This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Posted February 5, 2017 by Kerry McFall

This is what democracy looked like yesterday.  Just your basic Saturday filled with errands and housework, shopping and baking a chicken pot pie for supper… and a Town Hall Meeting at the community college.  Senator Ron Wyden was welcomed by an overflow crowd, and my neighbor and I were among them.  I’m a bit too arthritic to be sitting on a gym floor for very long, so we didn’t stay for the entire Q & A event, but I’m glad we went.  The speaker in the sketch was meant to be Senator Wyden, but it doesn’t look a bit like him I’m afraid.  He was wearing blue jeans and a sports coat, though – I did get that part right!

“Democracy Saturday”, mixed media by Kerry McFall

I’ve been doing what I can where I can.  Holding doors open for folks with big parcels, smiling at strangers when we pass on the sidewalk, sending congressional emails nearly daily, but somehow that doesn’t feel as important or as effective as Showing Up.  Being a part of an energized crowd of people who ask intelligent questions and clearly express themselves feels like I’m doing something.  It’s like voting with my time, my energy, and my body.  Being there is good.  Making noise is a good stress reliever.

For now, without violence, I am making a statement about what I believe democracy is and can continue to be.  Being old enough to have been around this block too many times, I fear that the violence will come, and I don’t know what my response will be then… But for now, this is what Democracy looks like in Oregon.  I’m proud to call Oregon my home.

As Mr. Wyden said yesterday, “Speak up, push back, have intelligent alternatives.”