November 8, 2006

What a mixed set of election results.

How wonderful that we no longer have unchecked power in a White House that wants to know no limits.

But voters in Arizona, in a move that can only be seen as racist, anti-immigrant, and anti-Christian, voted to make English the official language of the state– building up walls around themselves instead of reaching out to those in need.

This in the same state where it looks like they narrowly defeated an anti-gay ballot measure to define marriage as between one man and one woman, and prohibit civil unions.  (Yea!)

Colorado shot down domestic partnerships and banned same-sex marriage.

Idaho banned same-sex marriage along with South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Missouri looks like they will narrowly allow stem-cell research and raise the minimum wage (Montana is also going to raise the minimum wage, along with Nevada and Ohio).

Homophobia runs rampant.  People are still scared that sharing power with us means something bad for them.  We have checked the power of a run-away government, and that is certainly something to celebrate.  People have also said that fair, living wages are important, and that science is not something that has to live in contradiction with faith (at least in Missouri)– the opposite of Bush’s position.

But we have much work left to do.  Racism, heterosexism, and the “I can’t see it any way but my way” attitude still is gripping this country.

Religion has to work to change this attitude.  The church has to change this attitude.  We all have to work to change this attitude.  Realizing that we are all valued and equal in our diversity is an important step towards living and working together.  It is not ok to say “My way is better, therefore your way is not valued.”

Together we are one body.  Divided we are only parts.  The hand is just a hand- it isn’t better than any other part; it is just a hand with a different function than the other parts.  Working together, we may just be able to get something done!



4 Responses to “Elections”

  1. john Says:

    “How wonderful that we no longer have unchecked power in a White House that wants to know no limits.” A little overstated, once again, don’t you think?

  2. Jeff Says:

    Sorry, John, I don’t remember you. But thank you for posting.
    Certainly this could be a matter of opinion.
    But I think it is fair to say that the president has not responded kindly to those who disagree with him.
    He promised to be a “uniter, not a divider”.
    This war which he lead us into– a war not against terrorism, but against a sovereign (albeit ugly) state which had no weapons of destruction and no links to terrorism and now has become a refuge for terrorists– has been as big a division in our country as I can think of in the past 30 years.
    His response to criticism: humiliating those who disagree with him. Characterizing those who do as wishing to “cut and run”, as cowards, as unpatriotic, as somehow working against the fabric of freedom, as uncharitable. He characterized his very narrow win in 2004 as a showing of the American people of a vote of confidence in his leadership– as political capital that he intended to use (it was a NARROW win– not a landslide victory, after all).
    Yes, I think he wants unchecked power. Neither he nor his administration does well with people questioning his authority (lest we forget the whole affair with the diplomat and his CIA wife, an affair of scandolous proportions, that had the opposition party been in power would not have died out so quickly– but for the corrupt GOP seems not to have bothered them quite as much).
    But perhaps he has learned his lesson. His tone has changed much in this week already. He made one prediction accurately– he said he was going to use any political capital he gained in 2004. It appears he has certainly been effective at doing that.

  3. D Hamilton Says:

    Jeff, John was being polite when he said “a little overstated” and you continue the “overstating” in your response.

    The humiliating you speak of is called politics …. it cuts both ways and both sides exaggerate and speak some truth at the same time. Entering the fray where Rove and Carville, Pelosi and DeLay, Schumer and Frist play is not for the faint of heart. It is the system we have allowed to evolve in the 24hr news cycle.

    The Wilson/Plame scandal appears to be a scandal in overreachingand not “of scandolous proportions” since the investigators knew within weeks or couple of months where the leak came from, determined that it wasn’t criminal, and the only alleged crimes were perpetrated in the grand jury room months later.

    As for divided country, you “overstate” again and need the perspective of a few more years. This is a tip-toe through the tulips compared to Viet Nam. The government (state & Federal) use to shoot protestors back then and protestors use to bomb and burn for effect. That ’68 convention in Chicago was the definition of divisive. The 80’s were nearly as devisive – the main-stream platitudes for the Reagan administration lacked politeness to the extreme. Again the 24hr news cycle amplifies todays activities … but it appear healthy (see the election results) and seems to advance the Republic.

  4. Jeff Says:

    I’m sorry, d, I disagree– except for that the election results advance the republic.

    And that’s the wonderful thing– we don’t have to agree.

    I’m not alone in my views; I’ve heard the same echoed from pulpits and in hallway conversations and in news commentary for 6 years now.

    You can ignore that or refocus on something else, but my opinion is that this administration enjoys having unchecked power and doesn’t like limits. The NSA wiretapping is another great example. Blatently crossing federal law, then going to congress and asking them to rewrite the law retroactively when they got caught.

    It happens again, and again, and again, and again.

    The point with Wilson/Plame isn’t whether or not they did anything illegal. The Republicans got caught up with that, and surprisingly the Democrats let them.

    The point with Wilson/Plame was whether they did anything WRONG. There is a big difference. What happened with that story was unethical. It may or may not have been illegal, and I am a firm believer that not everything that is wrong can nor should be legislated as illegal. But there are some things that as leaders are wrong, and betraying the identity of someone who has given their life to the service of their country for political gain is wrong, even if the technicality of keeping it legal is doing it as a confirmation of identity and not a revelation of identity. They knew better. Or they should have. And they didn’t. And that’s the point. And it’s not the only time. And that’s the bigger point.

    Overstated? No.

    This president is misguided. Genuine? Yes. But misguided.

    Frankly, I don’t care whether or not he is polite.

    But people are dying because of his dedication to his misguided cause. The environment is suffocating due to his inability to focus on the facts at hand. And… And… And… And…

    The list goes on.

    Unchecked power has never served well. It has been particularly unpleasant with this particular person, who has a particular knack for tuning out anybody’s ideas but his own.


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