Thursday, November 6, 2008

The New Deal

I have been thinking quite a bit about what I wanted to say about our newly elected leader over the past couple of days. Many, it seems, were ready with words, but for some reason I just couldn't completely formulate mine.

One of the reasons that I think I have a hard time putting my thoughts out there is that I move in such an interesting crowd. Being that we are both Christians and homeschoolers who live in an historically "red" state and a presently "red" and conservative county, I do not usually discuss my political views with a lot of people. Most people in my neck of the woods seem to believe that Christian = Republican and that you really ought to be one if you are the other. This is not to say that if I'm asked I won't talk about my political views, but I don't like to invite debate with people who are my friends.

I am not Republican. Technically, I'm not really Democrat either. I'd prefer to vote Green if I believed that party would get a fair chance in the public arena. But I'm more liberal than conservative. The one thing that hurts and bothers me so much is the feeling I have had over the past number of years is that conservative voices (and nearly all of them my Christian brothers and sisters) often came across as believing that they were were the only ones with the corner on morality. My friends - the people I actually welcome into my home, spend time with, and their children with whom my children play - don't outright treat me that way, but there have been plenty of lunch table discussions in which I am the silent minority. When they learn of my political differences from their own they almost always sincerely ask immediately and with great interest, "But what about abortion?"

My answer is this: I am pro-life. I do not believe that abortion is a right choice to make. But I also feel a number of things: 1) Making it illegal is not going to make it go away. 2) I can disagree with my chosen elected leader on some points. I do not expect to agree on everything with any one person as it is. When looking at all the issues that face our country, I agreed more with the platform of Obama than McCain. 3) The abortion issue is one of life and death. But it is not the only issue of life and death that we face: there is war, there is adequate health care (which, when lacking - especially for those with pre-existing conditions - has meant death too), there is poverty and more.

As for my feelings about Tuesday's outcome, I am thrilled. I can certainly say that. I'm excited, but even more than that, I'm inspired by our new leader. I haven't felt inspired by an American leader in a LONG time. I was feeling a bit jaded by the behavior of many of our past presidents and other politicians, but I'm willing to jump on the bandwagon of Obama's "audacity of hope." When I see that we've elected the first African-American president and remember all that they have had to overcome in our nation's history and yet, still press on, I think, "Who am I to feel jaded?"

I don't feel like I have unrealistic expectations for our new president. My hope and expectation is simply that he is who he presents himself to be; that he will walk his talk. Whether he achieves everything he would like to do remains to be seen, but if I can see him making continued efforts toward those goals and if he continues to conduct himself with the dignity I believe he has shown in his campaign and to which his office deserves, I will be very happy indeed.

Continuing in prayer for our nation and its leaders...
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