9.17.2008

"Who is Condaleeza Rice?"

Yes, someone really asked that question, last night in my stats class. I think about 3 or 4 of us turned out and looked at her with the most dumbfounded expression. Pretty sure someone laughed.

A few minutes later she asked, "Who is Tony Blair?"

I shook my head.

Speaking of ignorance, I was thinking about the election yesterday, and I don't recall right now what made me think specifically of this, and I hope that doesn't ruin the point of my story. Haha. Anyway, I came to the conclusion that part of the reason I've been supporting Obama is because I value what he represents. Cliche, maybe, but he symbolizes change. That could not have been more evident than when he accepted his nomination at the DNC on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Obama represents change in terms of promising to be different, and better, than the last 8 years. But he also represents the change that the United States has already made. 40+ years ago, a black man was shot and killed for speaking out and stepping up to lead America - on a social level. Today we have elected a black man as a presidential candidate to lead America on national and international political and social levels.

We are witnessing history in the making.

I want Obama to win so people like my grandma stop falsely believing white people are the best ones for the job. I want Obama to succeed and prove the skeptics and the racists wrong. I want him to be what this country needs. (Read between the lines: I'm not sure if he is.)

McCain, for me, represents the way things were. He represents White Right-Wing America with its reservations and unwillingness to change. It represents older generations who are so set in their ways, they don't remember why they do what they do anymore. And Palin, well... she's from Alaska and her kids have weird names and you can't blame a girl for trying. But her political experience includes a few years as mayor, a few years as governor, and now she wants to be the VP?

Last night I was flipping channels and landed on a televangelist and his wife "teaching" listeners about the way the world supposedly is. They accused Oprah of being pantheistic and of leading people astray from the Christian faith. Okay, it's no secret that Oprah isn't a true Christ follower... but how can you deny the positive example she sets? I find it arrogant and close-minded to refuse contact with any person on the mere basis of differences in beliefs. We have to first be confident in our own beliefs and understand why we hold those beliefs, so that we can discern Truth in the lives of others, but to condemn watching or listening to Oprah?

The televangelist couple also kept referring to Palin as being a true follower of Christ. How can you possibly know that?? Obama has repeatedly claimed Jesus as his Lord and Savior, yet somehow he has half the population convinced he's Muslim. Honestly, politicians know how to play the field and articulate their answers just so to win over as many people as they can. Are Palin and Obama truly Christians? That's between them and God. As a Christian, my duty is to pray they are. As an American, my responsibility is to vote, not to question or judge their faith.

Yesterday morning on the way to the train station I decided I had a few extra minutes to stop at McDonald's. So, I went through the drive-thru, ordered a number two - no egg - coffee with cream, please, and pulled up to the window. As the McDonald's employee took my money, he asked me if I was going to vote. And I said, Yeah... (I wasn't sure where this was going...) He replied, Obama? And I said, Yeah... (I still wasn't sure), and he proceeded to tell me about a guy who wasn't going to vote for Obama for the simple fact that Obama is Muslim. I laughed and took my change and said, I know, people believe crazy things, and drove up. I realized that what I should have said was, What difference would it make if he were Muslim?

If Obama is Muslim, does that mean he's a radical Sunni Muslim who is going to lead America straight into jihad? Is he going to commit genocide - against white Christians? Probably not. (But if he does, I'm relying on my Japanese roots to save me.)

Other than those two outrageous possibilities, I'm not quite sure what Obama's faith has to do with anything. If he's not really a Christian and he's pulling a fast one on us, well... like I said, that's between him and God.

Back to what I realized about why I support Obama... is the fact that he represents, in my mind, something America needs reason enough to elect him as president? Well, probably not. But I promise this is not the solitary reason I'm leaning left. If the election were today, I would vote for Obama. But I'll admit, I'm hesitant, and I'm confused. I just don't know what to do!

That said, Sarah Palin is growing on me.

2 comments:

  1. Jess, I totally agree with you. I am so happy to see our country changing especially in the last 20 years or so. But on the otherhand I am torn. I want nothing more than to see amazing changes in America, but also I'm scared out of my mind for the worst possible things that could happen actually happen because of leadership being put in the wrong hands. (I wonder if our parents felt this way when they were our age...)

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  2. P.S. I don't have Japanese roots to help save me...lol

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