and all need to be treated that way. Unconscionable killing, antisemitism, anti-black racism, and inequality must no longer exist. It needs to be extinguished. We need leaders to lead our community, our society, our country, and our humankind towards a safer present and better tomorrow.

This experiment in democracy needs to be more. It can no longer merely be an experiment. It needs to take firm roots and grow stronger and we must guard it with constant vigilance. We affirm that our government is created by all the people for their own convenience and must receive constant reinforcement from those who remain convinced of its promise. It changes; but needs to change for good, for decency. For the betterment of all humanity.

Voting helps to ensure that. Everyone needs to vote to help promote appropriate and calculated change. I can see no other way. Voting rights are a right. They are not a privilege that can be taken away. If there is a way to guarantee representative government – something that is sacred to our institution – then we are obligated to proceed on a path towards fulfilling this goal.

We must all take up the call to ensure the continuation of our republic and a free democracy promoting equality for all.

Lee Gold is the the minority leader of the West Hartford Town Council.

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