Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One and (probably) only political post

I usually refuse to blog about politics. Of the two topics you're never supposed to talk about in conversation, I'd rather talk religion than politics.

I don't like all the bad-mouthing, finger-pointing and all the ugliness it takes for people to decide who they want to win an election. The candidates look childish to me with their blaming tactics and mud-slinging.

I don't like politics but I love history. History, obviously affected by politics, intrigues me. We can learn from history.

Maybe its just campaigning that I don't like.

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Speaking of history, I've noticed posters of Obama for purchase. I've even considered buying one as a keepsake. When I initially considered this, it brought to mind my grandma.

Grandma (Mom's mom) was a good Catholic lady who went to church every Sunday, said her rosary every night and had pictures of Jesus and John F. Kennedy all over the house.

Yep, John F. Kennedy.

I always thought that was so strange. I mean, yes, sure he was a handsome man. Sure he was a very influential president but pictures all around the house? It never made sense to me.

Until now.





















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Honestly, I didn't know who I was going to vote for during this presidential election. I watched the debates, as painful as they were for me to sit through, and I still could go either way.

I can usually see both sides to most things. This makes it difficult for me to vote unless one candidate completely turns me off.

True, I am liberal in almost every sense of the word. I am a hippy chick from way back. I don't believe war is the answer. I use natural medicine and buy organic. I compost and teach my kids about being environmentally friendly. I believe in hope and love. I believed in Obama's middle class values and the fact that he was raised by a single mom. He seemed respectful towards women and people of all values, races and creeds. I loved that he was even a bit naive... perhaps this country needed someone who wasn't jaded with Washington politics. It would seem the logical choice would be to vote for Barack Obama.

But I have also supported and loved a soldier at war over the past 14.5 months. I was privy to many things that were actually happening in Iraq that the press doesn't always talk about. I listened to Soldier's many rants about why we shouldn't pull out of Iraq. I have a few friends who own small businesses and were afraid of the cost of Obama's healthcare plan. I didn't like that the Democratic convention spoke of our current world in gloom and doom terms, as if President Bush did nothing but screw everything up! Considering all of those things, it would seem McCain would have been a good choice for my vote too.

My .02 about W: I believe that everyone is doing their best with what they know. I am not in his shoes. I try not to judge. Yes, there are MANY things he's said or done that I don't agree with but I have no idea what it takes to be the President of the United States.

Then there was Sarah Palin. She amazed me with her accomplishments and no nonsense attitude. But then, over time, she started to turn me off with her constant flirting (yep, it takes one to know one) and adamant refusals to answer the questions posed to her at the debate.

There was one thing that finally changed my mind for good. It was the R&R weekend with Soldier.

After I saw what war could do to a sensitive, loving, and strong man... my decision was made.

I early-voted that same week after Soldier left my house. After I'd witnessed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at its worst. After I saw him swaying from frightened and clingy to aloof and distant. After he nearly broke down because he had to say goodbye to me and "go back to hell."

I stood crying at the polls as I observed the greatness of this country. Men and women of different races all standing in lines waiting to choose our next president. How fortunate are we? How amazing for those that fought before us to win this right to vote?! How amazing that Soldier is in another country fighting for those same rights for a whole different group of people?!

My tears fell on the voting screen as my fingers chose Barack Obama. Silently, I whispered to Soldier, "This is for you baby."

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When I listened to Obama's inauguration speech yesterday, these words confirmed for me that I voted for the right man.

"To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist. "


My friend Jim asked,

"Can you imagine how different the world would be today if Bush had said these same words on September 12th, 2001?"

It is easy to say that now. Hindsight is 20/20. But still... what a wonderful thought to ponder. ...

What if we had reached out in love instead of attacking back? Isn't that what we teach our children?

Mama Dharma did it. So did Dadshouse. It is possible on a much bigger scale.

In following those examples, I pledge to use compassion and forgiveness instead of anger, fear and hate.

What's your pledge?

Here's to hope! I am hopeful that Obama will do his best. I think that is all any of us could wish for.

10 comments:

  1. I love this post! It made me tear up! I've noticed the similarities between Obama and Kennedy as well, the young family, the beautiful and fashionable wife, the charismatic smile and attitude, the condfident way he carries himself. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this post T, love really is the answer! My pledge is to teach my daughter what my grandmother told my mother..."Kill them with kindness and hold your head high on the higher road."

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  2. Dear T, as always you are so thoughtful and intentional. Thank you for the shout out!

    I understand that perspective of seeing all sides, which has gotten easier for me with spiritual practice (and this is from an ex radical leftist, ahhaha!). Certainly your relationship with soldier gave you insights that most Americans don't have, and that is a gift, the ability to see so many perspectives.

    That part of Obama's speech rocked my world too. As Jim said, this is response so many of us wished for after 9/11. What a lost opportunity. But perhaps we could never have had Obama if we had not suffered through the last eight years. So maybe we have Bush to thank for Barack, in some weird way?

    This reminds me of the prophetic words of Mos Def at a concert of his I attended in 2002. He said this era was like a huge zit. It is ugly and red and infected, and then you pop it, and it can heal. I'd like to think that the cosmic zit has been popped and we're in the healing phase.

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  3. YES!!!

    I am so proud of you!! Many blessings and God bless your/OUR Soldier!!!

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  4. This election was amazing, for the reasons you mention above and for so many others. Being in the DC Metro area, and speaking with "natives" of here, there has never before been an atmosphere so charged--so different--so excited--so POLITE--so hopeful for all.

    It has been fun for me, to say the least, to weave this into my children's life lessons. History in the making. You are correct.

    Very nice insights, great post T. Be well.

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  5. I knew that I had voted for the right man when my 7yr old came home from school talking about our next President, asking questions about government and our country. I felt, for the first time since probably Reagan, that we had a President I would be thrilled for my child to look up to. It's only a matter of time before he has hung his Obama posters, and I will be pleased.

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  6. Wonderful, inspirational post. Thanks so much.

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  7. I noticed that same part of Obama's speech. It struck me in much the same way.

    And this that Jim said: "Can you imagine how different the world would be today if Bush had said these same words on September 12th, 2001?" - wow! think about that.

    Obama is already good for the country. The rest of the world sees that the US truly is diverse and accepting and leaders of change.

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  8. Wow. The support for Obama is a bit overwhelming. I don't think I've ever heard people speak with such reverence & devotion about a leader. At least not in English.

    It brings hope, but also a little nervousness. There's a zeal building up that I associate with levels of trust for a leader that can be a little scary.

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  9. I was very unhappy with McCain as an option but I like many saw Obama for what he was. I hope many of you who correctly labored over the decision have come to seem him for what he is as well. It's time to take another look at the conservative message and give some new ideas a try. Obama has no new ideas. Make it right in 2010. By the way, we're still in Afghanistan.

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