**Disclaimer ... this post is NOT telling you who I'm for in this election. It may seem like it as I'm speaking only about Obama. But remember, he's the one who gave a speech last night. When McCain gives his, I'll write mainly about him. Oh, and really, I'm hoping I'm in Ethiopia on Election Day so I don't have to make a choice. :))****
I actually watched Obama's acceptance speech last night. Aaron would have been proud. The reason he would have been proud, is because I don't like politics, and almost always steer away from them. This year, however, it has been a goal of mine to actually be sort of informed going into the election rather than just voting for the "safe" candidate (or, whoever Aaron tells me to vote for). It's not that I don't understand such things (well, it sort of is), or that I am an amazingly submissive wife (that I would just vote for whoever my husband tells me too). It's just that I don't care. But seeing how I'm noticing the effects of so many of the hot topics (gas, healthcare, housing market, recession, taxes, etc...) this year in my own life, I thought I'd try to care.
Last night's speech was a little strange to me. (Maybe b/c it's the first one I've ever watched, I don't know.) I think it was supposed to invoke some sort of emotion in me. It did do that, but perhaps not the one that he was shooting for. While I completely agree that it is time for change, I suppose that in my naiveness (I know, not a word) about politics, I don't understand why that HAS to mean a party change. Of course I understand that McCain was in agreement w/ 90% of the things that Bush has done. I also agree that 10% isn't much change. But then, maybe it is. I don't care who believes what about the choices Bush has made. I'd rather hear what they would have done in his shoes (which we then should be so kind as to remember that it is always easier said than done).
I know as it pertains to the war, candidates have said things here and there that they would have done different. But then I wish they'd expand on the story - what would the outcome have been if that was the decision made? Because that, in my opinion, is the real problem ESPECIALLY with the war. The outcome. Again, I'm not very bright on such issues, but I think if I remember, back when the war started ..... some high percentage rate of people (I wanna say in the 80's for some reason) were in favor of the war. Now that the outcome wasn't as hoped for, everyone blames Bush and wonders how he could have done such a thing. Well, back then, most of us would've done the same thing. Again, I don't know. One last thing as it pertains to the war though, is in as much as I would love to see it end as well, the one thing that we often don't think about (which Aaron is always quick to bring up in this conversation) is that we can't just "pull out". It will be a process. The war won't end the day after Obama begins. This sort of brings me to my next point about last night.
I felt a little bit like Obama was speaking to people like me - people who 1) don't know, and 2) don't care. He was trying to make me care (and again, I had already decided to try and care). But the danger comes in the words he speaks to those who don't know. It sounded all very wonderful. I honestly think he is "for change". But I was left without understanding HOW exactly change was going to happen. Okay, so fine ... tell me you were never for the war, and it will end under your reign. BUT HOW??? Tell me taxes are going to go down. BUT HOW? Tell me that cost of premiums (which made me laugh) will go down, and those who aren't insured will be insured. BUT HOW?? Tell me that while you are pro-choice, you will work to see the amount of unwanted pregnancies go down. BUT HOW? Tell me that college education will be affordable (side note ... he never stated "college of your choice" .... in which case, if it's any old college, I hear Metro is still pretty affordable), BUT HOW? Tell me there will be higher pay for our teachers so that quality early education is available to all. BUT HOW (especially on this one ... without raising taxes)? Hmmmm.
Again, it all sounded wonderful and motivating and left one desiring change. But I sorta had this glimpse (more of a fear really) about a wolf behind that sheep's clothing. His speech made me so aware of the human condition (which is at the front of my mind anyway as I battle my own condition). He stood up there saying, "This isn't about me, it's about YOU". Alright!!! What American doesn't want to believe it's about ME!!! Yet until that moment, he spent the majority of time stating how Washington needs to fix our problems. (I will give him props for the part where he said Washington can't make your child do their homework, and it can't make a dad be there for his kids ....) I say, lets run with the idea that it is about ME ... since that is what he said. What would it look like to have a government that called the American people (Me) to STEP IT UP. He said that McCain called American's "whiners". I laughed at that. WE ARE! Obama was able to name a few examples of folks who are not whiners. But let's face it, we are whiners. BECAUSE we think it's all about us, then daily we are rudely awakened to the reality that it isn't. We think the government should fix our lives. Really, let's have a someone stand up there telling us to STOP living beyond our means. House in forclosure??? Well, should you have bought that house in the first place? Probably not. But now it's the governments job to get me out. (And on this one friends, I'm speaking on personal experience... no, my house is not in forclosure....read "American Nightmare" posts.) It's NOT unfair to have one person who has it all while doing nothing to get it, and another person who has to work their tail off in life to still have very little. As Christians - we HAVE to remember that there is the Sovereignty of God at work here too. (In fact, the scriptures speak exactly to that particular issue.) I want someone to stand up there telling Americans who can't pay their credit card bills because the cost of living in ever other area has gone up - TO STOP USING CREDIT CARDS (and maybe even remind them that it was their human selfishness that brought them to those credit cards in the first place). I want a candidate to stand up there and say we, as Americans, are in the top 95% richest IN THE WORLD ... and we don't even know it. I want a candidate who will yes, make positive change in Washington that is actually under the governments control (and there is a lot they can do, don't get me wrong there). But I want them to call on us, the American's, to RECOGNIZE our part, and do something about it. I think that Obama is trying to do that, but I don't think he's doing very well. He'd lose serious votes if he did. :) But, in a world of "self-help" and "Secret" ways of making life be the way we want it to .... HE COMPLETELY played into that. He's a wonderful motivational speaker. I'm just not convinced that His motivation can/will "change" policies.
So, as we move into the grunt of this campaign ... remember that despite what Obama said, it isn't about us. Remember who it is about my friends. And with that in mind, look at both candidates and decide based on that, who you should vote for.
I'm sure many of you will have comments (those of you who care that is) to try and correct me and stand up for your belief ... which is good. Please share, as it will help me in my pursuit of knowledge in this election. I'm not at all embarrassed or ashamed here of my little knowledge, and possible mis-understandings. Because again, I think I've made it pretty clear that I haven't cared in the past. This was just my view after last night. More to come after McCain's acceptance speech. :)