Sherry Hopkins column

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 18, 2008

Get the picture? … by Sherry Hopkins

Time for mad-as-hell, won’t-take-it-anymore grassroots movement

Dear voter:
Last week I wrote to Hillary Clinton and you responded, overwhelmingly and positively. You said — through two full email boxes, phone calls and person-to-person encounters — that you felt the same way as I did.

This week let’s carry that theme one step further. I heard you when you said that you felt uncertain and overwhelmed by the candidates and their platforms or lack thereof. You told me that you too had lost faith and trust in our leaders and our political system. It is too much about individuals with agendas and not enough about “we the people.”

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This is the time to change that trend. A grassroots movement if you will. A declaration by common folks that we are “mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it anymore.”

You may think that your one vote will not count for much or change anything. You are wrong. President Harry Truman said,” It’s not the hand that signs the laws that holds the destiny of America. It’s the hand that casts the ballot.” That should be our slogan.

Many, many important races have been decided in this country by just one vote. In 1920 women won the right to vote by the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Tennessee, the last state needed to pass the amendment, ratified the amendment by one vote.

A candidate was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1839 by one vote.

One electoral vote in 1876 elected Rutherford Hayes to the presidency. One vote gave statehood to Texas in 1845.

I could site many more examples but you get the picture.

In losing faith in our government leaders we have become complacent in our attitudes and actions. Now is not the time to shrug our shoulders and “let someone else worry about it.”

We have a judicial system that sends a person to prison for dogfighting and allows known child predators to roam unfettered. We have the media focusing daily on some wayward starlet each evening chronicling her every move while never showing a single flag draped casket being rolled out of the belly of an aircraft carrying another dead soldier home from Iraq.

We live in gray areas no longer black and white or right and wrong. We are politically correct and too often silent when we should be speaking up. We have new catch phrases that dictate the way we live and speak. I’m just so tired of walking on eggshells around folks.

What’s wrong with telling the truth anyway? What happened to the catch phrase, “if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck” etc? Why can’t we expect at the very least that the truth be told to us?

What happened to “we the people?” Are WE those people? Are you, am I one of those people?

Don’t be persuaded to skip this election because you don’t know who to vote for, figure it out and vote. Research the candidates or ask someone whose opinion you trust, whose values are like yours. Those who don’t vote have no right to complain about the results.

And lastly, if you are unhappy with the way the system works tell someone in the system. If enough of us just picked up the phone to complain the people we are voting into office would have to take notice, after all we put them in the positions they are in.

We need to show up at the voting booths on election day in mass numbers.  Your vote is your power. That one action alone would send a message that we, the everyday people, the backbone of this country, are demanding change, accountability and truth from our leaders. Don’t we deserve that much? Don’t we deserve even more?

(Contact Sherry at