I often urge you to vote every time you shop, to purchase only from companies dedicated to creating a sustainable, just, and peaceful world.
I want now to remind you of the importance of your vote in the upcoming presidential elections. We in the U.S. have a recent history of apathy. Only about half of eligible voters exercise this precious right – even during presidential election years. The 2000 election was determined by a mere 500 contested votes in Florida!
This election is extremely important. In fact, it is the most important one in my life-time. Our country is weighed down by crises that appear to threaten our very existence. Our economy is failing. We are embroiled in a senseless war. The atmosphere, water, and land suffer from terrible pollution. Global poverty is rampant. Desperation and its shadow, terrorism, have reached epidemic proportions around the world.
We must change.
We and our progeny deserve better. It is up to us to go to the polls and vote for change. We must demand leaders who will help us soar to new heights of understanding, reason, and compassion, leaders who recognize that our children and grandchildren can not inherit a sustainable, peaceful, and just world unless every child born in Watts, Calcutta, Nairobi, and La Paz also inherits such a world.
So, I ask you to take this election seriously. I ask you to vote and also to do more than that. I urge you to make a commitment to spreading the word, to making sure that at least 5 people you know who might not vote do so.
More urgent - get in touch and encourage 5 people in the Swing States to vote for the Values we believe so important - in New Hampshire, Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Indiana.
Feel the wave of hope that is swelling up across this nation and ride that wave. Send emails to everyone in your address book. Insist that they take responsibility for the world they live in; urge them to vote. Offer to drive people to the polls, buy them lunch – do whatever it takes to get them to vote.
No apathy this year.
No excuses. No complaints. This is not a time to whine about the way your candidate voted on some issue last year or the year before.
This is such an important election. And you are faced essentially with voting for one of two choices. Each one is a human being.
Human beings are not perfect; you will find flaws in your candidate and in the system. But it is up to you to vote for the candidate you believe will devote himself to changing the system.
It is up to you to get excited.
Choose the candidate who most inspires you and make sure he will be the president who has the opportunity to inspire a nation and a world.
And one more thing. Once the election is over and your candidate has won, continue to work. Keep supporting him. And pushing him to do the right thing.
Yes. Vote every time you shop. Refuse to buy from companies that use sweat shops or degrade the environment – and let them know why. Buy from companies that are committed to producing and distributing in socially and environmentally responsible ways – and let them know why.
And go to the polls on November 4, 2008!
Vote for real change.
Your life may depend on it.
My best wishes,