You know, I don’t typically dive into political waters. I prefer the relative safety of the beach, secure in my cabana with a fruity drink in hand. I have my opinions, and I generally prefer to keep them to myself (unless I’m asked). But I think it’s time to pull on my water wings and reluctantly slip into the currents. WARNING: You may not agree with me, and I’m OK with that, but I can’t just sit back and remain silent.
I was so excited when I turned 18 and was allowed the privilege of voting. I was a huge fan of then Florida governer, Bob Graham, who was a democrat. I followed his lead, and signed up with the Democratic party. After a few years, and some more study, I chose to change my party affiliations and became a Republican. I embraced the Republican ideals, the Republican morality, and the Republican alignment with my Christian ideals. I almost always voted along party lines. However now, I am faced with a dilemma.
At the start of this electoral season, I was completely anti-Obama. I believed that he was Muslim, I believed that he refused to pledge allegience to the flag, I believed that because he was a Democrat, my choice was even easier. I have always been a fan of John McCain. I was impressed by his military history, I was impressed by his perceived honesty and “Aw, shucks!” mannerisms. I felt that he was the better choice eight years ago when the Republican Party chose George W. Bush. For me, this year’s election was pretty much a fore-gone conclusion. I am Republican. I would vote Republican. End of discussion.
I am a Republican because I do not want to have partial-birth abortions, or unregulated stem-cell research. I believe a woman’s body is her own, but I see the life she carries beginning at conception and based on that I would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned. While I love my friends who embrace alternative life-styles, I don’t want to have same-sex unions recognized as legal marriages. I have conservative views about most things. I STILL feel this way, but what this election comes down to ISN’T abortion, stem-cell research, pro-choice or pro-life, same-sex marriages, or any of the other issues that have always been central to my party affiliation. My feelings haven’t changed on these subjects. They never will, but I feel that this election is about more immediately pressing issues.
I’m hearing all this talk about tax-cuts, insurance credits, dependence upon foreign oil! All rhetoric. What about what’s really happening in the American households. McCain talks about a freeze of non-vital programs! What does HE consider non-vital? Education? Health Care? Social Security? I’m concerned. I hear him talking about defense, defense, defense – but truthfully, what are we defending? We have become the offenders. We are in another country, fighting a war that we have no business fighting. We are there under false pretenses and I hear him pressing the issue to continue this offense. Here’s an idea – we are hurting financially because we’re spending so much money in Iraq (not to mention the even greater cost of lives), why don’t we bring our soldiers home and let Iraq handle it’s own business?
Here’s another idea. Why don’t we stop borrowing money from governments that we consider unfriendly just so that we can continue in a lifestyle that we obviously can’t afford. What ever happened to living within our means? McCain keeps talking about not raising taxes, but we have so many affluent people in this country who could easily afford to increase their tax contributions. We are in an economic crisis, how do you suggest that we get out of that? Apparently our government is incapable of identifying the real needs that the majority of Americans face. What ever happened to government of the people, for the people and by the people? Where are the normal people in our government? I guarantee if I ran my household the way our government is running our country, I would be bankrupt, and in a serious world of hurt.
I went into the presidential debate thinking it was a foregone conclusion that the Republicans would win. I was sadly mistaken. Frankly I was disgusted by the smugness that McCain displayed. I was further bothered by his lack of answers and his preponderance of self-promotion. I mean, I realize that this is a campaign, and the candidates are trying to convince us that they are the best choice, but come on! I was surprised to hear clear, concise answers from Barack Obama. Frankly, I was convinced that he clearly won that debate.
Now, I’m listening to the second Presidential debate and I’m even more disgusted by this man who represents the party to which I belong. He is evasive when a question is asked. He is driven by his own agenda, and he is so busy tooting his own horn, that I’m surprised that he can hold the microphone. I so want to have a reason to believe that McCain and Palin are right for our country, but I do not see it.
I believe that Obama is genuinely concerned with what the American people are experiencing. He speaks clearly and concisely. He does not pander to his own record. He does not condescend to his opponent. He does not sit by while his opponent is speaking and smirk smugly, while shaking his head.
You know what I hear from McCain? “Me, me, me, me, me, me – I, I, I, I, I, I, I.” What I hear from Obama, “We, we, we, we, we – compassion, concern, sincerity.” Herein lies my dilemma – I still believe in the Republican ideals. I have since learned that Obama is a Christian. I have learned that he is personally opposed to abortion, but feels that the woman should have a right to choose. What do I do?
My heart is telling me that McCain/Palin is a huge mistake for America. I’m more convinced that Obama/Biden are what we really need. But I’m not completely sold. What I am completely convinced of is that America is sorely in need of a Holy Intervention. Only God knows best what we need, and I need a word from Him – soon. I pray that we will hear His voice and obey His leading.
In the mean time, I’m feeling a little “pruney” so I’m going to climb out of the pool. I think I see the cabana boy with a fresh drink with one of those cute, little umbrellas. I think I should have stayed on my lounger in the first place, ’cause now I have a cramp! Oh – boy, can I get a fresh towel? Aaaaah!!!