Tag Archives: Politics

I Feel Better Now

   After watching this clip, I feel better knowing that other countries have to deal with assinine politics too.

 

   HT: Kelley Murphy

General Observations on the Election

I can say, without a doubt, that this has been the most interesting presidential campaign that I can recall. The almost unlimited stream of data on the candidates that is available has certainly made it possible for voters to make informed decisions. The minute details of the candidates lives are exposed for all the world to see. It would not surprise me in the least to see Wolf Blitzer report that John McCain fell asleep with his dentures still in, or for Sean Hannity to bring breaking news that Barack Obama switched brands of deodorant.

Another thing that has made this an enjoyable campaign is blogging. I had not yet discovered the world of online, self-published punditry in the previous presidential race, so it has been provocative, to say the least, to read the thoughts of so many others and interact with them in the discussion.

In many of the discussions in which I have participated, invariably theological questions and concerns are raised. This is probably due to the fact that most of the blogs that I frequent are operated by Christians and we understand the dynamic of our faith touching every part of our lives. I have seen many of these conversations escalate to the point of name-calling, questioning ones salvation, slurs, twisting of words, etc. Come to think of it, it really hasn’t been all that different from a lot of theological conversations after all. 😉

I wanted to share just a few thoughts that I am using to help keep my perspective on track (I think).

1.  We are electing a president, not a pastor.

There is a difference between leading the country and leading a church. To confuse the two may be an indication that either ones church is over-politicized (gasp, that could never happen), or that we are assuming that God’s kingdom may somehow be hamstrung if we don’t elect the right candidate.

I find it ironic that many of the extreme right consider themselves to be adherents of Ronald Reagan and yet turn up their nose at John McCain. Now, I am not dissing the Gipper, I admired the man greatly (I came within a whisker of naming my oldest son after him), but many of the same theological objections I have heard some raise about McCain would also apply to Reagan. Ronny was known to imbibe, he was divorced from his first wife and while he professed to be a Christian, his church affiliation could hardly be called evangelical.

In our nation’s history, we have never had a president who would make a good pastor. Why is this election suddenly different?

The Bible gives a list of requirements for the office of bishop/elder/pastor, it does not do so for the leader of a country. It does tell us about the consequences of having ungodly leaders, but if there is an inventory of qualifications I have not seen it.

2.  Change does not begin at the White House.

I know I am leading with the trump card of both candidates, here. I honestly believe both men are sincere in wanting to bring change to this country. However, if we as voters are naiive enough to believe that even the Apostle Paul could change the course of this country we are dreaming.

No, change begins at my house and your house. In four years, we will be doing this whole process again (won’t THAT be fun?) and it is highly unlikely that the political landscape will be changed significantly by that time. What brings lasting change is what happens in the homes of the American people. We each have the opportunity to bring change.

Someone wisely stated it this way, “If the Ten Commandments were on the walls of more homes, it wouldn’t be as big an issue about putting them on the walls of the courthouses.”

3.  We will always be voting for the lesser of two evils.

By its very definition, an election means that I am choosing a candidate that I believe is better suited for the job at hand than is his/her opponent. For me to think otherwise is to distort the intent of the process. There has never been a perfect candidate and there never will be. Mankind is inherently sinful and everyone who has their hat in the ring is in that category.

I do not intend for this to be offensive, although some may find it to be so. Those who abstain from voting, simply because they cannot find a candidate who agrees with them on everything deserve to live in a dictatorship.

I owe it to our forefathers, our veterans, our troops, my family, myself, you and the generations that will follow to vote.

4.  The sun will come out tomorrow.

‘Nuff said.

What Concerns Me About Obama

As we approach the national conventions of the major political parties we are seeing the candidates attempt to position themselves on the various issues as well as keep America in suspense as to who their respective running mates will be.

I have already written about why I believe John McCain would be the best choice for president. I believe his experience, honesty and ability to cooperate across the aisle without compromising core issues would go a long way in helping this country move forward out of our current funk.

As I consider Barack Obama, I see some causes for concern. First, let me say that I find him to be a personable, intelligent man who is a very eloquent and at times inspiring speaker.

Many have attempted, some legitimately so, to point out some extreme aspects of the Obama package. His connections to Jeremiah Wright, slumlords, socialistic icons and others have been well documented. However, it is not his extremism that concerns me. There is too much gridlock balance in Congress for him to be able to advance any radical positions that he may hold. I believe the mainstream of America is probably too solidly centrist to tolerate extremism on either side.

I do take issue with his positions on moral issues such as abortion and gay rights and would have some concerns over what type of judges he would be likely to appoint, but in all fairness, the Republicans have had opportunity to right these wrongs over the last eight years and have failed to do so.

What does concern me is his lack of experience and confidence in where he stands. While it is not unusual for politicians to change their minds over time on various issues, it has been somewhat alarming to see how Obama is vacillating so freely on issues like abortion, gun control, offshore drilling and others. These changes have not occurred over a course of years, but literally in months and even weeks, presenting the senator as a morph from an extreme liberal during the primary to a moderate in the general election. One can’t help but wonder if this is not merely an attempt to appeal to the undecided voters who stand in the middle. Obama has attempted to present himself as an agent of change, and indeed it appears he is.

His inexperience is also coming to light. In his recent trip to Europe, he blew off a scheduled visit to one of our military hospitals. Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and stipulate that his motive for doing this was sincere, I still would submit that it was the wrong choice. Our soldiers deserve the best attention that our leaders can give them. While he has his sights set on being president, he is still a U.S. Senator who has every right and responsibility to visit our troops.  I am not a soldier, but I cannot help but think that if I was one and was lying wounded in a hospital far from home, I would even be glad to see one of the Clintons. Whether or not they were sincere would matter little, it would be important to me to know that my country had not forgotten me.

To me, this raises questions about Obama’s ability to make the right decisions where our military is concerned. Contrary to what Wesley Clark would have us believe, I do think John McCain’s military experience is a powerful factor in this case, rendering him much more suited for the job of commander-in-chief.

I am not convinced that Obama is the secret monster that many make him out to be, but I do not feel confident at all about his abilities to lead our country. I believe that as the candidates continue to debate the issues, his inexperience will become even more highlighted.

The question is, will anyone notice?