Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Next Week we Vote

 Next week we vote.  Some of us already have.  A month later my book, Prairie Bachelor, The Story of a Homesteader and the Populist Movement will finally be released.  A decade of research for this book, as well as much of my life as a law student, an attorney, an author, and incidentally as the granddaughter of a member of the Kansas House have obviously focused my attention on our nation and how we govern ourselves. 

Isaac Werner's 480 page journal

Much has changed since my great grandfather, a Union Soldier, took advantage of the benefit of a year's credit toward getting title to his claim for each year he served the Union, in his case, reducing the time it took from five years to prove up a claim to only two.  He was not alone.  Many Union soldiers returned to their former homes and found that opportunities had changed, so they decided to come to Kansas to start a new life.  Their loyalty to Abraham Lincoln, their commander, often influenced the choice of Union soldiers to vote republican, a decision that many, including my own family, passed down through the generations.  I doubt that Kansas remaining a dependable republican state would surprise my great grandfather, but a different political change certainly would--women getting the vote!

My research about the Populist Movement, and the People's Party they created--the most successful 3rd party this nation has ever seen--included many discoveries not only about Kansas but also about Texas, where the populist movement began.  Kansas was slower to the movement, but ultimately became its heart.  Women lacked the vote in both of those states, but they were active in the movement.

Not only have women gained the vote, but in this election, one of our national political parties has chosen a female running mate for it's Presidential nominee. Kansas has a female governor, and both Kansas and Texas have female candidates making a strong challenge to their male political opponent in seeking election as their state's senator in Washington.

Stained glass window, Dole Institute 

Because this is a Presidential election year, as I often do, I have looked to the past to learn what past presidents have said about the responsibilities of the one occupying the highest office Americans have to give.  The words of three of America's presidents follow below:

Lincoln:  "We the people are the rightful masters of both congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."

Truman:  "When you get to be President, there are all those things, the honors, the twenty-one gun salutes, all those things.  You have to remember it isn't for you.  It's for the Presidency."

Nixon:  "With all the power that a President has, the most important thing to bear in mind is this:  You must not give power to a man unless, above all else, he has character.  Character is the most important qualification the President of the United States can have." 

The responsibilities thrust upon those who are privileged to hold that office are great, but all of us have an important responsibility as well--to Vote! 

1 comment:

The Blog Fodder said...

Several comments come to mind but they do not fit your blog.
Happy Halloween