The Remorseful Republican

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!!!

6 thoughts on “The Remorseful Republican

  1. Karim;

    You are welcome. One of the greatest things about America is that we have the freedom to question the leadership that is placed in authority over us. I take the right to vote very seriously and I am encouraged to see that others share that mindset – even when their opinion differs from my own.

    Thank you for your words of encouragement! I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me, and with anyone else who may happen across my ramblings.

    Have a wonderful journey!

  2. karensings–

    I admire the risk you took by exploring the campaign with an earnest objective perspective. I have always felt that as a public, we bear a responsibility to take the time to study our candidates. Our resources are now near limitless and it doesn’t take much effort to review a platform or any point of your personal interests a candidate may reflect on (If most don’t find reading helpful, you can youtube just about anything these days…). We’re not stupid people in this country. The last two winning presidential campaign tactics were so effective at marginalizing the electorate by successfully disenchanting so many people from voting, that it’s forced our national morale and belief in all politicians to hit an all time low. This is important, because we’re adept enough to understand the major risks and challenges that affect us domestically as a public, but unfortunately, since 2001, when our backs have been against the wall, we’ve either been forced to be rushed to judgment or don’t seem to be getting the right diagnosis for the crisis we may be facing (WMD’s in Iraq, Katrina, Ike, the multiple midwest floods, energy {which could have been a massive disaster had Gustav hit all of those processing plants in Gulf coast}, the bailout, etc…).

    I hope that Jon does have a chance to repond with something a little more concrete. I’ve met a few young McCain supporters who have more legitimate points to make than they “can see right through” Obama. Tell me what you see! What is this dire evil that 18 million plus primary voters missed? What makes you beleive that he’s a riskier propositon than W? Most of McCain or Obama’s first 100 days in office would mainly focus on fixing everything Bush screwed up anyway. Tell me what would’ve made Hillary’s presidency any different (Obama would dip from the same pool of advisors/cabinet members anyway…)?

    karensings, thank you for allowing me to express myself. I, too, have absorbed a lot of this campaign, but have chosen not impose my views on others (plus Obama fever is wild where I’m from, so there’s no real constructive talk about the two candidates). I will be sure to follow-up on your blog as often as I am able.

  3. Wow, who knew my opinions could inspire such intelligent conversation? I have to agree with Karim. In fact, I posted a private email to Jon asking the same questions. Still curious to learn his response. I’m also curious to know Jon’s age. He says he is a student at Belmont, and age may be an indication of his “ferver” and ire for any opinion other than his own. I don’t know…I’m just thinkin’.

  4. Jon–

    Your response to Obama is typical to the inner workings of the McCain campaign. I, too, anticipated supporting Senator Clinton’s run for president, but I took a closer look at Obama and favored him. It wasn’t personal. There appears to be so much venom in your dislike of him that it seems that you must be a commited member of the “wecan’” coalition for Hillary…No specifics as to why Obama is such a risky proposition, only continual attacks preying on everyone’s broad fears about our countries challenges. I’d also like to hear more details as to why you think that Obama is “sneaky” and “manipulative” as opposed to a veteran politician, who has chosen to remain in bed with a failing administration that denegrated him as a man less than a decade ago? McCain’s ambitions can be viewed in clearer terms as being just as underhanded as the Bush II campaigns. McCain inhabits the very same collassal ambitions and ego that anyone seeking the american presidency possesses, yet he seems to feel entitiled to the position because of his personal sacrifices as a soldier and his lineage’s overall commitment to national defense. Successful world leaders in the past have always understood the importance of security, but the strong ones understand that concept in broader terms. For all of McCain’s boasting about his military experience, he hasn’t effectively broadened america’s perception of Obama as weak and inexperienced away by countering with concrete defense proposals that help prioritize our military other than anything associated with the Middle East (unless you count McCain’s bluster on Russia and Pakistan and brief, cliche talking points on China and India’s economic relevance, vis-a-vis the rest of the world…). He speaks of the need of stronger defense as if no one else in the country is able to speak of the subject with the same amount patriotism as he can. It comes across as “holier than thou” and stubborn. Our national concerns are a multitude of issues that can’t be handled by military might alone and I have yet to feel McCain’s amptitude for the complex dynamic as to how we are most effective in exerting our influence.

  5. From your quote….

    “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. ”

    Are you sure you didn’t get the candidates confused. Did you not notice the grins and smirks Obama made while McCain was talking. You obviously watched a different debate than I did. I go to Belmont University, and I assure you, Obama made his fair share of “smirks”. Whether you choose to see it or not, most Americans don’t, Obama shifts back and forth and tells everyone what they want to hear. I’m not a republican and I was hoping Hillary would get the nomination, but I would vote for anyone but Obama. He would lead our country to its ultimate despair. He truly just doesn’t know nor have the experience to control this country. We don’t need to be a pushover, and we also don’t need someone in the White House as sneaky and manipulative as Obama. I always favor liberal ideals, but this entire election is a joke. I don’t understand what people see in Obama because I can read right through him. If he wins we will all regret the next four years. So prepare yourself, you think Bush was bad, just wait.

    Obama does care about the American People’s vote, and that is also where it will end. Once he receives that, who knows what will happen to this country.

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