My Turn: ‘Yes we can’ get the change we work for

  • By GEORGE BROWN
  • Friday, April 22, 2016 1:04am
  • Opinion

Our 2015-16 presidential campaign seems to herald a new change. There is an adage to apply: “If we always do what we have always done, we will get what we have always had.” Some key historical facts will clear our thinking. We can transform history next November.

In the 19th century, 80 women and 20 men signed the “Declaration of Sentiments” at the Women’s Convention for Civil Rights in Seneca Falls, New York. They met on July 19-20, 1848.

In the 20th century, Tennessee was the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to our U.S. Constitution. The vote was very close. A newly elected Representative to its Legislature, Harry Burn, cast the positive vote. He was conflicted. His mother sent a note, “Do the right thing,” which he read the night before the vote. On Aug. 18, 1920, U.S. women were given the right to vote.

In the 21st century, we elected our first African American president. He led a nonviolent change with the slogan, “Yes we can” have the change we want, to be elected on Nov. 4, 2008.

2016 candidate Secretary Hillary Clinton believes our human future will be shaped by young people all over the world guided by the wisdom of the ages from women of all ages. Their platform for America’s future rests on basic values.

1. Improving health care, everywhere and for all,

2. Improving early childhood mental health and education for all, and,

3. Reversing human impact on climate change.

There is a second vital historical fact of the 20th century. On Aug. 6, 1945, a uranium atomic bomb (nicknamed “Little Boy”) was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. On Aug. 9, 1945, a plutonium atomic bomb (nicknamed “Fat Man”) was dropped on Nagasaki. One Japanese victim survived both explosions. Tsutoma Yamaguchi lived to take the last train from Hiroshima to arrive one day before the second attack. After his recovery, he is known to have expressed belief that the only person who may to be allowed to control nuclear weapon use must be breast-feeding.

I have a passionate vision and a beautiful dream for our United States of America — indeed all peoples, especially children — to come true on Nov. 8, 2016. This dream and vision is grounded in the reality so well spoken by Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

I have this passionate vision and beautiful dream that the ageless wisdom of women all over our world will prevail as we make Hillary Clinton the first woman president of our United States.

• George Brown lives in Douglas.

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