It’s Time for America to Look Forward

Spring forward to be on time

By the time you read this you’ll be well aware that the nation (except for Arizona and Hawaii) has set its clocks forward one hour. It’s called Daylight Savings Time (DST) and is meant to extend daylight hours into our evenings by stealing those minutes from our mornings. It occurs at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March.

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I always look forward to it while many others dread it. I like the idea of the longer evenings while others simply don’t like the idea of change. Still, it cannot be denied, it forces us to think ahead, even if it’s a shift of only one hour.

Recent success moves our optimism forward

I regard the shift, this attention to time in 2021, as symbolic of how America is pivoting its attention forward to what lies ahead: our future.

The shift came in with a little foreshadowing as many of us shifted our attention to the heavens (most likely via the Internet or television) as the whole world watched Perseverance land on Mars. It’s an exciting moment to witness such an engineering accomplishment. And, the name of Perseverance itself is telling of how such accomplishments are realized because of persistence and patience. The name is fitting.

Lia Rovira wrote of NASA’s Perseverance mission landing in February in earthsky.org. Her article, Touchdown! Perseverance lands successfully on Mars, noting:

Landing on Mars is hard. Space engineers refer to it as seven minutes of terror. But the rover hit the Martian atmosphere traveling at almost 12,000 miles per hour.

We look forward to months ahead

We are invited to collectively look forward back at home and see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Michael D. Shear, writing for The New York Times notes President Biden’s calls for hope. His article, Presidential Speech Highlights: Biden Calls For U.S. to ‘Mark Our Independence From This Virus’ by 4th of July, centers on a note of optimism.

Mr. Biden offered a renewed sense of optimism as he recognized the one-year anniversary since the World Health Organization declared the spread of the virus a global pandemic, which plunged the nation and the world into health and economic crises. With continued vigilance, he said, families and friends may be able to gather to celebrate the nation’s independence.

“If we do our part, if we do this together, by July the 4th there’s a good chance you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day,” the president said.

Optimism is good. Optimism is needed after we’ve come out of a long winter, especially since we have all endured a global pandemic. Many have experienced the loss of loved ones. Storms and fires and loss of electrical power have combined to further test our endurance. Looking forward is a kind of relief.

Looking forward is an inclusive perspective

Consider the three events noted above. There is a common theme beyond the fact they all cause us to look forward. All three include all of us. Even if you live in Arizona or Hawaii, DST affects when you communicate with the rest of America.

Tragedy and bad news touch all of us from time to time. None of us are immune. It’s refreshing, then, when events beyond our control cause us to replace moments of despair with optimism. Such collective optimism matters.

It’s calming, too, to put the fervor of politics behind us for the moment. During this short moment, we’re not subject to the campaigning, the rancorous claims, the accusations – the noise. All of us take a collective breath of relief.

Looking forward to more inclusive presidential elections

It may be a good time to look forward to what we can do different, what we can improve in our presidential election process. Rather than shutting some voters out, as many are wanting to do, we can exercise democracy better than we have. We can include more voters in the election process. It’s actually quite easy to do.

To appreciate what we can change in the future, consider what we’ve endured in our recent past. The habitual Winner-Takes-All (WTA) approach that all states use causes tens of millions of voters to be disenfranchised as their ballots are prevented from electoral college representation. In 2016, for example, we suppressed over 62 million votes. In 2020, the number of suppressed votes jumped to over 69 million.

Many citizens clamor for change that looks forward to a popular vote result. That’s partly good, but there are challenges. First, we must remember that we are a republic with individual and sovereign states that must not be ignored. The U.S. Constitution is framed upon that principle. Second, U.S. Constitutional amendments are extremely difficult to realize. (Probably harder than landing Perseverance on Mars!) Some suggest forming a compact of states to circumvent the U.S. Constitution. It’s a high hill to climb and probably not legal.

There is an easier way to gain greater voter inclusivity. Equal Voice Voting (EVV),can be realized on a state-by-state basis, as described in All Votes Matter! (Available in popular bookstores.)

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If you favor a popular voting result for presidential elections, you may be reassured to know that it can be realized in your state before the next presidential election is taken up. EVV removes WTA from the election process and ensures that all votes matter as the U.S. Constitution is honored and the sovereignty of states is respected.

We can all look forward to it.

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By Jerry Spriggs and the Equal Voice Voting Team

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