More thoughts on politics but with a twist at the end:
-- You can say what you want about “Joe the Plumber” and Obama’s statement about “spreading the wealth around.” Whether Joe is legitimate or not is not the question. Obama’s response is indicative of the fundamental difference of opinion he and I have about the role of government. He wants to punish you if you make too much money. He wants to give tax “refunds” to people who never paid taxes in the first place. I just don’t think that makes sense.
-- I thought Sarah Palin knocked it out of the park on Saturday Night Live last weekend. To be able to laugh at yourself, to be able to “keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,” to be able to, when “being lied about, (not) deal in lies” (with thanks to Rudyard Kipling) – these are attributes worthy of a Vice President. I also caught a little bit of her address this morning to parents of children with special needs. All I can say is I love this lady. As I have stated previously, I do not think the McCain-Palin ticket will prevail. The circumstances, history and media fawning are simply not in their favor although, if ever there has been a time when I hope I am wrong, this is it. But we have all been enriched by getting to know Sarah Palin. She has done her country, state, family and gender proud. I predict we will see her again. I look forward to it.
-- Barack Obama is taking a couple of days off to go be with his grandmother in Hawaii who is gravely ill and may not even make it through Election Day. As I have said before, although I do not agree with his politics, I like Barack Obama and think he is a kind, decent person. His grandmother had a big role in his upbringing and he is not about to let his running for the nation’s highest office interfere with his being with her in what might be her final days. I like that.
-- I am accused of having a Pollyanna-ish view, but I believe John McCain, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama and Joe Biden are all good, decent people who have the best interest of this country at heart. Unfortunately, each in his/her own way has sold out to the nastiness of partisan party politics (and I look forward to a day when maybe that is no longer necessary), but I can still find a lot of good in all of them. McCain’s distinguished career as a Senator, his service to his country in the military and his ability to bridge division among his colleagues are all to be admired. Sarah Palin, although she has been treated cruelly and unfairly by the media and even by some of my blogger friends, represents so many of the things that are good about our country and she also represents a huge step forward for women. Barack Obama is a credit to African-Americans everywhere and has helped us move forward in race relations. His intelligence and pragmatism have served him well. I have always liked Joe Biden. His devotion to his family and his recovery from tragedy years ago are above reproach.
-- I still believe government is not responsible for fixing our problems. That’s what scares me about the Democrats and about having a Democratic President AND Congress. I am afraid it’s going to be Entitlement City.
-- Sadly, with the state of the economy and the focus on the middle class, there has been little if any talk this election season about the plight of the poor and downtrodden. Gone are the discussions about partnering with faith based organizations and the thousand points of light. But the “least of these” are still out there – the people who don’t worry about keeping a home but just having a place to sleep; the AIDS and Cancer patients who don’t have the family support to take care of them; the crack babies. And that’s just in this country. Read a little bit about what’s going on in Darfur. It’s enough to put all of this stuff in perspective.
-- And finally, as I have pondered the election and the plight of our country, I have been reading through the Gospels. Each of the writers – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – presents a different perspective on the life of Jesus, yet there is a recurring theme. Although it was a drastically different time when He walked the earth, many of the problems were the same. There were political divisions, economic challenges and oppression of the weak. And yet this guy who mysteriously claimed to be fully God and fully man challenged his followers to lead simple lives of service to others, to love God with all their hearts, souls and minds and love their neighbors as they loved themselves. The message was so radical, so completely earth-shattering, that He was put to death for it.
-- So that’s where I am today – trying to figure out what loving my neighbor as myself means for me. As much as I concern myself with the election and the economy, this is really much more important. I went to the Gospels for insight and oh my, did I get it. Am I willing to live a life so radical and earth-shattering, so much that I would die for it?