October 18, 2017

Election Day 2008 Whine and Sheesh Party

RECOMMENDED READ: Clark Bunch at The Master’s Table makes the case for taking the opportunity to vote as a Christian’s duty.

UPDATE: Those of you planning to stop reading anyone who doesn’t praise your candidate PLEASE don’t read this. I want to keep you as a friend.

I am NOT looking forward to Election Day on Tuesday.

I was raised by a Roosevelt Democrat who taught me all the old time Democrat orthodoxy. College and seminary sealed the deal, and when I went to my first post-seminary church in 1984 I actually voted for Jesse Jackson in a primary and Dukakis in the general. I teared up hearing Dukakis speak on the Belvedere in Louisville.

Oh shut up.

I joined the GOP-post Reagan and voted for Bush in ’92 and every Republican since. I’ve been perfectly comfortable as a libertarian-leaning Republican, and I never dreaded going to the polls to vote, even for Bob Dole.

Sure, there were Republicans I would have preferred to see nominated, but it’s a process. You deal with the result.

Along the way, I became one of those angry Republicans. By the time George Bush ran the second time, I suspected that voters like me- loyal conservative evangelicals in favor of smaller government, strong defense and lower taxes- were getting screwed and thrown to the trash.

When Tuesday rolls around, this will not be a happy Republican heading to cast his vote.

I was a Ron Paul supporter and donor, but Paul lost my supporter when he didn’t own up to what had happened with the offensive racial rhetoric in his newsletter. For all his principled articulation of libertarian Republicanism, he was more loyal to some of his racially-regressive staff than to people like me.

Watching the GOP primary unfold was like watching a slow train wreck. I, like a lot of other voters, short-changed Mitt Romney. I didn’t like Mike Huckabee’s excessive religious rhetoric. And I didn’t want to support John McCain.

As I said. It’s a process, and this one gave us a “Republican” candidate who is a Democrat at heart, a man clearly not comfortable with Republican principles and a person without a clue how to talk authentically to libertarians and/or evangelicals.

Listening to John McCain try to give a Reagan-esque stump speech is painful. He simply doesn’t believe what he’s saying.

McCain’s idea of evangelical credibility? John Haggee. Good grief.

The Republicans thinkers and writers that I respect have been dragged into supporting McCain at gunpoint. They have made their choice and they have defended it, but you can feel the hollowness and sense the absence of authenticity. John McCain’s domestic and economic policies don’t give conservatives anything to be excited about. Mainly because most of us don’t believe he has the principles to enact those policies.

McCain’s POW story was his best card. And he played it. Over. And over. And over. No one disrespects that story and the sacrifice represented. But by the time you’ve heard it referred to 500 times at the convention, you began to suspect things weren’t going well. (How many Americans in 2008 know anything about the Vietnam war?)

McCain promoted himself as a fighter. A lot of us just can’t buy it. It hardly looks like McCain even expects or wants to win. Bob Dole had more fire.

McCain wanted America to elect him to lead the War on Terror. Bad idea. It’s a different electorate in 2008.

McCain’s choice of Sara Palin initially got many conservatives excited. Maybe McCain understood conservatives after all. But then came the debate, the interviews and the deeper impressions of Palin’s intellect and skill set. Support for Palin among conservatives is still strong, but it has weakened for many of us. Palin now looks like a quite cynical move by McCain, and one that ultimately won’t win any states he wouldn’t have won anyway.

I’m not alone in saying this is not a woman I want in the Oval Office or #2 in the chain of command. She’s simply not ready to lead and no amount of talking points or Madison Avenue makeovers will make her ready. America isn’t Alaska.

What was left was negative campaigning. Attack Obama, Biden, Democrats, liberals, radicals and the possibility the sky will fall and the earth will open up and swallow us all. Up to this moment, McCain and Palin have deserted appeals to conservatives and are trading in Obama-fright.

It’s not working.

The stock market crashed. McCain voted for a bailout and then came back telling us he was a “maverick.”

No. A maverick would have voted no to this welfare check to the rich.

McCain’s support for the war in Iraq splits conservatives. Some like what they hear. Others are deeply frightened by what they hear. Others- like me- don’t believe anything they hear.

I honestly don’t know what John McCain is all about. Is he really pro-life enough to nominate strong pro-life judges and stick with them through the storm? I don’t know if he is. I see David Souter and Anthony Kennedy in my dreams.

As an evangelical, I’m interested in a lot of issues. But I also want someone who will simply run the country as a conservative with conservative principles.

I just don’t buy John McCain as a conservative. I don’t trust him to run his presidency from conservative principles.

So is Obama so bad, so potentially radical, so secretly corrupt, so inexperienced and so ambitious that I should vote for McCain anyway?

Maybe. The Chosen One frightens me. All the signals I look for are deeply negative. I don’t see personal integrity. I hear manipulative rhetoric. I hear a lot of lies about personal associations. I see little respect for individualism. I hear a lot of serious flirtation with socialism and Marxism. I hear rookie arrogance on foreign policy. I hear promises we can’t afford and a complete dedication to the use of racial politics to accumulate and use power. I feel a distressing lack of seriousness about the presidency and nothing that impresses me as statesmanship.

I see charisma, intellect, opportunism, a lack of candor and a vast ocean of manipulative rhetoric.

Bob Barr? No, no, no.

Not voting? Not an option.

Write in Van Til, the BHT’s Magic Tail Chasing Dog? Possible.

I’m not looking forward to Tuesday. I’ll make a choice, but I’ll be walking home praying for God to have mercy on the United States.

Comments

  1. Black Angus says:

    Here in Australia we have compulsory voting and it’s a great idea. Looking on from across the Pacific I can’t understand why people would be considering not voting. I see that you don’t have great choices, but hey, the rest of the world would love to have a say in who will be your President because your decision (or lack of it) affects us all.
    So please go and vote and vote well! We’re depending on you!
    Also, imonk, when you said I see charisma, intellect, opportunism, a lack of candor and a vast ocean of manipulative rhetoric. about Obama, I heard Clinton. Eesh.

  2. Ky boy but not now says:

    Ryan Cordle
    “I wasn’t really making the point about whether or not one vote mathematically matters.”

    So please tell us what was your point? I been trying to think about this for over a day now and don’t understand. Or if I do I utterly disagree with your position.

  3. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Checking some buds’ friends lists on LiveJournal this morning. All the political crap summarized in two words: RON PAUL! RON PAUL! RON PAUL!

    How did everybody become a Ron Paulista overnight? Have we got Paul-Pod People hatching all over the net? Did Ron Paul just get a celebrity endorsement from Ayn Rand and John Galt?

  4. Michael Dee Smith says:

    More than once I have vigorously scolded fellow Christians for making ignorant and uncompassionate pronouncements against one or the other (mostly one and not the other) of our presidential candidates in this overly drawn out political season.

    My own political views have gone through dramatic changes over the last few years. I came to feel evangelicals had been suckered by the Republicans from the 80’s onward, and that we had lost our witness as a result of our naiveté and idolatry. Desiring to be rid of the power I as a Christian had ceded to a political party, and wishing to see our country turn a page from one of its darker episodes, I enthusiastically voted for Obama in the primaries. I expected I would be voting for him to be President as well. As I’d not cast a vote for a Democratic presidential candidate since Carter’s first bid, this was not an insignificant action on my part.

    I just returned from Tampa with my wife who was attending a convention in Tampa. I had the opportunity to visit the Florida Holocaust Museum while there. Interested in all things Jewish, I seldom miss a chance to gain greater understanding of the life and history of the Jewish people. As I was looking at a poster sized photo of an early, enthusiastic, gathering of German citizens standing and cheering their recently elected leader, a chill ran down my back. It’s difficult to voice this, as I don’t wish it to sound as radical as I fear it will. But this photo made me think of the enormous crowds that gather at seemingly all of Senator Obama’s speaking events. While we were in Tampa, he spoke in our city of Springfield, Missouri, a heavily conservative area of about 200,000 people, and attracted 35,000 people. That is an astounding feat.

    I do not suggest this man is Hitler, or that he is evil. It is only that I am discomforted by the possibility of our willingness to cede to him something that looks too much like adoration and a mindless desire to be led to where we know not. A further echo of the German spectacles of the 1930’s is that Obama also thinks in grand terms, and has shown a brilliant sense for staging grand spectacles of his own.

    Again, I am not suggesting this man should be considered a modern manifestation of Hitler. I do however recognize that men and women bearing the weight of social, economic and wartime stresses, have in the past, willingly granted hope and powers to a man that should only be reserved for God. Further, even good men who are given such power rarely remain only good.

    I don’t know where this leaves me. Possibly with those that argue for a Christian stand against voting altogether. I’m not there just yet, but not that far either.

    Michael Dee Smith

  5. Bob Sacamento says:

    Michael Dee Smith wrote,

    It is only that I am discomforted by the possibility of our willingness to cede to him something that looks too much like adoration and a mindless desire to be led to where we know not. A further echo of the German spectacles of the 1930’s is that Obama also thinks in grand terms, and has shown a brilliant sense for staging grand spectacles of his own.

    I’m with you. I don’t know if all the Obamaration says more about him or more about us, but it gives me the willies either way. Even if I were going to vote for him, it would really bother me.

    By the way, I predict that this thread will not die until 2012.

  6. Bob Sacamento says:

    One more thing, if you don’t mind.

    Probably the most important statement in Michael’s post, and the one we discussed least was his last sentence:

    I’ll make a choice, but I’ll be walking home praying for God to have mercy on the United States.

    Actually, not alot to discuss. Just, Amen.

  7. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    I’m with you. I don’t know if all the Obamaration says more about him or more about us, but it gives me the willies either way. Even if I were going to vote for him, it would really bother me.

    A LiveJournal headline a couple weeks ago said it all:

    “Senator Obama: Your fanboys scare me.”

    By the way, I predict that this thread will not die until 2012.

    Or until it’s banned under some Federal Hate Speech Act of 2009.

  8. I just can’t wait for it to be over so I can stop chewing my mental fingernails. I know who I support for President, but I’m already praying “God help us all” either way. Oh well. Come Wednesday, Christians should continue doing what our brothers and sisters are doing all over the world. Praying, hoping in Jesus, believing, and living our lives the way we know Christ wants us to–no matter the culture we live in. We enjoy a lot of freedoms many Christians do not, simply by living in this country. In order to avoid getting depressed tomorrow, I shall just remember that point. And look to Jesus.