Friday, October 31, 2008

Yes, I Voted

I take voting very seriously. One of my first memories is going with my mother to vote when I was 4. I must have asked her who she was voting for and why, because I remember her answer. She and dad thought that generals shouldn't become president. I took my son voting we me until he was old enough to stay home by himself and we've always talked politics in our family. He's turned 18 now, and does not get election day off, so we all voted together in the Early Voting center a couple of days ago. It probably won't happen again; he's going away to college and will, presumably be voting from his college address in the future, so it was a sweet family moment.

Yesterday, a volunteer claiming she was from Obama headquarters called last night to ask if I had voted yet. I said yes, and she asked who I voted for.

Now, I was raised to think that that is a very personal question, akin to, "What's your salary", and "What kind of birth control do you use?" These are not things I talk to strangers about over the telephone. So I said, "I don't think I want to say."

"So," she responded, in an angry tone, "In other words, you voted for Bush".

I'm not one who is fast with cunning responses, so I said nothing. She hung up before I could recover. But I really was quite insulted.

What a wet blanket on an otherwise very pleasant (40 minutes, car door to car door) family experience. How sad to think that Obama volunteers, who have every reason to feel energized but relaxed about their work, have such a hostile streak to them which whatever training they have had has not erased.

Rude lips may not lose campaigns, but they don't make friends.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Come, follow, follow, follow

Remember that song from 7th grade music class?

Probably not. But there's a new way you can follow blogs...a sort of cross between blogging and facebook for the writing and reading classes. Sign on to Follow this blog in the right hand column. I'd love to see your shining face and know more about who my readers are!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Enterprises Requiring New Clothes

Henry David Thoreau said to beware of them. ("Beware all enterprises requiring new clothes"--Walden)

It's been a while since I read Walden but I can imagine that Thoreau had two hesitations about enterprises requiring new clothes. The first is that such enterprises may end up being too expensive. One of the reasons I've always liked to walk for exercise is that the only thing you have to buy is shoes. No Yoga pants, no bike shorts, no climbing harnesses, just shoes. The second reason to beware enterprises requiring new clothes is that new clothes make you a new person, and if you need them, perhaps were you are going is not who you really are.

iMinister did not buy any new clothes when she started her campaign. All she did was take off her preaching robe to reveal her ordinary Sunday attire on the morning she gave her campaign speech. But she is well aware that her campaign was a bit irregular. She has no problem with the idea that an unexpected candidate for Vice President of the US who is suddenly thrust into the limelight would need a major shopping spree. She wouldn't have been at all shocked to hear that it was necessary to spend some thousands of dollars on sufficient, high quality new clothes to get a new campaigner through her campaign.

But too much was too much ....way too much. Palin's buyers clearly forgot that they should be sticking with "necessary, high quality, and attractive" and wandered into the "foolish, expensive, and high status" categories. It was an expensive mistake in more ways than one. She may be feeling that about the whole campaign. I certainly would be!

Michelle Obama has always appeared to my untutored eye to be very well dressed, and somehow it does not surprise me the she's a bargain hunter. One gets the feeling that being the First Lady wouldn't change her very much, and that she won't let it ruin her kids. Even new clothes won't go to her head. Henry David Thoreau would be pleased.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Creativity in Politics

In a campaign year drearily and anxiously focused on disaster and even more drearily replete with lack of truth-telling (on both sides, but particularly, as one would expect but not excuse, the side that has the larger challenges), I find one delightful, creative, wonderful, win-win strategy.

The huge swing state of Florida contains many elderly Jewish voters who have often been Democrats in the past but who are wary of Obama. Every vote counts in that state. What to do? Send in Jewish young people to talk to their grandparents and grandparents' friends about politics, Obama, and, presumably, life. It's called the Great Schlep. What grandparent could resist a visit from a grandchild who not only wanted to talk to them but talk to their friends! Think of the fun, the heart-warming, the family values, the brag-potential. Sheer genius.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

iMinister knew a Weatherwoman

oh, gosh, another reason I can't be president. I actually knew my would-be "terrorist" when we were both 20. Her name was Loralie. She dropped out of music school to hit the streets. I don't know if she actually hurt anybody, but she talked a good line. I was filled with morbid fascination.

And you know, I kind of assume that she grew up and grew out of her radical ideas, that she settled down, repented any evil she had managed to do, and became an upstanding citizen, raising good kids, and making a contribution to whatever her work turned out to be. If I met her today it would be with a glad heart. Because people change. Glory, Hallelujah!

It doesn't matter how old Obama was when Bill Ayers was a Weatherman. Nor does it matter when he came to know Ayers' past. All that matters is Ayers' present, which according to all who know it, is that of a peaceful, productive, good citizen.

Obama belongs to a church which requires him to forgive the repentant. So does Palin, but she seems not to have absorbed the lesson.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Second Debate

Was as boring as the first debate was part because the VP's went over the same, often shaky ground, the P's went over, even some of the same blatant mis-statements about the others' record. These candidates must think we don't think.

The part of me that always wants a woman to do a great job and had anticipated biting her nails to the quick if Palin continued to act like a slow High School student ended the 90 minutes with 9 nails intact. The part of me that wanted to see the Republican ticket continue to implode was disappointed and ashamed of herself.

The part of me that was a candidate last week, (Yes, I figured out a way to go ahead with my "Christine for President" sermon. It was a great hit, huge fun, and available here)
was awed at what a candidate has to go through and is glad that she suspended her campaign before any debating went on.

And the part of me that loves the truth and thinks it should be told and the rules followed was outraged more or less continually, and especially by Pailn who played fast and lose with both and did a great job of covering her lack of experience and poor education.

My son said it best. Palin won the political game. Biden won the debate.