Cherry Hill teen calls on voters to choose a president who will keep us from war

    I do not attack Democrats. I do not attack Republicans. I do not attack individuals. I attack ignorance. In this age of nuclear power, where pressure on a button can devastate a country, I attack instability. And this upcoming election will determine whether or not the United States attacks other countries.

    The following is a work of opinion submitted by the author.

    I do not attack Democrats. I do not attack Republicans. I do not attack individuals.

    I attack ignorance.

    In this age of nuclear power, where pressure on a button can devastate a country, I attack instability. And this upcoming election will determine whether or not the United States attacks other countries.

    Have you held the body of your dead son, shipped home from a distant land in a battered box? Have you stood under a lowering gray sky and watched a set of disinterested men shovel dirt onto the grave of your sibling, your child, your friend, long after the rest of the funeral guests departed in murmuring voices and swirls of empty autumn air?

    Dead men do not say “goodbye.”

    I attack war.

    On this dying planet we are human. It does not matter if we are human in Florida or in Iran or in Israel or in India. We are born into this flesh, and there is no “us” and no “them.” We are all human.

    The curse of humanity is this need to have an “us” and a “them” — the misconception that, without an enemy, there can be no friend. But humanity is operating on flawed foundations, and if we do not work to eradicate ignorance and understand each other, we will crumble from within.

    This is not a call to arms. This is a call for a cessation of arms. This is a call to pick up a book, to learn instead of destroying. To accept that in this world, conquest is not our goal. Peace and human advancement should be our priorities. This “our” is not only the United States, but every state and every country. Humanity is our heritage.

    The upcoming election is not just about the United States. In the protective bubble of these 50 states, individuals tend to forget that the United States is not isolated in this world, that this next president will determine more than the country’s economy.

    So please consider, U.S. citizens: The world is bigger than an individual nation. This president — Obama or Romney — this human will determine international policy for the next four years. Search for platforms and not for pointed barbs. Politics is not a game, not a spectator sport. It is not about who made what amusing gaffe. Determine which man will navigate safely, defuse tensions, lead us to world peace. It does not matter who mispronounced what word in the vast scheme of international relations. Look for policy in these men’s promises. Search for understanding in the speeches of these candidates.

    Humanity as a whole must shake loose this culture of ignorance and comprehend the impact of our actions.

    Right now, this means cultural tolerance, understanding.

    Humanity cannot afford another great war. So, United States, do your research. I cannot tell you who to vote for. I can only tell you what is in our best interest as the human race.

    Foster tolerance. No prophet preaches death.

    Remember, there is no “us” and “them.” We are all human. Let us not court disaster.

    Beneath the veneer of our cultures, our upbringings, our religions, we all feel the same emotions.

    We love, we respect, and we have the capacity for acceptance.

    So let us accept what we cannot agree with, on the basis that we all see the same world through different eyes. Let us tolerate if we cannot love, and, most importantly, let us not jeopardize millions of live because we do not understand.

    We should not attack Democrats. We should not attack Republicans. Let us approach unity as the human race has approached everything else: With drive, determination, and ability. We are strong.

    Let us attack ignorance. The war for understanding is the only war worth fighting.

    Juliet Brooks is a enior at Cherry Hill High School East in Cherry Hill, N.J.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.