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Lincoln Memorial and reflecting pool, sunset | by Allison Kendall
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Lincoln Memorial and reflecting pool, sunset

"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? — Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! ...at what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher."

- Abraham Lincoln, from the Lyceum Address, 1838

 

The Lincoln Memorial stands illuminated at sunset while a reflecting pool below catches pink and blue cloudy skies on a cold, calm evening in Washington D.C., January 2008.

 

If you live in a democratic society, vote. And protect the mechanisms of and access to your voting system with tremendous vigilance. Thinking it "can't happen here" (wherever that may be) is a risk that democratic societies can not afford to take.

 

For me, it took leaving the United States and living in Canada for a few years to really understand that for all democracies, it is only a matter of time before they will be tested from within by the same divisive politics, again and again. I am still a US citizen, so I vote by mail in California, and I mailed my ballot in early for today's Primary. As much as I fear that the great American experiment may have begun its decline some time ago, I still work to cultivate faith in the democratic process, and so I cast my vote.

 

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Taken on December 27, 2008