This cover image recalls two nights forever etched in my memory: the election night of 2014 and the midterm election night of 2010.
In 2014's midterm, I stood upon those very steps watching the sunset and made a promise to myself and my campaigning comrades to always support candidates who defended liberty...
And even more chilling, the election of 2010: the great midterm that explains so much of today. I stood during a night with bright stars and reflected at the age of 16 on the future of democracy. A moment to pause and to reflect.
During the election of 2010, I wrote this in a notebook: "Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing people whose rights have been taken away, and they do not realize it until the rights are gone." We live in a free country, but may we always keep this in mind and be a voice for those who have none.
To speak from the heart on the night of the election – how shall I do this? How do I begin to retrace a political journey that took me from a youth of 16 who walked 8 hours to make sure every door had a pamphlet, to a young woman of 24 who is writing this very pamphlet to you, the people of the world, to hear my ideas and beliefs?
What became of us? What became of those heated passions of that frozen night in 2010? The gridlock, the hope, and the fears? Those tears that dropped into the icy Chesapeake Bay when I heard that the Republican Party was victorious?
What once held great intrigue and mystery, what once held great intensity and drama – now the chasm has widened between the people.
People flee this country (the United States) in droves, hoping to find work and better lives abroad while the president claims there are no crises. The gap between the rich and the poor is getting worse, but so is the gap between each other. Increasingly, we are divided by class and race. Where is the unity?
People have mistaken arguing for convictions as arguing for the team. What has become of us? Both sides are increasingly attracted to the strongman who will solve our problems.
Alas, citizen, on this election night I do not yet know the results, but regardless of the outcome, this is my plea for you: always put democracy first.
Always put first the rights not only of yourself but also of the thousands of those without a voice. Take this to mean what you will, but speak up for the rights of the oppressed. Speak and stand by those who are too afraid to.
I do not care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican; what I care about is your heart for the people. When you go to the polls, always have in mind not only the present, but also the past: remember what failed, but without disregarding the future. Use the past as your map to the future. May it be your guide as you learn not only from the words of wisdom that great historical figures have said, but also from the mistakes and the evils that we should never repeat.
May we not see ourselves as a member of a particular party, but as members of humanity. Let's put together our own interests and humanities. Build coalitions and show love.
Let this reflect in your speech as we talk politics. Let human rights principles be your guide and know the people you are fighting for. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of thought: these are the very cornerstones of our democracy.
Liberty, equality, truth. These principles remain. Parties come and go, and the House goes back and forth between the parties. But our principles remain. Contact your officials and get to know them. And if you someday want to run for a position, do it. Learn all you can and know all you can. Knowledge will help free the people from the chains of ignorance. If you are interested in something, be it politics or science, delve into it and do not be afraid. Learn all you can about a topic whenever you have a question. Knowledge will help save the republic from ignorance.
Always defend your core principles, but do not be afraid to compromise and form coalitions. If you speak your mind and have impossible to yield convictions on every single issue, nobody will take you seriously when there is an issue that sincerely is important to you. Know when to bend, and when to stand. Have the convictions of Jim DeMint, with the compromising attitude of President Obama. Know your convictions, and also know what will be best for the world at this time to defend the principles we all hold dear.
These are my reflections on election night. I would say nothing much has changed since my thoughts during the election of 2010 and 2014. I have hope, but I also worry about the future.
The future is ours, and the future is open for us to create a better place. May the people rise to the mountains of liberty, with full equality under the law, and hold hands in solidarity as we walk together toward a future that is up for us to build.
I wish to close this pamphlet with a literary quote from a charming liberator from the "Insurrectionists" (by Emily Hausheer) as he contemplates the future:
"Not that I want glory, but I want the people to be drawn to the light. Oh, so the people can rise to the crest of the mountains and shine in everlasting liberty! Forgiveness to society, end this bloodshed and strife someday. We want solidarity! This, my dear Kaszczykowski, is why I fight as I do. This is why I stand. I'm not afraid. I want to direct the winds of history because if we do not – who will? Isn't this why God created us? Isn't this the point of existence? I do not want to just exist. I want to create something to outlast me. This is why my pen name is Rewolucja... Citizens! We will keep fighting. This is your choice to join us if you feel led. I will remain in our victory; we will achieve a democracy. The winds of change have arrived. It is here we the people shall decide our course." – Lech Wałzyński