“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” — Former President Harry S. Truman

This past week as the Nation memorializes the events of September 11, 2001, it gives me pause, as it did for so many, to reflect the day, the lives, and the aftermath of the attacks. As Americans we can applaud the goodness of our human nature; a nation came together with helping hands to pull us out of this disaster, I also reflect on the misplaced anger of our leadership and electorate.

I questioned then and now our mission in Afghanistan and, in particular, Iraq. After 20 years, all that we have as evidence of our presence are the hundreds of thousands of lives lost, billions of dollars spent, and the demise of Osama bin Laden. Did the leaders really think the US would have any better an outcome than the Soviet Union in their efforts to control Afghanistan, where their efforts led to the financial collapse and demise of an empire?

Leaders will come and go, some good, some meh, some downright despicable. But at what point do we, the American voting public, take responsibility? It is the participation of a knowledgeable electorate in our democratic process that help direct the course allowed by the leaders. We hold them accountable by casting our ballots on Election Day. We send a signal.

This is where it comes down to YOU. You have the power of your vote…in every election for every office.

As a Democratic Zone Chair, I support the mission to elect more Democrats, get more Democrats registered, and get more Democrats out to vote. Vote Blue No Matter Who. As an individual, that chant of ‘Vote Blue’ was not my modus operandi, rather going for evaluating the individual candidate’s voting record and platform.

But today, I implore you both from my Democratic Chair position and as an individual, to Vote Blue No Matter Who, because the Republican Party has become the party of fear and hate. A vote for any Republican further strengthens this dangerous ploy.