Reality Checks Made Complicated (shadowflyer) wrote in metaquotes,
Reality Checks Made Complicated
shadowflyer
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I don't care if it's not teh funneh. It's important.

ginmar speaks from the heart of Iraq - and from the heart of what it means to be part of a free country.

Democracy is one of those things that you think you can define---until the very moment you try. Freedom? Yeah, what's that? I'm wearing the same outfit as 140,000 other people here. But I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and to me that means its principles. Once you recognize that you're free, you also have to recognize that other people are not, and that until they are, you can't really be, either. Freedom carries with it that burden, that acknowledgement. It's not enough to be a beacon, a symbol, a hope. You have to be active. That's the cruelest irony of all about it. I suspect the sunshine patriots Paine spoke about got a distinct jolt when they realized that freedom doesn't mean disconnection from other people---in fact, it means the exact opposite. No one can be till everyone is free.

There's something about being a Reservist that makes this seem especially vivid. We throw our fates to chance, and some of us like the idea that we're beholding to this amorphous concept of freedom. We put aside our individuality, our homes, our jobs, and we take up someone else's lives and hopes. We feel part of a larger purpose, a larger cause than our own paltry concerns. And we like it.

People ask how we do the job we do, and there's another answer, too: because of you. We fight, and you hope. The act of taking up that banner links everyone together, even if you never take up a weapon. Freedom doesn't mean isolation; it means connection, and admittance to a club with a wide-open membership. We have a common desire, it's just the execution that's different.

People ask how they can support us.

It's very simple.

Vote.

I don't care who you vote for, I just care that you do. Our deaths, our injuries, our sacrifices, are all payment for that concept of giving people a voice. We've given you a gift. We've paid for it already. We are here, and we will be here till the job is done. Yet there are people who say that the process is stupid, flawed, unnecessary. They may be right. But we're here for a reaon, and every one hwo doesn't vote negates that reason just a bit.

People ask how they can support us.

Vote.

My ballot was not blood-stained, but that's because a truckload of them probably got blown up. I was using a generic ballot, not even the one I was sent. In order for us to vote, someone gave up their life. The Iraqis haven't seen a real election in thirty years. It's a brand new right for them, and some of them are willing to die for it.

Vote.

Take up the banner for all the people, living and dead, who fought for this. Take up your part in the fight.
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