Who's Watching?

12/05/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

When we vote today, there will be many by our side we cannot see, but they will be watching us. Some will have front row seats but, for the most part, history is standing room only.

Walt Whitman once wrote that for all we know, he may be standing looking over our shoulders now, and he may be right. If we're especially quiet, we may hear the urgent whisper of gratitude from Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and the good grey poet himself, as well as everyone who marched in Alabama, and who gave their lives for the cause of civil rights.

We know, too, that off in the distance are Paul Newman and Studs Terkel, as well as those who stood up to Joe McCarthy, and the blacklisters.

Doing the right thing always costs more. Why that is, who can say, but it does. Rest assured that butchers sleep better than most of us. All too often, humankind has been most unkind. Nothing we do today will change that, but can only present the promise of change, and cast an urgent light on the transgressions of those who think that justice can be bought.

For too long, we have allowed ourselves to live in a land where opportunity is a commodity obtainable by some, and denied to most. Our actions, this November 4th, may just change that.

When we go to the polls today, we may also hear the urgent whispers of gratitude from the rest of the world. We can no longer afford to disappoint them.

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