Getting Political.

Posted: September 5, 2008 in Uncategorized

I’ve always really enjoyed watching presidential campaigns.  Maybe because I love to use words to communicate a message and so I feel like my job and the job of most politicians is mostly differentiated by the content of that message (and also motivation, I suppose, since my job offers very little in the way of fame, fortune or power.  Note to self:  re-think career choices.)

While I enjoy watching and forming opinions, I make it a practice to not share those opinions from any sort of public platform.  Today, however, I find myself with a few overflowing thoughts and so I’m breaking my own rule and I hope I don’t regret it.

Regarding Sarah Palin:

  • Yep, I cried while she was speaking on Wednesday.  Not because I see her as the savior of anything, but because I see her as the representation of so many possibilities.  It’s possible that a woman can be strong without being overly shrill or self-entitled.  It’s possible to endure the harsh glare of the spotlight with a large amount of grace.  It’s possible.  For years, we’ve been told that America isn’t ready for a female in the White House.  Maybe we just weren’t ready for the ones we were offered.
  • I’ve read the opinions of Ann Coulter, DeeDee Meyers, Sally Quin, Gloria Steinam, Peggy Noonan and many, many others.  All made interesting points.  All were very passionate.  And all of them had a really specific idea of “what women want” in a candidate and why Palin is or isn’t going to get “our” votes.  I’m wondering when we’ll finally understand that there are as many different women as there are…well…men.  We don’t share brains or belief systems.  If we really want to be taken seriously in the world of men, we’re going to have to let go of our tendency to also want to “go as a group”.  This isn’t Jr. High lunch where the girls all have to go to the restroom together…it’s okay for us to stand – and vote – alone.
  • The biggest impact of her candidacy may well be a HUGE increase in involvement in PTA.  That would be a win as well!

On communication skills:

  • The teleprompter is not John McCain’s friend.  I felt like you could almost feel Palin wanting to help him from her seat in the crowd.  The first time I was ever impressed with him was at the Saddleback forum when he just answered questions.  I was amazed at how relaxed, poised and intelligent he was in a setting with no script.
  • I watched Obama’s speech last week and was very impressed with his delivery.  In my job, one of the things I long for – and often ask God for so that I can communicate effectively – is the gift of empathy. It’s a gift to be able to project empathy (different than sympathy which is feeling sorry for people – empathy is feeling what they feel)  and Obama has it in spades.  He and I part company on several issues that are important to me, but if we didn’t I might be inclined to mark his name in November.

On the condition of our country (be prepared: rant ahead)

  • Never have I been so aware of the absolutely immovable sense of self-entitlement in our country.  We have more than any country in the world.  We are the fat, rich kids on the planet.  And yet, both campaigns are targeted almost exclusively on making sure that we add a whole lot more to our already-overflowing pile of stuff.
  • We live in a world where the oppressed, impoverished and fatherless are dying at the head of every street.  If America doesn’t care…who will?  And if we as Americans don’t care…when will our government?  They’re giving us what they think we want.  A better economy, better health care, better educations.   I know all that stuff is important, but couldn’t we ALSO win big by working to foster in the next generation of Americans a “spirit of rescue”…so that they will be willing to look out the window of the greatest nation on earth, and see the faces of the truly hopeless?
  • Isaiah said, “The generous man devises generous plans and by generosity he stands.”  Couldn’t that also be true of a country?  What if our deepest problems could be solved by being willing to serve the world?  Wouldn’t that just be something?  I watched both conventions and heard no plans, no ideas, no hint of ways that we could become a truly generous nation in a devastated world.
  • If I’m running for Orphan Ambassador, here’s my plan:  every American gives an annual gift of $10 bucks.  Per year…not per week.  Just two extra-value meals or three lattes per year.  We’ll call it a “I’m so glad I was born in America” gift to our globe.  This would release $30 billion per year to go to charities that are working to fund adoptions, orphanages and vocational training for 143 million orphans.  God would bless us as individuals for giving and He would bless our country for caring.  I know He would.

Ending my political rant now,


  1. Tracy says:

    I have been following this convention closely and agree with your assessment of John McCain and telepromptors…it was clearly painful. As for sharing my political views….I will suffice to say, I am thrilled with Ms. Palin and can not wait to hear more! She is inspiring!

  2. ci says:

    Amen Sister! Rant on! (We’ve got it down, yes?!)

  3. caleb says:

    Palin actually changed my mind to vote for McCain. Maybe I am voting for Palin and not McCain…yep, that is how I can justify it. Hurray for the Supreme Court justices that will get appointed (the real prize I think).

  4. Whitney says:

    I have to say I agree with Caleb on this one. Where’s the ticket to vote only for Palin? She has truly made this campaign exciting again, at least for me. I was planning to forgo voting all together! Good point, though, Bo. I’m excited for the day that we won’t only see justice for our friends across the seas, but America will help deliver it.

  5. Ann Dunagan says:

    Hi Bo! I would have loved to be able to sit down in a living room together and watch this last week’s events. I haven’t been this captivated and “rivited” by the news for many years. A few months ago, I could care less about our political news, as it seemed the passions of my heart didn’t matter. But lately, it feels like there’s more than a Republican vs. Democratic vote going on. It’s like the heart and soul of America is being opened up and examined . . . and that God is at work at a very deep level. I really wonder what’s going on n the spiritual dimension right now. It’s probably been since the aftermath of September 11th since I’ve felt this kind of burden (and heart to PRAY) for the future of our nation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s