Foreign Service, Getting it off my chest

America is still great, or, thoughts on elections

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I don’t write about politics on here because I can’t.  I work for the American government, and  I serve at the pleasure of the president no matter who he or she might be and no matter what his or her politics might be.

I have spent my adult life learning from those who have less than I do.  From teaching basic computer skills as a Peace Corps Volunteer, fighting to get Beninese newspapers online so that they were less dependent on political patronage for funding, providing a platform for Embassy services in Sierra Leone, or helping American citizens here in Jerusalem, my life’s mission has been to leave the world a better place than I found it.

My commitment to that has not changed and it will not change.

I joined the Foreign Service because I was full of ego and arrogance and I thought that I could do a great job running Embassies.  I am still full of ego and arrogance, and I still believe it.  I also still believe that it is our sacred duty as the most powerful country in the world not only to protect Americans at home and abroad, but also fight for a fair and just world where everyone has the advantages Americans do.

I talk a good talk about minimalism and not supporting rapacious capitalist consumption.  But do I walk the walk?  Do I do everything I can to be an excellent ally to those who need them?  Am I as supportive as I could be to those who are most likely to be affected by this election? Am I doing everything that I can not to drown out other voices in my quest to be heard?  It’s time to make sure that my actions reflect my words.

It is more important than ever that we continue to fight for the ideals we believe in.  Democracy.  Meritocracy.  Equality.  Justice.  Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of movement.  Diversity.  Civic pride.  A world that is made better by a free exchange of ideas.  Government for the people by the people.  Freedom to pursue happiness.

Love.

Commit to those ideals.  Today.  Donate to any one of these great organizations.  Ask how you can help.  Find a local organization that works with women in trouble, with refugees, teaching English as foreign language, with kids, with anyone who needs a helping hand.  And above all, do not lose hope.  America was great, is great, and will continue to be great.

But only if we make it so.

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