Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It certainly is audacious

I am by no means a tree-hugger, a sit-inner or an activist of any sort. I've never marched on anything except my local Macy's and the only picket with which im familiar is the white fence-like kind found in the sunny suburbs. Lord knows I have never burned a bra though on occasion I have given it some thought, but of course, that was motivated by irritation and discomfort and not as a sign of outrage or protest. I don't own a stitch of patriotic attire and I have never once sported a bumper sticker advertising my affiliation with any candidate. I DO take the time to familiarize myself with the major platforms of those running for office and exercise my right to vote, but that is usually about as far as my civic duties compel me to go.

I hail from a small town in a southern state that is often referred to as the Belt Buckle region of the Bible Belt, and where to this day you might actually hear it said that those who vote Democrat are likely to burn in the fiery pits of eternal hell. Somehow in this sector of the nation people developed the notion that true followers of Christ show loyalty only to the GOP. I've always found this to be extremely fascinating because while its true that the Republican party tends to shape legislation that further the ideals of things such as "the right to life" and "putting prayer back in schools" its typically Democrats that fashion laws and foundations to do things God himself commissioned us to in both the Old and New testaments such as feed the hungry and clothe the poor. But political parties are of human design and therefore riddled with flaws.....just as there will never be one religion that possesses a lock on all truth there will never be one party with all the right answers. Personally I believe that America holds itself back tremendously by perpetuating the two-party political system.....but I also think Condi Rice merits the label FABULOUS for her personal shoe savvy alone so what do I know?

I consider myself a Christian.....not the bun-wearing, Bible-beating hell-fire-and brimstone kind, but I most certainly believe in God. While raised in a home that most definitely leaned to the right, my folks were both intelligent and humble enough to encourage me to seek my own personal Truth and for that I am eternally grateful. I gather that they might lose their marbles over some viewpoints I have developed in my latter years, but they will have to hold tight to the fact they gave me insight, instruction and more than a little guidance.....and at the end of the day it's my ship to sail. Im hoping that being that they were ushered into adulthood on the cresting wave of Woodstock and all manner of revolutions that they will remember what courage it actually takes to plot your own course in this life and not be strung along like every other generation, mindlessly swallowing the rhetoric of the one before without a single individual thought of one's own. If you love those who gave you life.....and in return respect them..... it can prove to be difficult sometimes to allow yourself the luxury of disagreeing with them.....especially when it comes to fundamental human and religious ideals.

For the record, I would like to pull back the velvet curtain and reveal that I did NOT in fact, vote for Barrack Obama. Putting that in print suddenly leaves me feeling as though I am buck naked in Times Square on New Year's Eve. It wasn't a decision I made quickly or easily either for that matter. Im no big McRage fan either. God Bless the man for the sacrifices and services he willing gave for our country and its freedom but during many of his public appearances he always seemed one step away from biting the head off a bat Ozzy Osborn style to me. I, like most of the rest of the nation, was captivated by Obama's charisma and outrageously charming grin. The man can flat out hold the attention of an audience.....and of course, after 8 years of Bush's constant verbal diarrhea he was like a breath of fresh air. I saw the potential in some of his plans for our nation's healthcare as well as a few other key things in his platform. But in the end, I simply couldn't embrace his openly clear connection with the tenants of socialism and his ridiculous views on gun control. I realize that last statement combined with my disturbingly strong southern accent makes me appear to have arrived barefoot and billybob-toothed straight out of the trailer park, but I assure you, just because I talk slow doesn't mean im simple minded. I've simply spent a substantial amount of time living amongst people such as the Cubans and seen first hand how repealing the right for everyday citizens to bear arms can lead to oppression and dictatorship in a hurry.....im not a fan. And I don't know about you, but I tend to lose motivation to succeed when I know MY earnings produced from MY efforts are going to be taken away and then equally reallocated amongst myself and the three jokers down the street that sat on their asses all day not earning a dime. I am all about a hand up but not a hand out. One of the things that make this country unique and such a coveted place to live is the idea that we each have the opportunity to achieve success if we simply push long enough, hard enough and with enough force. It's the economic equivalent of reaping what you sow which I think makes a great deal of sense. Changing that dynamic is, in my opinion, dangerous and asking for trouble.

But we are a nation ruled by democracy.....and while I may not have chosen the candidate, I willingly accept my contestant's defeat because the majority has spoken and I respect the process of free election.

Its no secret that today's inauguration is historical. And I don't care what policies or parties with which you align yourself, it was simply inspiring to see a black man stand on the steps of a monument built less than 200 years ago by SLAVES and be sworn in as the leader of the free world. I haven't forgotten that I am middle class white chick that grew up in the 80's and couldn't be more removed from the plight of the black man if I lived on the moon......but still. It renews my hope in humanity's ability to change......That a little less of the suffering and injustice of those before will be passed to those to come........That maybe one day equality will be more of a reality and less of an idea.....

Corny as it sounds, today, well, I was proud to be an American.


  • At 9:21 AM , Blogger Tamara said...

    I hear ya, sister! I heard a funny story about the last election. Some friends of ours with elementary aged children had an "experience" with their Sunday School teacher. The children told the teacher that their parents were voting for Kerry. The teacher sincerly told the kids, "No you are WRONG. Your parents would NEVER vote for him!"

    Also, for me my dad typically votes democrat and my mom votes republican. I never knew that was not typical. So maybe it was a good thing that I grew up with that since I also grew up with the Belt Buckle trying to tell me what to do, too.


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