By JONATHON FORBES
In 1859 a group of treasonous rebels opened fire upon the armory on Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Their leader was quickly hanged, and those of the status quo hoped they had stopped a movement of abolition that had for decades threatened to tear this free country apart.
One year later, a man was elected to the presidency, and the status quo was finished. There would be no turning back, but the struggle goes on today, and as of yet that radical man and his followers – who believed that according to the Bible, they had a duty to end injustice – have made progress but still have not found victory.
The idea is that every person is created in the image of God – body, soul and spirit – and because of that, all are equal.
A CLEAR CONTRAST
We are facing an election in which, for the first time in my life, I have never seen a clearer contrast. One candidate spews anger and hatred and tries desperately to cling to the idea that some are created better than others.
On the other side is a man of ideas who speaks more softly but with a real determination that America needs healing, needs change and needs to take another step toward equality.
I will not in my lifetime, nor will my children or their heirs, see full equality, but we will see us, as a nation, take another baby step toward equality, justice and back to compassion.
Centuries from now, I want history to show that this country of mine that I love faced a virus, riots, a wannabe dictator and hate itself. And with one giant voice said “NO!”
No, we will not let this virus kill us.
We will not let our peaceful protests be stolen by those who spread hate and turned into a chance for their own profit.
And yes, we will also tell the world that no American is above another, no matter what office he holds.
AMERICANS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES
In a banana republic, the leader speaks for his country. In these United States of America, no one person speaks for us. We speak for ourselves because we are bound together by sinews of love of country, not fear of leaders.
That is why I support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be president and vice president. Not because they are the answer to all of our problems, but because they show not only love for country but love for others. Being compassionate doesn’t make you weak. On the contrary, it shows courage.
I do not vote out of fear but out of hope. I do not fear, because America is bigger than any one group. America is an idea, and Joe Biden, I believe, can express that view to all Americans and bring us together again. Four years of hate is enough.
God bless you and America, in that order.
(Jonathon M. Forbes is an attorney with the Gori Law Firm in Edwardsville and has been a strong Labor supporter throughout his career. He was honored as the 2016 Friend of Labor by the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor. He is on the state board of the Illinois Foster Parent Association and has written bills that became laws to help rape victims, protect children from drug dealers and support burn victims.)