Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Politics...

As you are all aware, we have been a house divided during this election year. We have been able to do so in a very adult manner. I have been very proud of the way we have all been able to respect each other's opinions. I took the kids to see Palin. Jordan took the kids to see Obama. I wanted them to have the opportunity to see both sides. The one thing we have done is to not allow either side to get a false sense of superiority. One side is not better than another. One side is not right, therefore making the other side wrong. What you believe does not make you less intelligent than someone else. It just makes your perspective different. We teach them what we believe fundamentally and biblically, but we also want them to learn the process. While my children are not old enough to understand fiscal conservatism or partial birth abortion, they are old enough to understand the basics of democracy.
The day before the election, we were in Kinkos making copies of some election lesson plans for the kids. Josh was saying that if he could vote, he'd vote for Obama because he was black. (His words, not mine) We began to talk about how important it is to not judge someone positively or negatively because of the color of their skin. At about the time I said, "you shouldn't vote for someone just because they have dark skin," this woman reeled around and spat out these words in my face, "Just as you shouldn't vote for someone just because they are a woman." She was dressed from head to toe in the latest Obama wear. Funny actually... I can even get in trouble in a freakin' Kinkos.
Someone else told me a story about going to vote with their Ethiopian child in tow. Someone in the parking lot said they would have thought they were voting for Obama until they saw their bumper stickers. Why? Because they have a child of color? What does that have to do with political issues... which is what political campaigns and elections are supposed to be about?
If my kids learn only a few things from this election, I hope they will remember that no one can place limits on what they can do... not because of the color of their skin, their gender, their background... nothing should limit them from reaching, striving and working very hard to do anything they want to accomplish. It is not OK to judge others because of the color of their skin or their gender... whether that's positive or negative judgements. And finally, I hope they are able to recognize how gracious John McCain was in his speech last night. Even though this man lost the race, he is no loser. I have a respect for John McCain after this election that I did not feel before this race. He is a true American hero. I believe he will be able to make a difference in making politics a little more non-partisan in the future simply because of the way he handled himself in this race. What an awesome example for our children.
This has been a very hot topic on blogs and yahoo groups today, and my question to all of you is this:

Will you continue to care about this tomorrow as much as you care about it today?

Will you continue to keep track of the issues? Will you hold your public servants responsible to you... the people they are supposed to represent? My challenge for you is this: Become politically active. Know what's going on in your city, your state, and your country. Your voice does matter. When something comes up that you don't agree with, don't just stew in your unhappiness and despise the other side. Do something about it. We are in a time of hope. We are in a time of hopeful compromise like we have not seen in many years, but only if we all try to work together.
Will you care as much tomorrow as you do today? What about next week, next month, or next year? I challenge you. I double dog dare you...
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4 comments:

Nichole said...

Well said! I've heard some of the most ridiculous things (from both sides), that make me sick. I agree McCain had an excellent speech last night, and I respect him for that. I can now safely say that between Julia, you, and me, there will be at least a dozen or so (I'm counting my yet to be conceived children here, lol) intelligent children in the future.

Monica said...

Wow! You have taught your children so many truly important life lessons through the process of this election cycle!

Kristine said...

Very nice Gina! Yes I am going to be more politically committed than ever!

I too have had "the looks" about my McCain-Palin bumper sticker. When I went to the polls I was dressed a little bit "hippie" and had Nathaniel with me. I kept snickering to myself that all these people probably think I am voting for Obama...

Kristine

Peculiar Smith Family said...

Very well said Gina! I have had many conversations about the same things you mentioned. And I would no more have voted for Obama because of his skin color that I would have voted for McCain because of his or the fact that his running mate was a woman. It is just another form of prejudice in reverse. I'm sure my family thought we would vote for Obama too.