~:: Political Howling ::~

I’d say that I’m getting sick of politics, but the statement would be inaccurate.  I have ALWAYS been sick of politics.  Probably since before I was born onto this planet, I hated politics.  It’s just that lately, I am sick-ER.  This is mostly because the US is coming up on a new presidential election, something I have been longing for now some eight years.  Yes, I know we actually have them every four years, but I’ve been hoping for one that could sense for two cycles, now.

The formal circus begins with these “caucus” meetings.  As much as I know about etymology, I have no idea where the word “caucus” comes from.  Every time I hear it, I think of that kind of gross little shell caterpillars build when they’re hoping to turn butterfly.  Not the process, but the weird little brown casing itself – made all of hardened secretions.  A caucus is a convocation of politically interested people (meaning having a vested interest in the outcome) – which should actually be every citizen of the country.  But someone forgot to work into the process the fact that most solid citizens have jobs and families and property to maintain and time out for political conventions actually costs them.

These things would be so much more sleek if you had to buy a license to speak at them, proving that you can make a point in under three minutes.  And that you are not crazy (in either the left or the right tradition).  And if they fed you dinner for free just for showing up.

The caucuses pick the candidates, winnowing down the vast field of hopefuls in a specific party.  Delegates vote in convention, choosing just one person to be the official Republican or Democrat candidate. And those couple of lucky winners get sent into the national coliseum to duke things out.

The amazing thing is how people who say they represent the interests of the same party can tear each other to shreds in the act.  And the thing that fired me up to write this bit was a radio sound bite I heard the other day, some female delegate, a self-proclaimed evangelical Christian, explaining why she would not vote for Mit Romney, who happens to be LDS.

She said something to this effect: “I just can’t send somebody to Washington whose religious beliefs are dangerous and will do harm to this country.”

And I blanked out.  Whaa?  Was she saying this in reference to Romney?  Naw.  But – yes.  She was.

And then I was mad.  And so should be every single intelligent Evangelical, since she was taking it upon herself to represent the aggregate with that incredibly stupid statement.

First of all, this country is made up of ALL KINDS of religious traditions. And the stark and howling truth of the matter is that every religious tradition is made of up ALL KINDS of religious opinions.  Take best friends or twins or long married people, all pairs having membership in the same exact church, “believing” the same exact list of tenets.  Have each person draw a portrait of God: will those portraits look exactly the same?  No. Pretty sure they won’t.  Have those people explain in specific terms what is meant by keeping the Sabbath day holy.  Will that list of specifics be identical?  Betting not.

Truth is out there.  It’s just – we are guessing at what it is, all the time.  Reading scriptures and deciding what they mean – as many interpretations as there are eyes to read, and as many applications as there are times a single person reads the same words.  The same scripture changes with circumstance, health of the reader, world events, state of the marriage, level of loneliness or joy or love.  Somewhere at the center of What Is is a hard, immutable truth.  But I have never met any human being who has a handle on what that truth looks like.  Only opinions, guesses, interpretations, poetic romantical “shoulds” – and those colored highly by vested interests, desire and fear.

A president is supposed to steer a very heavy ship of state.  He’s suppose to uphold the body of law, the constitution, which – like it or not – was written from a base of Judeo-Christian values.  But he is NOT supposed to impose his own religious peculiarities on the law, the people, the airwaves, the fate of the planet.

All of that said, here is one supposed Christian coolly damning another Christ-based believer in a way that told me she had absolutely no understanding whatsoever of the beliefs subscribed to by the person she was damning.  What a mess of little cannibals we are.

What kind of religious person could we feel comfortable electing, then?  Someone who believes exactly the same thing we believe?  (Please refer to paragraphs above.)  Okay then, what kind of religious beliefs should disqualify a man who is thirty five years old, a natural citizen and a resident of the US for at least fourteen years?

Religious traditions that:

Are predisposed to send anybody who disagrees with them to hell?

Advocate the sacrifice or culinary consumption of children, virgins or any other human sorts?

Would strip citizenship protections from people whose diet is deemed sinful?

Administers disapproval by means of beheading?

Believes the punishment for sin should be instant death?

Believes rules and law are only for people who are different, and that life should be one long, exciting orgy for members of their own party?  Or has a secret agenda to throw over the rule of law and set up some Godly dictator who also gets to approve all publishing house new release lists?

Intends to override all law with the tenants of that faith, enforcing them by main force and punishing those who deviate with torture and death?  Ahhh.

 

So exactly what LDS beliefs does that “Christian” woman find dangerous and harmful to the country?

That LDS people believe in the reality of God?

That LDS people believe Christ is the Son of God?

That they read the Bible?

That all of their literature is based on the teachings of Christ?

That honesty, virtue, kindness, service, hard work are the way to joy and love and a lovely community?

That free choice is the centerpiece of mortal existence?

That the atonement of Christ is the door out of here and back home again?

That people should be responsible for their own actions?  Or that they can change their lives for the better?

That people should obey the law, and if they don’t like the law, seek to change it through the channels set up for that purpose?

 

Boy, I look at that list I just made, and I am frightened.  What a monster that Mit Romney must be.

I can see that there are people who would feel threatened by him because he is a good Christian – people who don’t love Christianity.  But even they have to understand that, by definition, a good Christian must be, by their own adherence to the teachings of Christ, the best neighbor and friend ever.  Not inclined to judge, but rather to help, heal, support, and listen with concern and sympathy.  Not likely to take what isn’t his, to treat others harshly, to harm in any way.  The problem is that too many people don’t actually live the tenents of their religions, whatever those may be.  They just wear the banner and the button and the hat and shoot their mouths off about things they don’t actually understand and assume that everybody but them is wrong.

Romney may be my choice and he might not.  The fact that he is LDS and that he has a reputation for trying very hard to live as a good man does influence me.  And I hear that Santorum (I don’t know his religion) also tries very hard to be a good man.  That influences me, also.  But I wouldn’t vote for either, regardless of religious affiliation, if the “good man” in their personal lives wasn’t there.

Some people have called Romney a flip-flopper because of the way he handled Massachusetts.  Too liberal with his health program and his apparent laisez-faire attitude toward homosexual marriage.  But here is what I think: I think that when a man is elected to office, he is not made head of religion.  I think he is elected to uphold and administer the law and to make sure that his constituents are safe, protected in their harmless pursuit of personal happiness, free to choose their own interpretation of the universe.  He is not elected to provide everything for everybody who wants something, nor is he made schoolmaster and micromanager of personal lives.

If people who are Jewish elect a Christian man, it is not because they want him to force them to live as Christians.  It’d be because they respect his respect for them.  Massachusetts is it’s own little world; the people there look at things a little differently than people look at things in Texas which sees things differently than Utah or even California, which sees things differently than almost anybody on the planet who does not surf.

The governor of a state, if he is being true to that office, has to serve the state that elected him, bringing out the best in it, but always with an eye to the rights of that group of voters who elected him.  Of all responsible citizens to make their own choices in life.  (Irresponsible ones who constantly do harm and have one hand on a hip and the other out for free stuff do not count.) He may be wiser than his constituents, and so try to shape the law to keep them safer and healthier than they’d keep themselves – but you have to be very, very careful with that kind of attitude.  Helping someone means that you have the wisdom to see who they are and to help them become the best form of the human brand they’ve chosen for themselves.  And to keep people from harming each other.  It doesn’t mean taking over a person’s life and telling her how to live it.

And what Mit did in Massachusetts seems good.  If the more conservative voices in the country think he should have said “NO,” to the adult citizens of the state, as though they were simply out of control children – well, that’s just wrong.  And if the liberal voices also think he should say “NO,” to conservative voices in that state – they’re just wrong.

I don’t know who I want to vote for.  But not for that idiot “Christian” woman, who frighteningly has just as much right to wield the power of a vote as I do (and I am aware enough of my own ignorance to look at my right to wield that power with terror).  And not for people who smirk and mock other people.  (I hate that democrat on Fox News after what he said about Rick Santorum – what a jerk. And it’s not like I am inclined to believe only good about Rick Santorum – I don’t even know the guy.)  And not for people who want to force me to dance to their tune, I don’t care what side of what fence they stand on.

Maybe not for any human being on the face of the earth.

But we have to have a government.  And the one we’ve got now (it’s full of idiots, judging from recent actions taken to “fix” things, all based on their failed past fixing strategies)? It  stinks.

Human governance is complex because humans are complex.  Government is stupid because humans are stupid.  And it’s dangerous because humans can be very, very dangerous.

I think it is very brave of free nations to have elections like this, and then to work with what they get the morning after, not showing up with armies, yelling, “WE TAKE IT BACK.”

So I guess you can’t get around politics.

But I can still hate them.

I have the right to.

 

This entry was posted in IMENHO (Evidently not humble), Just talk, mad and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to ~:: Political Howling ::~

  1. Rachel says:

    Well, I would add to this but you’ve said everything I feel so I’ll just sit my little butt down next to yours, point my snout at the moon, and howl along with ya! How’s that sound?? You did bring refreshments right??

  2. Donna says:

    Grrr. I just wrote a fairly intelligent response to this and it got gone somehow. I know I won’t get it quite right this time.
    You always impress me with how reasoned and logical you are even when you are mad. I just want to pitch a little fit and my words get jumbled about. I don’t miss having a tv hardly ever (maybe tonight when my Mountaineers are playing in the Orange Bowl…) but I am downright glad that I don’t have one during a political season and they seem to be coming closer and closer together.
    I just try to ferret out a good Godly man or woman who will enforce the laws with a bent toward Godliness. Harder and harder to find.
    Anyway, you are the most eloquent howler I know…
    Can Rachel do the harmony howl?

    • webmaster says:

      She can. We often harmonize. You want to be the third part, here? Close harmony is VERY satisfying. And we were rooting for your team – even not knowing they were yours. I ached for that kicker – and for that AMAZING catch before it. HE WAS DOWN, by the way. We could see it on the playback. Stupid guys in the booth. Wait – G just realized that he’d told me the wrong thing. It wasn’t your boys last night. Somebody else. We’ll have to see tonight, then, who I’m going to be mad at for a bad call –

  3. Dawn says:

    If I was in the same room as you right now, I’d give you a high five. ; ) Well said! I’ve never been to a caucus before. I consider myself an independent. It sure is an ugly process though, finding someone to nominate. I hate it too. Nobody should be judged, based on their stated religious alliance, because like you said, some just wear it as a badge. It’s how a person lives that really counts. I know, you know, that I fall into the “evangelical” camp, but for the record, I do not agree with idiotic statements like the one that lady made, and it does make me mad. Some of my favorite people just happen to be LDS. ; )

    • webmaster says:

      See? If some LDS person had been interviewed, identified by her religion, and said such an ignorant, prejudiced thing, I’d have found her and kicked her in the shins. The word, “evangelical,” is beautiful. I wish that only beautiful people like you were allowed to use it. I can just see the Lord sorta rolling his eyes and drooping a little when the people who should be representative of what he’s taught them act in exactly the opposite way. Sigh. I knew you’d be mad with me. But we’d have been very nice to her – after we kicked her in the shins.

  4. Donna says:

    Kristen, you will have to bring enough for me to judge, too. I couldn’t even tell you where the nearest Trader Joe’s is to me…I don’t believe I have ever been in one.
    Hey, to change the subject completely for a moment, I have to say that I am reading Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas (since I saw it on Rachel’s blog) and it reminds me of your writing.

    • webmaster says:

      Trader Joe’s is amazing. But half the store is liquor, so they don’t really want to come here. If they’d only stock tons of ice cream and jello, they’d make a killing here. The chocolate is FABULOUS. And the treats – amazing. And so hipster. I’ll have to take a look at that book – I’m reading for the first time in years -

  5. Donna says:

    And, RAchel, no scowling…perhaps meowling!

  6. Ginger says:

    Howling or fowling – you gals are a HOOT!

    Back to the actual post – it contains several bits of Kristen brilliance. I love your thought processes, but EVEN MORE I love the way you can capture things with words. For example, I’ve FELT the following sentiment, but I have never found a way to express it:

    “Have each person draw a portrait of God: will those portraits look exactly the same? No. Pretty sure they won’t.”

    So true and so well said.

    • webmaster says:

      Thank you, dear one. But you’re a little slanted on the Kristen side – thank heaven.

    • Rachel says:

      Yes! I loved that too Ginger! And how she pointed out that at different times in our lives, we pull different things from the scriptures. We can read a verse over and over and it can mean so many different things to us depending where we are at in our lives…… You can’t put that into an envelope, label it, and shove all of us in that envelope. We don’t fit!

  7. w-s w says:

    “Government is stupid because humans are stupid.” Ahh, that line screams out it’s truth at me. And makes me want to scream. Which would be the howling. But, cheek by jowl, I’m more apt to growl.

    Ever since I was a child, I was baffled by politics. Not the systems per se, but by the behaviour of politicians. So unprofessional. How can anyone have confidence in any candidate that focuses on tearing down and not building up? How can a government that is full of people who apparently know NOTHING of how to even run a meeting in a civil manner actually have the skills to run the nation?

    Our riding has a Member of Parliament who publicly says the most ridiculous things. It’s terribly embarrassing.

    • webmaster says:

      Our capitol city used to have this jack-whatever of a mayor who desperately wanted to drag us into the 21st century and show the world what great party people we actually were. He’d haul the press around to bars with him, and he’d make all these public statements that leaned so far to the left of his citizenry, the state nearly collapsed on its weak side. I finally wrote to the gov and said, “Ummm – I think you better pay attention here, because my out of state relatives think that ‘Rocky’ is actually the state governor, not just a city mayor.” And got a letter back that sounded pretty annoyed – not with me. My own feeling is that any man who wants to run for office should be instantly disqualified. And that people who actually work at jobs and have families should go hunting for an honest, straight ahead, organized mind of a man – and if they can find two, have an election. No money spent on campaigning. Just meetings at all the high schools where the guys talk to us and listen to what we think’s wrong. Maybe the election should be about priority of issues – how many people feel that education is the first problem? Gangs? Not enough police? Too many police? Let us vote for what we think is important. And whoever gets elected has to address those things and report to the voters regularly about the results of his efforts.

      “How can a government that is full of people who apparently know NOTHING of how to even run a meeting in a civil manner actually have the skills to run the nation?” OH, AMEN AND AMEN.

      • Donna says:

        I love the idea of politicians being “chosen” by the people because they have already demonstrated that they are strong and upright and intelligent and kind in their real life. And let’s don’t pay them anymore than say, a teacher! Same kind of professional skill set sort of now that I sort of think about it….guiding, molding, training to do without you, showing the way to success…hmmm.

        • webmaster says:

          Exactly. That’s exactly another thing I have always thought – these dudes should NOT BE PAID a cent more than their average constituent’s salary. They should have to live on that, and then they’d understand what it’s like to be us. If we were choosing them, the chances are they wouldn’t be from that small class of arguers of law. They’d be doctors or teachers or something else earthy and useful. But the cut in salary would certainly not be so attractive to the money guys. And there’d be absolutely NO retirement package – I mean really, serve four years and then live on more than most people make in a year for the rest of your life without having to do ANYTHING? Who made that up and why have we stood for it for so long?

          • w-s w says:

            Yes, solid people of good character being paid real wages. Representing real life. Which isn’t to say that people who are wealthy are not living a real life, just that, in many areas, it is not the norm. And policy and programs need to be grounded in the realities of the constituents. For example, and it’s just a small one – I won’t get into the social welfare programs – living in a rural area quickly reveals that most policy is formed by city folk. And it just doesn’t work.

            • webmaster says:

              Absolutely, and when voting districts are defined by politics instead of actual geographical area, often the reps are from the non-rural side of things. Perhaps even because the rural folks are working so hard, they don’t have time for games. I don’t think much legislation in the US is written or decided upon even by people with an education, participating in the middle class. I think it’s made by lawyers mostly – and people with the money to run. Which makes them utterly NON-REPRESENTATIVE of the working class. What, do we think they know better than we do what we should need? That’s definitely the attitude of the present administration.

  8. Kathy V says:

    I hate politics, too. I went to a caucus meeting once and it was dumb. Poorly attended and most who came who were reasonable people were too busy in their lives to take on the responsibility of delegate, so someone less qualified ended up as delegate.

    All well said.

    I have some chocolate dipped biscotti, which I think is from Trader Joes, still uneaten from Christmas. FYI.

  9. Emily says:

    I hate politics. Really I do. So I pretty much don’t pay them any mind. I know I should and that I should let my voice be heard (especially now that I live in a swing state) but it all just gives me one big headache. One day when I am bored maybe I’ll get into it all. Go you for letting your voice be heard!!

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