Posts Tagged ‘presidential elections

06
Nov
08

Obama Won That Hell Out of That Thing

obamaAs I’ve already noted here and on many of the blogs that I frequent, I just didn’t feel right posting about Obama’s win in a direct way yesterday. I’ve been able to sort through the emotions, come down off the high (Mrs. Blue would probably say “what high?” but I’m a low-key guy and she’s always looking for a new fresh way to rib me a bit…), and I think I’m in a place now where I can, first, say:

Thank God we didn’t get McCain-Palin. Thank God that self-serving, egomaniacal, money-grubbing, spotlight-hounding, rabble-rousing, incendiary bitch from Alaska isn’t anywhere near the White House. Thank God we don’t have McCain, whose judgment has been too erratic lately for me to fully trust his capabilities are still there. Thank God we are finally free of GOP rule that in eight years has taken us from being fiscally in pretty good shape to bringing us just shy of economic destruction.

Thank God Barack Obama will be the next president, and I only pray that he and his family remain safe, that he remains in prayer and in contemplation to make wise choices, and that he puts in place the right people in the right spots to get our country back on track.

Those of you who are convinced that Obama is some sort of abortion-loving, terrorist-coddling, know-nothing, uppity so-and-so…well, you can all go suck eggs thank you very much.

Why do I like Obama? Why am I so happy, aside from the reasons noted above, that he is in office?

Well, the fact he’s black sure don’t hurt.

No, I didn’t vote for him because he’s black. I voted for him because he’s a talented and promising Democrat. But him being black fills me with a lot of positive feelings and a lot of hope. Yes, I’m white. I know this. My face in the mirror each morning is enough to blind  even me. I don’t know how my wife can bear to see my pale self naked without wearing the same kind of goggles folks use to watch nuclear explosions.

But I have a black wife and a teenaged biracial son and a preschooler biracial daughter. My wife has grown up thinking she would probably never see a black man get to the White House. Son of Blue, though he can’t vote yet, has volunteered heavily to man phones for the Obama campaign, which has enregized him to become politically active early in life and has gottten him a nice recommendation from his supervisors as he goes forward in life. My daughter, who doesn’t know what’s going on (aside from the fact we didn’t like McCain because “he was grumpy and doesn’t like to share”) will now grow up in a world where she will already know that being black cannot stop you from reaching the highest office in this land.

This is a psychological and social milestone that cannot, or at least should not, be downplayed. The election of Barack Obama doesn’t erase the centuries of crap America has heaped on blacks and other minorities. But it’s a hell of a good step in the right direction. It suggests that all the work I’ve done to be open to learning about the culture in which my wife was raised…all the effort I’ve put in to trust that she knows racism when she sees it even when it isn’t obvious to me…all the time I’ve spent trying to let blacks with whom I communicate know that I am someone who wants to try to understand and wants to be an ally where I can…any time I’ve spent in this blog and others trying to address racial/class issues and bring people together in those rare cases I can…

…it shows that effort wasn’t wasted. Blacks alone didn’t elect Obama. A whole heaping hell of a lot of whites had to join in, or Obama would have been crushed. Racism is real. Racism exists. Racism will be a hard nut to crack for many generations yet. But it can be overcome. And that is clear now. If we want to, we can kill that motherfucker called racism like we killed polio. It may not be gone entirely (polio was never entirely wiped out either), but we can make it so beat-down that it won’t be able to hurt anyone much. If we really, really band together and make the attempt.

Now, I have a good friend who voted for Obama, but didn’t much feel the love for him. He was a Hillary Clinton fan. I don’t blame him. We like who we like. My friend, a political science professor (so we’ll call him PoliProf from here on out), has a strong wife and two little girls, too. When I say strong wife, I mean this is a woman who is not only independent, smart and competent but survived breast cancer and went on to do a one-woman comedy show about her experience with breast cancer. PoliProf wanted to see a woman in the White House because he wanted to honor the women in his life. I get that. And I hope it happens really freaking soon.

But, in my view, breaking the racial barrier is more important right now. America is stained by racism, I believe, far more than it is by sexism.

There are people alive today who are the children of slaves or former slaves. Not many, but they exist. My own father-in-law, who is in his late 50s, grew up in the era of Jim Crow and was a child of sharecroppers, who were really just slaves that you couldn’t whip or hobble. And there are a lot of people like him still alive. There are black folks today who once had to use separate drinking fountains and couldn’t vote because white people kept them from exercising that right. Those people have now seen the ultimate racial ceiling broken.

And it has been broken not just by a black man, but a black man who has a healthy, stable family. He has two wonderful girls and a wife he clearly loves. There is no sign thus far that this man has ever stepped out on his family or is tempted to. There is a love here that hasn’t been so clear in a president since Jimmy Carter and his family were in the spotlight. Even though I liked the Clinton years, that wasn’t a family full of love; Bill and Hillary had issues, and I was never entirely sure if they both gave Chelsea enough of themselves. I am proud to see a visibly strong, healthy, loving family headed for the White House.

This nation was built on the backs, blood and tears of slaves. And when slavery was abolished, the nation didn’t really try to repair the damage or give those former slaves a good shot at a bright future. They washed their hands of it. There have been many people who are black who have succeeded outside of sports and music, but their numbers are still smaller than they should be. This is the single most important political post in the country, and it has never been held by anyone who isn’t white. True, it’s never been held by a woman, either, but white women have fewer social restraints and burdens placed upon them than blacks. Hell, black women have a lot more opportunity and less crap to deal with than black men. Women still get crap, but they’re in a great many more positions of influence and power.

So, PoliProf, I’m not mad that you didn’t feel the love for Obama. I’m really not. And I don’t seek to diminish your disappointment over Hillary not making the ticket, because it is real and I understand its source. But for me, and for my family, and for my day to day, and for the lives of the black men and women on the blogs I visit, and for the non-black people who just want to see a brighter day in general, I rejoice.

Obama is no messiah. No savior. No miracle worker.

But it brings a tear to my eye to say I am proud, so proud, to call him my President.

03
Nov
08

How Would Jesus Vote: The Sequel

I pondered very briefly about how Jesus might vote way back in the earliest days of this blog. My opinion hasn’t changed about how he would vote. He has too much knowledge of human nature and individual sin to have ever been able to cast a vote for anyone, even if such a practice had existed in his days on Earth. He wouldn’t have stood for picking the lesser of two evils and he wouldn’t have used his influence to lift one politician up over another. I just don’t see it.

But should you vote?

Hell, yes!

If you haven’t already voted (and many of us have taken advantage of early voting where it is available, as my wife and I did last week), you must get out and do so tomorrow. It’s as simple as that.

Jesus probably wouldn’t be voting, and he won’t tell you how to vote, but I suspect that in the grand tradition of rendering unto God what is God’s and unto the world what is the world’s (to paraphrase), I think he would expect us to make a stand.

It’s clear from my own postings that I support Barack Obama. You don’t have to. I hope you do, but I won’t tell you how to vote. I’ve pointed out my reasons for having little to no faith in the other team and I’ve pointed out where Obama has been unfairly attacked.

But none of that means that Obama will speak to you. I hope I’ve convinced some people, but as with faith and our souls, only an individual can make a valid decision for him or herself. No one appointed me the steward of all truth. I try to be balanced on most things, and I believe my candidate comes out on top, but you may weigh entirely different factors.

But regardless, this election is too important to ignore. Whether you are someone who wants to see the economy on track again; whether you are someone for whom race is a key issue; whether you are someone who has a desire or a concern about religious faith in candidates this year; whether you are someone who is concerned that the Supreme Court lean one way or the other; whether you are rich or poor; whether you are Democrat, Republican or otherwise—go vote.

It is your civic duty. Please be informed before you enter the voting booth, but for God’s sake: Vote!

28
Oct
08

Digging for Manure

Just some random venting for the moment; maybe something else later today that is more spiritual or more entertaining.

There are a couple Christian blogs I frequent that are, let’s say, a bit more conservative than mine. I like them fine, because often on doctrinal matters we agree on most points. But in this political season, I’ve had to limit my visits to those sites because I’m tired of the repeated claims that Sarah Palin (and somehow John McCain, too) are getting savaged by a “liberal media” and “left-wing bloggers” and that Barack Obama is some golden boy who’s getting nothing but love and who “hasn’t been vetted as much as Palin.” I don’t want to let my anger color my attitude toward these bloggers.

Sometimes, people’s ability to go into deep denial and manufacture fantasy scenarios amazes me.

Obama has been campaigning for a couple years now. He’s had Rezko thrown in his face repeatedly (and that’s coming up again) even though he answered that issue quite thoroughly. He had to endure having out-of-context soundbites of sermons by his then-pastor played over and over and used to support idiotic arguments by people who either never bothered to watch the sermons in their entirety or ignored the real message because informing the public about the real message would have messed up their lies.

Obama has had people digging into records to try to prove he wasn’t really born in America (though his mother was a U.S. citizen so that wouldn’t matter anyway) and to try to prove he went to radical Islamic schools and to even question whether he’s really Christian.

He’s had to deal with people trying to make like he’s good buddies with former domestic terrorist (who long ago served his time and is an upstanding citizen these days) Bill Ayers, while completely ignoring that plenty of conservative Republicans have served with this very same man on the same board Obama did.

People have tried to claim Obama has no experience, even though he is a constitutional law scholar, former community organizer in the third-largest city in the country, a former state legislator and a current U.S. senator.

People have dug around trying to find a mythological video of Michelle Obama using the word “whitey.”

And the list goes on, I’m sure, but I’m exhausted to think about it anymore.

And yet, poke around about whether Sarah Palin had any real major duties as mayor of little Wasilla, point to her own pregnant teen girl as possibly evidence that her abstinence-only stance is flawed or that her family values maybe aren’t so tight, or mention that she’s only been a governor for two years and in a state with less than a million people, and she’s being treated unfairly. Catch her flip-flopping on issues like the “Bridge to Nowhere” and people are being mean. Discover that her husband once had a DUI, and that’s getting personal. Mention that she has associations with scary pastors and churches, and that’s out of bounds. Point out that her husband and she have recent direct ties to an Alaskan secessionist group, and that doesn’t matter.

I know of at least one Christian blogger who believes that all the negative stuff about Obama is something that has to be “dug up” with lots of research because the media won’t cover it, while Palin is being gleefully destroyed.

Forgetting that actually, all the crap and lies about Obama have been circulated quite widely, and often by mainstream media. A lot of the stuff being dug up on Palin isn’t lies but truth…and the stuff that might be questionable (like whether she should be held accountable for what her pastors say) is either equal to what Obama has had to deal with, or gets dropped from media coverage far more quickly than any of the Obama stories did.

Forget also that Obama actually knows the issues and Palin can only spit out soundbites. Ignore the fact that while people try to smear Obama’s wife, Cindy McCain has never really been hounded about how she avoided jail for stealing drugs though her position with a non-profit to feed her habit, or the fact she keeps passing off other people’s copyrighted recipes as her own family fare.

No, let’s continue with the myth that Obama has been getting an easy ride and ignore the fact that it is actually McCain, through most of his campaign up until recently, who has been handled with hero worship and kid gloves my a mainstream media that has loved him for years.

Because why deal with reality when we can wrap ourselves in comfortable lies?

I know that Obama isn’t a saint. I think he’s a pretty upstanding guy and I respect that he has a pretty together-looking family life. I like that he succeeded on hard work and talent and not handouts and legacies. I like most of what he stands for. But I know he’s a politician and someone with his own ego and agendas, like any politician. But it’s amazing to me that everyone has to dig so hard to find even rumors and innuendo about this man, and often come up with flat-out made-up stories instead, while it is so easy to find ugly truths with the members of the Republican ticket, and yet somehow Obama is the one who hasn’t been vetted enough.

It’s madness. Look, if you don’t want to vote for him because he’s black, or pro-choice or whatever, just admit it already, damn it. Stop trying to make a fictional case for some vast media conspiracy to tar and feather McCain-Palin and give Obama-Biden a ride.

This is the Internet age. This is the era of blogging. Shit is dug up and disseminated in an instant. There is no privacy.

And the fact is, most of what’s getting dug up on Obama for two years now is easily proven false or misleading. Yet what is coming out now, only in the past few months or weeks, on McCain and Palin that is scary is actually, in most cases, true. Obama may have skeletons in his closet, but if so, he hides them better than any other politician running for president ever has. And if he’s that good, maybe we really do need him in charge. But chances are that he just ain’t that dirty.

Sorry, conservative conspiracy theorists. In this case, at least, you’re the ones with the loony notions. Get back to reality please.

01
Oct
08

Decisions, Decisions – Part 1

As we Americans prepare to chart either a bold new course in the future of the United States or try to repave an eight-year-old path that has already led us to the beginning of the destruction of our economy, I am reminded that this nation is sharply split, almost right down the middle, in terms of the presidential candidates and many of the issues we grapple with right now.

In that vein, it strikes me that America is split between “Red States” and “Blue States,” between rich and everyone else, between liberal and conservative, between Democrat and Republican, between working class and “elites,” between the thinkers and the blissfully ignorant…ah, hell, you get the idea.

Rather than belabor the point that I’ve been making for some time now that Obama is good and McCain is the effluent coming out of Satan’s septic system, let me provide you with what (it seems to me) are the most endearing pairs of archetypes that we seem to want to handle our nation’s problems.

Crime

Superman

PROS: Virtually indestructible and possessed of stupendous powers. Sees things very starkly in black-and-white/good-and-evil. Supports policies of whatever president is in office, no matter how contradictory from one term to the next.

CONS: He’s an alien. Not just an illegal alien but a space alien. Where’s his damn Green Card? Also, boring as hell.

Batman

PROS: Will take down criminals expediently and, when necessary, violently, but actually does good detective work as well, and has a strong no-kill, no-torture policy. Access to substantial financial resources, and his weapons are always at least as good, if not better than, his enemies’. Has really cool outfits and some nice rides.

CONS: Often grim and humorless, and only works at night.

Healthcare

Jesus

PROS: A hard-working, dedicated, selfless humanitarian who loves everyone and puts holistic health and complete healing among the top items in his priority list. Works 24/7 for you and never slacks off. Has very high-level connections and is able to prepare a complete wine-and-cheese get-together with just a couple barrels of water and a couple small hunks of cheese and bread.

CONS: Prone to sarcasm and irritation at times when confronted with boneheaded lack of faith or inability to understand simple parables; known to be destructive toward moneylenders’ tables and fig trees that fail to produce fruit.

The Grim Reaper

PROS: Very effective at ensuring that people don’t use up their medical insurance benefits and fantastic at population control. Helps drive business in several sectors, including pharmaceuticals, medical care and mortuary sciences. Doesn’t have a discriminatory bone in his body…er, well, he is all bones, isn’t he?

CONS: Wants you dead as soon as possible. Yes, you.

Christian Values

Joel Osteen

PROS: Great smile, winning personality, and a huge congregation. Tells a great story and presents himself well. His dad was a well-regarded pastor.

CONS: Seems to lack the ability to actually preach the “Christ” in “Christianity,” in favor of self-help platitudes and “you can be wealthy too” sentiments instead. Seems to like the spotlight a bit much.

Charles Stanley

PROS: Solid grounding in the Word of God and ability to preach the cold, hard truths of God’s plan while also highlighting the loving and warm parts. Doesn’t seem to be profiting unduly from his ministry. Seems humble.

CONS: Looks and sounds a bit too much like the grandfather whom you love but didn’t much enjoy visiting for an entire day.

Public Policy

Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins

PROS: Well loved Hollywood figures who know the issues and are in agreement on a strong left-leaning approach. They are willing to stand on their beliefs and dedicated to educating others about what the right path is.

CONS: They’re freakin’ actors, for God’s sake! And preachy ones at that. They can’t shut up sometimes. Go do a movie already, OK?

James Carville and Mary Matalin

PROS: Provide a well-balanced team as one spouse is ragingly Democrat and the other one is devoutly Republican. They know lots of people in the political world. They’ve been around the world and they’ve seen all kinds of things that would make your hair curl, I’m sure.

CONS: The only things they seem to agree on are what to eat for dinner and the fact they like screwing each other still.

Terrorism

Jack Bauer of “24”

PROS: Dedicated to truth and justice and the welfare of Americans. Works hard and often resolves problems in one day. Will cause himself and reputation harm if necessary to get his job done. Has integrity to spare and knows just where to look to find the bad guys.

CONS: Kinda moody.

Rambo (or any of a number of other Stallone characters, such as Judge Dredd)

PROS: Shoots everything in sight. Doesn’t talk much.

CONS: Poor communicator. Shoots everything in sight.

  

.

10
Sep
08

Time to Fight, My Brother

Now, I’ve been one of those people who feared that if Barack Obama spoke what he really felt sometimes during the primaries and up to now, people would be turned off by the unfair image that he is “an angry Negro” instead of someone rightly sticking up for himself. That has now ended. And here is my “open letter” to Obama (and to those of you who are undecided in the upcoming election) on that matter.

It’s gotten really dirty in this presidential campaign now, and Sen. Obama, it is time for you to fight. My brother in Christ, you need to take off the hat you wear in polite company and put on a riot helmet. You need to take of the kidskin gloves and put on some brass knuckles. Take off those loafers and put on some ass-kicking Doc Marten boots.

It’s time to do battle.

And if a commercial that has imagery suggesting you’re at worst, a pedophile, and at best, someone who wants little kids to know the ins and outs of sexual intercourse—neither of which is true, of course, but images that might stick with people on the fence about you—if a commercial like that can’t get you to start speaking out about this shit, from your own mouth (and not just from your campaign people), I don’t know what can. You backed a bill to help little kids recognize when they are being approached by sexual predators, and your opponents are turning it on its head to say you want to literally teach little kids about sex. Much of America is too lazy to sort out lies from truth. If you don’t respond, and forcibly, the lies will gain power and be perceived as truth. There are still people who believe the lie that you are Muslim, my brother. Don’t ever forget that.

(For more background about the video above, read this at Huffington Post.)

Senator, you have the nomination now, and the Republicans have never fought fair. You won’t win over too many people at this point who are nervous about the idea of a Black man in the White House. Anyone who already thinks you’re an angry Negro will continue to think that; it’s time to sort out who among the undecided is ignorant enough to believe that. It’s time to show those who are on the fence that you not only know how to speak and think but also how to fight. And let the chips fall where they may.

It was only a couple days ago that I posted one of my drive-by scripture items, on Romans chapter 12, verses 18-21, which goes like this:

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

We are past the point at which you can live at peace with your opponents, because they have now decided to fight dirty. You don’t need to stoop to their level and sling mud, but there are plenty of lies they’ve told about things they’ve done that you can rightly call them out on. You also need to respond to their lies about you so that people won’t take your silence the way people take a “no comment” remark on the news (most people assume guilt when they hear that, you know). You don’t need to return evil for evil, Senator. You just need to start hitting back when someone swings at you. You can fight back with dignity, but for God’s sake, fight back.

I know you aren’t a pansy-ass wimp, Senator. I know you know how to fight. But you need to show that now. You can be mature, you can be above the fray, but every hit you take with silence makes you look bad. In the boxing ring, if you can take hits and not fall down, it can show your toughness, but in an election, people can’t see inside you to know you’re still standing emotionally and spiritually.

Senator, you might want to read this, which says a lot of the same things that I just have. Those of us who support you know that you’re the better choice, you and Joe Biden, than are John McCain and Sarah Palin, who will continue to run this country into the ground because they lack scruples, new ideas or a willingness to do the right thing. But there are many who are undecided, and the more you hold back your desire to fight back, the more of them start leaning toward McCain-Palin.

If you won’t fight for yourself, fight for the rest of us. I’d rather you go down swinging. You can fight a clean fight, but damn it, fight already.




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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