Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Election

I have to admit to feeling a bit depressed and raw over Obama's election. I liked McCain. I really did! I thought he had the experience and the gumption to handle our complex and dangerous political/economic situation right now. For some reason I always think it is better for our Commander in Chief to actually have some familiarity with the military (and not just the pseudo-stuff George W. Bush had - we see where that got us.) So I liked that McCain had that experience. I thought that someone who had actually maintained his sanity as a prisoner of war might just have the character it takes to be a strong leader. I liked the fact that McCain had a long record of public service so that we knew exactly what he was about and what his weaknesses and misjudgements were. I liked that he went in and out with the Republican party. I have major issues with the party myself, so I can feel kinship there! As for Obama, I distrusted the 'rock star' aura that surrounded him and I didn't want someone so inexperienced taking on such a tough job. And I completely disagree with Obama's 'culture of death' worldview. I find him frightening in that regard. Heck, I'll admit I find him all round frightening.

So I'm trying to be handsome and gracious about my disappointment. I don't want to lash out in bitterness or frustration or dashed hopes. Time to grow up. One thing that helps is that I truly am happy and proud of America to have elected a man of color to the highest office in the land. That is truly a triumph over the evil of racism which for so many years (and we are studying American history now and it is intricately woven into our nation's history.) has plagued our country.

Obama is now my president and I must wish him the best because I love my country. I want him to succeed where I feel it is best for my country. I don't know how he'll get us out of Iraq. Seems to me he has a long learning curve ahead of him, but hopefully he'll pick wise people who'll be able to orchestrate some kind of sensible withdrawal from Iraq. I hope he can handle the economy and help us out of that morass, but I have to say my hopes aren't high, mainly because I don't think anything he'll do will have immediate effect. I am pretty ignorant about these things (woefully so) but it seems to be you can only do so much; time is what is needed to right so much wrong in the world market. So I don't know what he can do in Iraq or for the economy but I'm hoping! As for the his culture of death agenda, it seems more likely to me he could inflict a lot of harm that way on my beloved country, already flowing with the blood of innocent life. FOCA could become a reinvigorated cause for the left who seem to have gained so much momentum from his victory. We'll have a majority of Democrats in congress. Hopefully though there will be enough little obstacles in the way that he may be thwarted. I fear a loosening up of the moderate restrictions on abortion which keep the death toll down slightly. I also fear that with the economy being so bad more desperate people will feel pressure to murder their own children in utero. So basically we'll have the worst of both worlds for a while - less restrictions, bad economy = more abortions. I hope this doesn't happen though. I pray it!

A couple weeks ago I stood outside an abortion clinic on a Saturday morning (during the time the clinic does abortions). It was pouring rain. I stood there with my little rosary and my broken umbrella and watched two women come out. One was black and had a black man to assist her. He was very kind. He pulled the car up to the doorway and then in a very gentlemanly way got out and helped this woman walk to the car and gently placed her in it. I couldn't read the woman's face. She looked wan and blank. Another woman, white, had a girlfriend with two little kids in the car waiting for her. She looked really pale and sad as she leaned on her friend's arm and was also assisted to the car. Were the little ones sitting in the back her children too??

I felt like a German during Hitler's regime watching people get herded onto cattle cars and knowing there was not a damn thing they could do about it. Only weep and pray and know that somehow one day we will all be held accountable for this. We are all guilty.

Even so, I know that if McCain had won the election abortions wouldn't magically stop or anything even close to that. But I will say Obama's election doesn't give me any hope (ironic since he campaigned on that!) that there will any turning back of the culture of death any time in the near future. But hope springs eternal. I remember the assassination of Martin Luther King. I remember the terrible times of the civil rights movement. I remember the heroism of Rosa Parks. It was a long, long battle from slavery (non personhood) to an African American President. Hundreds of years! And I guess it will be for the right to life. So I will take heart. I will speak out in charity about how we need to respect all life. I will be more active in fighting abortion and the culture of death. I will volunteer, I will contribute money, I will do whatever I can to try to save the baby humans. Because my president won't do it. My congress won't do it; most of my fellow citizens won't do it. It simply doesn't repulse them enough to go into action. In truth I have been pretty darn complacent myself.

So that's where the election leaves me. I know many are rejoicing. And I'll rejoice too (pardon me if it is mixed with a few tears, though). I live in a country where there were no bloody coups in the transfer of power. Something to be thankful for! I live in a country that no longer judges their leaders (at least) on the color of their skin (don't think we've quite gotten to the content of their character as the sole criterion - rock star good looks and a sonorous voice seems to do the trick still). But I do feel galvanized to work even harder to protect life from conception to natural death, even if it flies in the face of my nation. But we Catholic prolifers have good company. We have the ancient prophets to inspire us and we have the early church to show us how to love in a time of death and violence.


SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Sigh. Faith, you insult people who voted for Obama by saying we did it because he is a "rock star" politician. Certainly, many might have. Just as many may have voted for McCain simply because he had served his country in the military.

Many of us, however, read and listened to things both candidates had to say on many issues, both before and during the campaign. We based our votes on the knowledge we gleaned from that research. In many ways, the candidates were similar - no matter who had won, I'm sure we would have gotten out of Iraq as soon as possible, simply because they both know we need the troops elsewhere. Both candidates would have been forced to continue bailing out greedy, stupid companies, simply because those companies are too large to fail.

Those of us who have read Obama's writings, listened to his talks on law, and such are impressed by the breadth of his knowledge, his willingness to talk intelligently about problems this country is having, and his commitment to reframing the way we discuss things here in the USA.

In other words, we voted for Obama for the same reasons that a respected Republican such as General Colin Powell voted for him. If you haven't heard yet what he said on Meet The Press back in October, you should check it out. I don't know of anyone with better military experience than Powell; and if he thinks that Obama is able to handle being Commander-in-Chief, then that is an opinion that we should definitely take under consideration.

The New Yorker 2 weeks ago had an interesting article about Republican Senator Hagel that did a good job of describing the different approaches the 2 candidates would take on foreign policy. Senator Hagel, by the way, is an old friend of McCain's who also decided to vote for Obama. He, like Powell, is certainly not basing his vote on the rock-star magnetism factor.

In addition, The Economist (hardly a liberal rag) wrote a well-reasoned editorial on why Obama would make a good president and what some of his weak spots would be. It also discussed why they felt McCain is not the right man for the job at this time. Again, the editors of The Economist are not known for their affinity for pop stars or empty slogans (which the Republicans had also, by the way - they were all chanting U-S-A! over and over - empty slogans are just a part of political campaigns).

So, while you should be (rightly) upset about the pro-life issue, you are unfairly accusing Obama voters of mindless voting. Many of us thought long and hard and did a lot of research before we voted. Of course, as in all campaigns, there were many uninformed voters on both sides. But I think if you read some more in reputable media from both sides of the fence (New Yorker, Economist, Wall Street Journal), you might not have to feel quite so worried about the next 4 years. They provide very readable, well-reasoned analyses on all the issues we are currently facing.

By the way, I got an interesting e-mail from Democrats For Life (I went on their website and asked them what they planned to do about FOCA). They were downright dismissive of the idea of FOCA even leaving committee, saying it was too polarizing an issue to be brought through Congress at this time. Go figure. But remember, Obama made that FOCA promise when he was running against Hillary. He was trying to get the far left liberals to back him instead of her. Now they're stuck. Where are they going to go, Palin in 2012?

Politics - it's all politics. And I wish I could stop talking about it!

The women coming out of the abortion center - so, so sad. Truth to tell, I feel worse for them than for their babies. We must work harder to try to reach the younger generation. I think our generation and the Clinton generation are hopeless.

Of course, if we prolifers keep having lots of kids and raise them to be prolifers also, while the other side keeps murdering their babies, demographics just may be on our side.

Faith said...

Sorry, I insulted you,sub. corr. Guess I didn't quite get the gracious loser thing right.