Politics as Usual?

A friend posted this on my wall yesterday morning, the day after the election.

None of my bloggers touch the topic of Politics. I am really needing one of you to post something inspiring this morning. I understand why you don’t but I am really dying for some words of wisdom to hang on too… I don’t even care what you voted for. Just some overall words to live by either way… ok, I am done pleading!

I wishI had some soothing balm to apply to her soul. She is a compassionate conservative, a lovely young woman, in a liberal bastion of Northern California and I think things got pretty nasty in her neck of the woods.

I’ve sat with her request for 24 hours and I still don’t have much, but like The Beatles offered in Can’t Buy Me Love, “What I’ve got, I’ll give to you.”

“I’m sorry you have been feeling so much pressure. I am sorry your blue friends and neighbors aren’t being kindly, compassionate, good winners. I am sorry if your red family and friends are being poor sports. For the most part, I’ve been able to avoid it down here. I make it a pretty hard and fast rule that I don’t talk politics with anyone I might want to like the next day – that goes for family as well.

People who feel strongly about their party affiliations make me extremely uncomfortable. They have ever since I was about 16 years old and figured out that I didn’t, in fact, have all the answers to the world’s problems. It seems to me that the party ideologues still haven’t figured that out yet. I think people who post rabid support for one party, or one candidate are fooling themselves. I try to never get caught up in politics, because it is almost always synonymous with hypocrisy.

  • No matter who gets elected, the first ones taken care of are the biggest financial backers.  Every party looks out for their own.
  • The candidates promise the moon and the stars, with no hope of delivering anything resembling those celestial bodies. If we are lucky, the average citizens get covered in the dust.
  • Everyone talks about the need for bipartisanship, but no one wants to play.
  • People are so wrapped up in their own ideologies that they can’t see what is good, right, or even reasonable in the other point of view.
  • To win, transparency and honesty are impossible for the candidates to uphold and therefore, they are impossible for me to know, or trust.

I recognize in myself all these pitfalls. I know I am capable of getting drawn into these same behaviors and emotions, which is why I don’t engage in politics with anyone, ever, if I can help it. I try to take a wider view (for which my father will call me a Pollyanna).

I believe that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are both good, decent men. They love God (as they know him); they love their country and they love their families. In their own way, they have served those ideals faithfully throughout their lives, along with those in need in our country and the world beyond. They might define “need” differently, but they looked to something larger than themselves upon which to base their lives and their work. Their attempts have earned my respect and though I despise the political rhetoric they both spewed during the election season when pandering to their party’s core, they have not quite lost it.

I do not know where America will end up. I know it cannot go back to the time where the WASPs ruled and everyone else fell to the back of the line. It breaks my heart to think that we might go the direction of European socialism, and the financial dependency and apathy that goes with it. I hope we Americans can find a way to reinvent our nation, and ourselves like we did over 200 years ago. Ultimately, I know that screaming, shouting and denigrating our political opponents will bring about NOTHING good. I can only vote with my conscience and do my best to live out the values that I profess to believe in: faith, hope and Love.”

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13 thoughts on “Politics as Usual?

  1. I believe we have drifted far from what the founding fathers had in mind. Career politicians working simply to keep their job, at one time congress only got paid for time they were in session.

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      1. I so loved the story you told on your blog last month. To me, you were just a real, AMAZING, awesome individual. Congrats!

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  2. Regardless of who you voted for, it is now
    Time to unite and give our President
    The respect he deserves as our leader.
    I think his acceptance speech was amazing!
    If he is to succeed, he needs ALL of our support.

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  3. Right on Ali! The tough situation this country is in made this election extra rough. We so idealize our forefathers but they too had their faults. We’ve come a long way from their slave-owning elitism and are continuing (however slowly) to evolve. Women have had the vote for almost 100 years and we are finally having an impact on elections, and we have more women in the Senate than ever before. I think these are victories worth feeling good about! I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Little Alison’s blog about how we are all a part of this interconnected web and it continues to inspire me to believe in the goodness of the human spirit…even when it comes to politics. From one idealist to another, xox Holly

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  4. I have never felt like I had a place to just “be” on someone’s blog. Yes, I have my own political beliefs. Yet, truth be told, I’m not really “political” at all. I just care A LOT about the things that mean a LOT to me. But, there is something about this blog that touches me so much. I happen to believe in God. I wore a Catholic school-girl uniform from K-8. From 9-12, I was in detention weekly at my Catholic HS because my shorts were too short. But, not everyone believes in God and that does not make he or she a bad person.

    So, the point of my post… is to Thank you for the last part of your blog…I’m quoting below.

    Ultimately, I know that screaming, shouting and denigrating our political opponents will bring about NOTHING good. I can only vote with my conscience and do my best to live out the values that I profess to believe in: faith, hope and Love.

    Every day, I wake up and vow to be just who I am. I am just a 34 year old woman who prides herself on integrity.

    XO

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  5. I just was feeling so peaceful, calm, & heart-warming about your blog and then I noticed your comment left at 4:11pm struck me in a way that made me feel uncomfortable. Maybe I was totally off-base in my. 😦

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  6. Just got around to reading this. Regarding the picture. They are both correct, we are ALL made in God’s image. My answer to anyone who claims to be Christian, is to recall the gospel of the hiring in the vineyard. No matter if they were hired in the morning or the last hour, all were paid the same. And them ask “what do you think this means to us today?” And to anyone who asked if I have been born again, (and this is not my own) “Of course, and of course you have given up all, cause I believe that Jesus said to give up all and follow him. I have found out the Bible does give us answers, one just has to think differently.

    Love to read you Blog. Janet

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  7. After a week or so of digesting the outcome of the election and really understanding where my head is, I’ve decided to step up to the podium and say my peace. First of all, to address your post it was eloquently written and certainly not perceived by myself as being “Pollyannaish” if I can use this term. I think there are more people who feel torn by the division of the parties and the direction of where either party will take us. Politics is personal. It should be as it affects people on an individual basis, whether it relates to taxes, credits, individual rights, core beliefs…you name it — it will affect all of us in some way. The problem is that people today think, speak and behave in “ABSOLUTES” and frankly, life just isn’t that way. It doesn’t work like that. It is about balance and commitment. My daughter who is in college told me she wasn’t going to vote because she didn’t like either candidate. My response was that was not acceptable and in order to contribute to change (either way) you must stand up and be counted. She must make a commitment. We talked about the issues of both sides in detail. We discussed our personal family situation. I told her that she as a young adult should vote for who she thought would best represent her as an individual. We spoke about making a commitment to engage in the political process and understand that is not about control. It is about faith and being ok with letting go of the outcome but knowing that you made a decision to be committed to vote and take part of what makes this country so great. Life often times doesn’t turn out just how you want because you can’t solely be in charge of everything around you but this doesn’t mean that you give up hope and stop trying to contribute. As far as your blogger who was looking for some answers or direction regarding the outcome of the election, I would like to pass this along from Reverend David, “May we find the time and space to reflect on our commitments, may we bring to our commitments all we are and all we hope to be, and may we, each and every one of us, find the path in our hearts and minds that will lead to crossroads where in faith, our deep gladness and the world’s deep needs come together as one.”

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    1. Annie – THank you for taking the time to make such a thoughtful response to the subject. I absolutely (wink) agree with you the desire for absolutes are what are doing so much damage to our political system. I am so impressed that you and Katie were able to dialogue about the importance of voting. I will put your words of wisdom into a special place to hold on to for 2 years from now when Kiko gets there. We all get to contribute, influence and participate and that is what makes America great…

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