Ten thoughts before I vote


We will vote.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I feel quiet, waiting, don’t you? We have canvassed, displayed our yard signs—and our ‘We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor’ signs—debated, gossiped, and ignored awful political ads. (All that money poured into overstated commercials that no one believes.)

  1. This week, an article shared widely on FB decried being in ‘the middle’ because the middle is a place of no action. The writer views the middle as gutless. In last week’s post, my grandfather who took many brave risks, meant (in writing my father) that one should study all sides, then decide which path to take, not just sit in the middle on one’s posterior.
  2. I have few words for the massacre of our Jewish neighbors in Squirrel Hill. I am listening to them. Devastated. Angry. This week’s Southern Poverty Law Center‘s newsletter showed the man’s tweets on Gab. I learned more about ‘optics, white genocide, nativism’, and other paranoid, antisemitic things. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society was too much for this deluded person. To him and to other alt-righters the HIAS motto ‘Welcome the stranger. Protect the refugee’ refers to the end of the white race. His claim to fame was ‘Screw your optics, I’m going in.’
  3. One of my cousins, a progressive activist, had all her yard signs run over by a guy in a truck/car/whatever. She had all her signs back up along her property line by the next day. I know her side of the family. One doesn’t easily mess with that branch of pacifists.
  4. I’m listening more to the BBC radio. A world outside the U.S. does exist. (a)  This week Pakistan took a huge step toward individual freedom, acquitting a woman of blasphemy, even though she must leave the country for her safety. Those in Pakistan who have suffered because of religious persecution are quietly celebrating. Hoards of conservative Muslim males march in rage. They want her dead. (b) Ireland is working out border issues in the Brexit move. (c) China and Africa, no longer courting, are now firmly married and working out the problems that a long term relationship requires. I remember hearing of China’s ventures in 1970’s Africa, when Mom and Dad served in Botswana.
  5. (a) Florida will consider restoring ‘voting rights to former felons who served their sentence, including parole and probation, with the exception of those convicted of murder and sexual offenses.’ (b) Georgia’s African-Americans will attempt to vote without obstruction.
  6. This weekend, my church will gather for two days of a Purpose and Identity Retreat. It is important work. Together, we will find our way forward for the betterment of our neighbors, through our missions.
  7. I’m reading Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House. Besides the obvious partisan worries it evokes, the book shows yet again that government is fallible. It is merely people, running around trying to influence each other and act amongst conflicting beliefs. Government only resembles ‘the people,’ but it is not they. It is we who will need to fix things, as well as vote for better government.
  8. The Central American caravans keep coming, and it looks as if troops will be deployed along our border. I need something positive to do, even though it addresses only one of our nation’s many problems. Our adult Sunday School studied Radical Hospitality a few years ago. Some of the resources may need updating, but the links will get you to MCC’s website. What you can do— Immigration— Radical Hospitality— Mennonite Central Committee. Among other things, your organization can send a paralegal who works in a nonprofit to immigration law training.
  9. Migration isn’t only about violence. Scarcity drives groups to relocate. Doug Graber Neufeld does an excellent job motivating people to address the ravages of climate change. The organization he champions is the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions. Their election resources are plentiful.
  10. We are exhausted by never-ending war, lies, and violence. Last night, my husband and I saw the new play 1984 downtown at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Yes, we had to sit through all the bad things. You know them. But the awful addition is that poor, tortured Winston cries out to us, the audience, to save him. If you run out of the auditorium, they won’t let you back in. Still, the play’s authors focus on George Orwell’s Appendix: The Principles of Newspeak, where it becomes apparent that the writer is writing in English; thus, ‘Newspeak is a thing of the past and we are left to conclude that at some point between the novel’s setting in 1984 and 2050, Ingsoc ceased to exist’ and ‘fell short of their goal to wipe out the crime think of literature.’ Of course, the program notes read ‘In a dystopian future where persecution masquerades as patriotism and surveillance as security . . .’ We are assaulted by Newspeak, Doublethink, and Big Brother: ‘War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength.’ ‘Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.’ ‘If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.’

We will vote.

Photo by Fabian Fauth on Unsplash


I welcome your comments: gretaholtwriter.com/blog.

{Thank you to my niece, Addie Liechty, for taking the picture that is this blog’s featured image. Her blog is: https://addieswriting.wordpress.com.}

Best wishes and have a good week.


Posted in

Greta Holt


  1. Diane Gottlieb on November 3, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Hi Greta. Thanks for this post. I do feel quiet, waiting. Quiet and solemn. This is a very serious time. Another shooting in FL last night. Somehow, this madness has to end.
    I saw a wonderful post on FaceBook the other day: November 4th, take back an hour. November 6th, take back our country. One can only hope–and vote!!!!

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