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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Brace yourself

On November 4th we elected a new president. Regardless of your view, Republican or Democrat, it was a day to be remembered. I haven’t spoken much about my views for this election, due mostly to the fact that I don’t follow politics much. But I also choose to stay quiet because I live in a red state where most people begrudge the fact that I have a different viewpoint.
But in light of what is being said on tv and radio, and sadly, amongst our Christian brothers and sisters, I feel like I need to voice it now. I read Allison’s blog earlier about standing together for change in our country and communities, embracing the fact that we live in a country where we get to CHOOSE our leaders and keep them from absolute power. That’s a great thing, and something to be proud of.
I have had a significant interest in Barak Obama for a good while now. I really believe he’s a good man, a good father and husband, and that he wants what’s best for our country. What he sees as best may not be what you do. And at times, what he votes for and stands for are not what I think is best either. But since when can you please everyone all the time? And…is there anyone besides yourself you can agree with always? I mean, we chose our husbands, but we don’t always see eye to eye with them either!
While I can’t argue with you Newsweek reading republicans who know all the ins and outs of every vote and issue, I can tell you why I am proud that America has voted OBAMA and why I was among those who did.
1. He stands for change. I have no problems with McCain. I think he is a good man and God bless him for what he has done in service to our country. But we have spent 8 years with a president who has been less than great, and while McCain supported him most of the time, Obama did not. He is ready to make a change. Change for the good? We hope so. Change is scary. No one likes it. Most of us would rather go on living our lives with no twists and turns. But it’s time. Our country is low right now and we need someone to lift us up.
2. He’s inspired a new generation to vote and care about its leadership. I’m always shocked when people don’t vote. I know we live in a red state that will never be blue, but how awesome is it that I have a say in who the most powerful person in the world will be? Every time I hear Obama speak, I am on the edge of my seat. He’s a powerful speaker and knows what he’s talking about. He has definite ideas and goals. He’s decisive. I could hear him talk about dirt and still applaud his fervor.
3. Race. Some will admit it’s an issue. Some won’t. But it is. And for me, if I’m really honest, it was one of the biggest reasons I voted for him. As Jeremy said on election night, “Yeah, you love black men. We get it.” (that I do…my cute husband in particular). But here’s the reason having a black president is so huge in my life.
a. I work in a school with mostly minority children. They have hard lives. Parents who don’t want them or can’t take care of them. No money. No food. No shoes sometimes. Their view of America is very different from mine. They see it as a place where white people make the rules and we have to try and find a way to live within them. They can’t see how they will ever be better than what they are now. It is such an amazing gift to them to be able to see the highest office in the land being held by a man of color. They are so excited. It’s one thing they can rally behind and their families can be proud of for once.
b. It DOES affect my family. Joe and I sat and talked as Obama gave his speech on Tuesday about how our children will live in a country where there is no question “can I be president when I grow up?” The answer will be yes undoubtedly. They will never know a time without a black president. I’m so proud to be able to say that years from now when my kids ask me about that night in history, I can tell them I was thinking of them.
Now, sadly, some of you are going to think less of me since I voted Obama this year. I’m sorry we disagree. But I won’t apologize for exercising my right to vote. I’m proud to live in a country where we now have a black president. Let’s pray for him and that he is able to do wonderful things for our country these next 4 years.


Penny said...

Hey Rach, it was a big thing you did sharing your political opinion! I am not a democrat & hesitate to call myself a republican. I'm one of those darn independents! But I totally agree with everything you said about Obama. Being a "minority" I especially agreed about minority kids being able to see a black president. That is what made me so emotional about him being elected. People want change,well he represents a BIG change. And whether we voted for him or not we should stand behind our President and more importantly PRAY for him, his family and his decisions!!

Alexis said...

Thank you for your post and sharing your optimism! I live in the same red state, and within one of its reddest counties. My friends and family were divided in who they voted for. So I've been spending the past few days reassuring those who feel frightened by the turn of events, and sharing smiles with those I know who are embracing them.

It makes me a little sad to hear people say they are afraid of what this means for the nation, and I hope that with a little distance they can gain some additional perspective. In the meantime I will continue to do my best to assuage their fears. Blog posts like yours help by providing me with encouragement.

Jamie said...

Hey, I read Newsweek, and I don't lean Republican. :-)

Jaime said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I don't claim a color either way (I look good in both :) ) and it has been interesting to be in a "very blue state" during the latter part of this election, just being so different from my very red home state. It was definitely a historic night! I think it is so neat that you were thinking of your future children on that night and what it will mean to them. It's definitely a perspective most of us don't have!

alisonrader07 said...

Hey, Rachel! I enjoyed reading your blog. I am one of those Newsweek reading Republicans who didn't vote Obama, but I think it's cool that you did. I think you had great reasons for it and enjoyed reading your position. :-)

-the former Miss Alison Peveto :-)
< G >

stephen b said...

but he is a (radical) muslim . . . and a socialist! how can you vote for someone like this who hates America! he didn't even wear a pin on his lapel!

wait a minute, i voted for him too. does this mean i can't be a Christian anymore? that's what i have been told on 2 occasions this week. that's right, i think there is something in Galatians about "thou shalt only vote republican, and wear a lapel pin."

Brandon and Dee said...

I am glad that you shared your thoughts, I am glad that I am not alone in my thinking. I am really looking forward to the next few years, and I am sad for those that have let themselves get wrapped up in fear and hate. Thanks for stepping out there and speaking your mind!