The elections are hard upon us and this is a time of choice -- not just of who will lead us, but where we want to be led, what kind of country we want to be, what kind of country we want for our children. We face at base a question of the national soul.
I am concerned, as I think many others are concerned, that the course we are following at the present time is deeply flawed. We are acting as if other countries do not matter, as if we can really go it alone in the world. I believe, as I think many others believe, that our present course will not bring us safety but revenge, not respect but hatred, not peace but the sword.
Whether we were led into war deliberately, or by mistakes of information or judgment, past error is no excuse for its perpetuation. Sophocles said, "All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong and repairs the evil. The only sin is pride."
Now we are faced with the daunting task of finding our way out of the situation in Iraq. We cannot simply withdraw, but we can and must move forward with a clear and discriminating sense of where the national interests truly lay.
Once America stood as a shining light of freedom and democracy, now we are, for much of the world, the most hated nation on the planet. In some measure we have earned that by our actions, for we have failed, not others, but ourselves. We have not lived up to our potential as a beacon for the higher aspiration of humankind. We have allowed our greed and selfishness to override our better instincts, and ignored the needs of the larger human family in the service of our comfort and our vanity.
But now we can choose! We can choose a better course. All eyes are focused on the presidency, but we must take a larger view if we are to reset our national goals. We must consider not only who we wish to be our president, but who we believe will serve our higher calling in the halls of the Congress, in our statehouses, in our precincts, and in our town halls.
Fellow citizens, I implore you to think about these questions, and out of your own heart and mind, attend to your conscience and make your choices. And then vote. If our country is not about that it is about nothing.
M. Decker Abbas, Payson