The following is an article provided by:
Woodrow Wilson Wagner II
The heartbreaking scenes of violence and suffering emerging from Ukraine have made me ponder the price of freedom and the promise of democracy in our own country. When Francis Scott Key caught a glimpse of the American flag still waving amidst glaring rockets and bursting bombs in September of 1814, he probably did a bit of trembling and agonizing before writing the Star-Spangled Banner. Yet, our flag was still there, the British invaders were eventually repelled, and America’s second war for independence was won. Freedom is not free and must NEVER be taken for granted. So many brave veterans right here in Victoria County have sacrificed so much to ensure that we might enjoy the blessings of liberty and self-determination. I pray not only for the peace loving people in Ukraine, yet for the precious democracy they believe in and are desperately fighting to preserve. On this Election Day, half a world away in Victoria, TX, we must ask ourselves: What do WE believe in? What would WE desperately fight to preserve? What do WE proudly hail at the twilight’s last gleaming?
My political beliefs are guided by the virtues of faith, hope, and love. I will desperately fight to preserve my faith, family, and community. I will be voting for candidates that uphold these values with their deeds, not just their words.
In the past few weeks, several people have asked me who they should vote for in today’s primary election. Indeed, this is a personal choice, yet I would encourage all voters to discern the following questions. Does the candidate:
1) advocate specific policies that improve the quality of life for those who would sooner go unnoticed in Victoria County including our citizens who are poor, marginalized, discriminated against, abused, and suffering?
2) address the real life grievances of the citizens of Victoria (including health care, poverty, homelessness, economy, immigration, crime and safety, educational equity, race relations, climate change, and infrastructure) with substantive solutions, rather than their own manufactured straw man grievances designed to obfuscate and divide us?
3) agree with Senator Mitch McConnell that the election on November 3, 2020was fair, legitimate, clear, and legal and that what occurred on January 6, 2021 was “a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election, from one administration to the next?”
4) make arguments warranted by data, evidence, and facts rather than feelings, pathos, and opinions?
5) motivate us into action by elevating our hopes and better angels of our nature or by exploiting our fears and prejudices?
Here in Victoria, we are blest to drive to our polling places without dodging tanks, rockets, or explosions. We are blest to have county officials who ensure extremely transparent, fair, and accessible elections. Yet, as the war in Ukraine has shown us, the red glare of democracy can be fragile and requires constant vigilance. Our vote today is the greatest maintenance for the health and longevity of our republic. Our flag cannot gallantly stream over the ramparts without our active participation. Social media memes and rants do not pay bills or promote economic growth or curtail racism or secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.
Eventually, the dawn’s early light will transition to the dusk’s late darkness. Yet, before the sun sets today, don’t just pray for the people in Ukraine, but honor their perilous fight by exercising your privilege to vote. Don’t just “like” posts on social media, but go to a polling place and “like” a real ballot. Don’t just “boo” and complain, but actually VOTE! The broad stripes and bright stars of our beautiful flag glisten ever more prolifically when we take the time to directly participate in the democratic process. When we cast our ballot today, that Star-Spangled Banner will wave ever more majestically o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave. So say we all!
Woodrow Wilson Wagner was born and raised in Victoria, Texas and serves as the Chairman of the Victoria County Democratic Party. He works as the Director of Strengthening Institution Programs and as a Political Science/Communications Lecturer at The University of Houston-Victoria. He believes that local civic engagement is the essential lifeblood for our community.
COPYRIGHT 2022 BY CROSSROADS TODAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.