Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's Over!

Well, the election's finally over, so our phone has stopped ringing and I can blog once again. I've been unable to get much of anything done in the past few weeks because all I've been doing is answering phone calls from both the Republican and Democratic parties, both of whom really believed I was on their side.

I have to admit it's been an interesting few days. No matter what the outcome, I knew that I was going to be disappointed in the election results. Neither party was offering anything that I liked.

On the conservative side, I was convinced that Sarah Palin did not have the education or experience necessary to be an effective Vice President (which is really saying something when you consider the "work" a VP is actually expected to do...). Honestly, the Republicans put forward a women who considered her family vacations to Mexico and the fact that Alaska was geographically close to part of Russia as part of her foreign affairs resume! I was in shock for months over that choice. Then, I could never shake the feeling that McCain was probably going to get us all blown up within the first year of his presidency. On an international level, we don't need a maverick, we need a diplomat.

I don't know if it's just the travels we've done during the Bush administration that's enlightened me, but it just really strikes me that most Americans really don't understand how incredibly unpopular our country has become, nor do they understand the implications of that unpopularity. These are far reaching implications which can challenge things from international adoption to the global economy to establishing a stable peace, not to mention our influence in things such as humane working conditions, world hunger and infectious disease.

I'm not kidding when I say that over 4 years ago, while in Kazakhstan, we saw a homeless man that wandered the park outside the Museum of Music and Culture in Almaty and approached Americans all with the same greeting (in perfect English), " Leeeet me OFfer my condolences on the OUTcome of yourrr presideeental elections...." The sentiment of the population there, in a country that was improving it's economy through the oil industry and America, was one of distrust at best and unchecked anger and frustration at worst.

Even the difference in attitudes of the "average" Ukrainian towards Americans from our first adoption trip over 6 years ago to our last was noticeable. Our militaristic dominance with no regard to diplomacy has just blown the minds of so many (and quite literally in some parts of the world!) and is just unfathomable to me.

Yes, there is evil in the world, but it seems to me that we've been operating under an administration that only allowed itself to see the evil in its enemy and not in itself.

But, what really strikes me as odd is how so many evangelicals can breeze past the immoral aspects of the war and jump straight to the issue of abortion and stem cell research without regard to the lives of those that have been killed or injured in a war that they have never asked for. In addition to that, to breeze past the administration sanctioned torture at Guantanamo Bay, with nary a blink or wince simply astounds me. I'm not saying that there was not just cause for some military action after 9-11, but I'm sad that the church has not stood it's ground, choosing instead, in so many instances, to follow the entire party line and buy into the "Christianity" offered by the Bush administration.

What about McCain's health care plan -- one that I'm certain would have destroyed us financially-- and it's impact on the working class as well as families facing health problems? What company or organization is possibly going to insure our family when they can just have us use the $5000 tax rebate to purchase health insurance that I'm certain (from price shopping) would cost more like $8000 for our size family. And, $8,000 if we could find an insurance company stupid enough to insure our family!

But, before I have well meaning people attack me with acidic comments.... let me continue. I voted for George Bush for both his terms, and in this election I did, indeed, vote for McCain. I did so with a sick feeling in my stomach, and no peace leading up to the election or even after I had voted. In fact, I felt shame over voting for people I knew were simply not up to the task at hand. But I also know the other truth.

Of course, Obama is not the answer. His liberal politics and disregard for the most vulnerable
lives in our country are an absolute shame. His faith that a government can provide more for it's citizens than it needs, too, is naive and potentially harmful if not kept in check.

However, he's now going to be our President. And, since I believe that God is sovereign, I chose to find the good aspects about him, because, whether or not the standard JC Penny shopping Fox-news network watching Evangelical likes him or not, there are some great points to the man.

First of all, it's obvious he's a diplomat. We are so in need of a diplomat in office! Yes, the president is the Commander-in-Chief, but we have an immense and amazing military with enough advisers to more than make up for his lack of military expertise. Even Fox News has reported on the effects already felt world wide from his election.

And, while the press has loved to throw around the term "universal healthcare" what I've heard coming directly from his mouth is not health care ala Hillary Clinton, but a more economical and fiscally responsible plan than what is becoming a majorly encumbering medicaid system.

In addition to that, while I've heard the term "socialism" thrown around by so many Republicans, including the incredibly rash and immature Glenn Beck, I fail to see how someone left leaning is a socialist, and wealth redistribution is not what I've heard come from his mouth. Lest I remind people, our current tax system is based in the idea that the wealthier pay more in taxes than the rest, thus the tax brackets. I've not heard too many Republicans refer to that as "wealth redistribution". The problem is that it's the wealthiest people and corporations that find the loop holes that allow them to avoid paying the taxes they should consider themselves morally obligated to pay!

As the mother of an Asian child, I'm ecstatic at witnessing the first ever African American in the Oval Office! A barrier has been broken, not only for black children in America, but all children of racial diversity, not to mention children born of a parent who was not an American citizen. Once again, America is leading the way in something good. As my husband pointed out to me, Great Britain has a 30 or 40 year lead on us in abolishing slavery and working against the racism of the British Empire. Despite that we have yet to see a Black or Indian British Prime Minister (or Queen!).

For this to happen so quickly after the wake of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s shows that, indeed, God has been working and healing somethings in our culture, despite our many national flaws. It gives me hope that God truly is working here, despite the fact that it can be clouded by many cultural sins.

So, rather than focus on the things that I don't agree with or can't control , or jump to wild conclusions about us becoming a socialist state, I'm choosing to celebrate what is good from this election, and trust that God is at work. Barack Obama is not a saviour -- Russia's poking at him already and his election certainly didn't make the stock market rebound -- but he is a leader and God will use him to accomplish his purposes.

1 comment:

screamofcontinuousness said...

you are right that people don't want to understand how wildly unpopular America is these days. And yes, it is serious. Scary serious.