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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Election Thoughts - The Habit I Want to Choose

I know that the election was over a week ago. I know that I’m late to the “election post” party. But with my limited time to write and the way I process, it’s taken this long for me to get my thoughts down on paper. Or screen. Or whatever.

So our President-Elect Barak Obama is headed to the White House. How about that. I can’t say that I am one bit surprised.

Let’s just think about it for a minute.

He's eloquent. He's visionary. He's a leader.

I get it.

I really do. I understand why so many "undecided" voters voted for him.

Even I, a staunch conservative Republican, found myself listening to Mr. Obama during the campaign and nodding and saying, "Yeah." Only to wake up out of a seeming trance, shake my head and ask myself, "WHAT on earth just happened?"

I agree that it is very easy to get behind someone who casts vision. Who makes you feel like someone else is responsible for all your problems. Who makes you think he has the answers.

And, I think that we, as Republicans ran a sorry campaign. I was very disappointed in the Republican/McCain campaign this election cycle. As we debated one day recently (like we often do) I told Mike, "I can't tell what he believes. I don't think HE knows what he believes."

At a time of uncertainty, when people want vision and direction, Republicans offered neither.

They tried. Kind of.

Sure you can try to blame the news media bias for Mr. Obama, because it certainly was there. But I was listening for a message. I was uninspired. Imagine what the “undecideds” out there thought.

And yes, Mrs. Palin energized the campaign. For a short while. I like her, don’t get me wrong. But it was not enough.

I will say this as a positive side note: I believe that as the election results were confirmed that Tuesday evening, we as the United States of America, were an incredible example to the rest of the world that a drastic change in power can happen peacefully. That's what sets us apart from so much of the rest of the world. We were a shining example that free elections can happen and it works. Not always in our favor, but it works. And it made me love America all over again.

Now the question is, “What’s next?”

From a political point of view, I believe our Republican leadership has their work cut out for them over the next year. They have exactly that, one year, to dream and craft a vision and direction. At that point, you have to start effectively communicating that vision in anticipation of the congressional elections coming up in 2010.

We as constituents and citizens also have a job to keep an eye on our local governments and Washington. Get on the email list of any local, state, and national legislators that you can. Get your nose into what they’re doing. Let them know when you agree and when you disagree.

From a personal and spiritual standpoint, I have been under such conviction these last several days.

We are studying the Life of Moses in BSF this year and have recently been in the section of Exodus that talks about Israel’s grumbling right after their deliverance out of Egypt. How like the Israelites we can become when things don’t go our way.

I can see how we, as Republicans might feel like we are in the desert in the coming years. And it will be very easy to fall into a pattern of complaining and grumbling about the current leadership. Grumbling and complaining (or whining as I call it to my children) accomplishes nothing other than to make us feel even worse about the situation at hand. As we repeat those thoughts, especially out loud, they just get more and more ingrained into us while effectively accomplishing nothing more than making us bitter.

However, as Republicans, we need to remember how it has felt the last 6 or so years as the Democrats have lambasted Mr. Bush and Republicans in general with all manner of personal attacks. And even more, as Christians we need to be on our guard against such behavior, guarding against a root of bitterness. (See an incredible non-political post about a root of bitterness at Traveling the Road Home.)

In closing, just a few thoughts:

There is sometimes a fine line between constructive criticism/attacking the issues and grumbling while personally smearing the President. Let us guard against crossing that line.

Let us remember that when we grumble, as Israel did against Moses, we are really grumbling against the Lord.

And finally, rather than choosing to rehearse the sin of grumbling and whining and allowing it to become habit, let us choose to rehearse faith. Let THAT become our habit.


Bridgette said...

Hey Donna!
Great post. I keep telling myself, God sets up and God deposes. God is always in control and nothing catches him off gaurd. I am on week 10 of Daniel by Beth Moore, so this went right along with election! Thanks for the words of conviction, but encouraging conviction! We can make a difference! We can be involved in what is going on in our world, and in our communities. Thank God, He is always actively involved, and that gives me comfort! Great post!
Now, I'm gonna see if I can figure out how to drag this Holiday button over to my page!
Have a great week!

Melinda said...

Excellent post, friend! It has taken some time to process it all, hasn't it? I'm still waking up in the morning with a start, when I realize that it wasn't a bad dream. :o)

Thanks for the shout-out, but more importantly, thanks for the reminder about the root of bitterness that could easily take hold from this situation.

Love to you this day,

Kim said...

Wonderful post! Have felt a bit of disconnect being so far away but we are often asked what we think about Obama (they love him here). We always respond that we'll have to wait and see. Primarily because we decided before coming that we wouldn't get into politics. Yes we will vote and keep abreast of what's happening 'back home', but it isn't something we'll talk about here. Not our politics, not theirs.

And when we study scripture we see how God works in and through history and we can rest in the assurance that He knows exactly what will happen next. So I don't have to worry about it :-)

The election was disheartening, but as you said, not surprising. I was sad to learn our congressional district voted in a pro-choice candidate rather than pro-life. It's been a traditionally conservative district but one county that's growing and expanding as people leave the Detroit area tipped the scales the other way this time.

Tiffany said...

Great post Donna. The Bible tells us that God sets all into authority. I hope I do a good job of modeling respect to my children.

Right now I am taking a "wait and see" approach. Sen. Obama made alot of promises. I wonder if he will be able to carry them out when he truly has all of the information he was not privy to until now. Whatever happens, I am grateful that I know God is still in charge!