Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Last Political Post for a Couple of Years. I Promise.

You are all reading the Facebook posts, I'm sure.

They are exhausting me.

I've been thinking about our beautiful election day. No violence. No mobs. No threats. I LOVE election day for what it represents. I LOVE election day for the patriotism it inspires in my heart. We have the right to vote. To CHOOSE. To elect officials who love our country, who have devoted much of their lives to public service. We have the RIGHT to disagree with our local, state or national leaders! We have the right to call our current president Satan, or Hitler, to make racist comments about him and there is NO RECRIMINATION (well, other than a lot of people thinking you sound silly, but that doesn't seem to stop people)!

This is a gift. It's the representation of the blood and lives of countless soldiers and politicians who have made it possible for us to live freely. I am beyond grateful for this gift. I respect our armed forces, past and present. I also respect all the men and women of all political parties who have sacrificed to put their lives into the public eye for our country. They face ridicule, disrespect, and unkindness on a daily basis. Do I agree with all of them? No way. But I choose not to allow my disagreement to make my heart bitter.

Thanks to many of the FB comments on my wall, I've been thinking about fear again, and the places that it takes us. I've been thinking about how creating divisions and groups in our minds is dangerous. I've been thinking about The Big Lie again, and the way people use it, and the way people get sucked into it. People's attitudes are more disturbing to me than who we chose as our president. I've been thinking about the quote I just heard (but can't find, so apparently I'm misquoting it. Plus I don't know who said it. So I'm less than helpful here) that for our nation, the person in the White House matters much less than the person in your house.

There is an antidote to all of this rage and fear and hatred. It's found in faith and peace and hope (even if you're not religious, these are powerful antidotes.) In my scripture study today I read Titus 3. It is SO appropriate to our discourse in the public sphere.
1-2 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness to all men. 9 ...Avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
Love it.

Would I feel this way even if my candidate had lost? Well, here's the shocker.

Wait for it.

He did.

(Just for the record, I didn't change my vote last minute because I distrust Obama. I'm actually thrilled to see him get another four years. One of my reasons I changed was that I just felt that the current low level of public discourse and distrust he faces may never allow him to have the bipartisan support we need to get any legislation of import passed and that maybe a clean slate with a new president could help.)

So be nice! Take a chill pill! Go see a movie or read a good book! Turn off the media! Don't listen to those talking heads who are all about death and destruction and the end of America! Do something good for someone in your neighborhood! Make a nice dinner for your family and pray with them that we will all learn to be kinder, more civil, and can work together for the good of all...also, that we don't turn into socialists. (Ha ha. Kidding!)

(And talk about personal sacrifice in the realm of public service: I wanted to get this post finished so badly that I ignored the whining puppy. Until she peed. On my lap. You're welcome.)


Danielle said...

Kerri, I just love you! Thanks!

Megan said...

This is pretty much perfect, Kerri. Love it.

Megan B. said...

I want to "like" this a thousand times.

Kerri said...

I think I need to clarify that my vote was not changed last minute on a whim. I have been undecided for the last couple of months. I've always weighed in more strongly as an Obama supporter, but I have much respect for what Romney did here during the Olympics, for his health-care plan in MA, for the fact that he balanced church service with a demanding career for so many years, and for a number of other things. As I stated, I felt that the possibility of having a leader that was able to bridge the chasm dividing our nation who had some strong traits I respect helped me make that final decision, even though it was not a whole-heartedly postitive decision. It was a little hard for me, as I feel the Republican party is more to blame than Obama for the nastiness that has weakened his ability to work with both sides, and I felt like in some ways my decision was rewarding this bad behavior. As a pragmatist, however, I still felt like I could defend my vote if necessary. (Also, I'm not the only person I know who started to vote still unsure about which name would be our final choice on the ballot. We undecided voters were certainly rare in this election, but we did exist. Wishy-washy? No. Just thoughtful and frustrated.)

AzĂșcar said...

What a great post! I agree: it's so hard to see the level of discourse stoop so low.

Maybe the reelection will help overcome some of the more challenging aspects of the gridlock, stranger things have happened. Did you catch Norm Ornstein on Fresh Air last week? You can listen to his interview about what a second term might mean here. He has a really interesting perspective since he works at a conservative think tank (The American Enterprise Institute) yet is non-partisan.

He made quite the stir with his "Let's Just Say It: Republicans Are the Problem" article for basically saying the same thing you are feeling.

Anyway, if you haven't read or heard those analyses, I highly recommend them. They're measured, thoughtful responses to our gridlock problems.