Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bush and Capernwray

Is the only thing worth talking about politics these days? Well, no, as I was reminded by two dear apolitical friends in the past week. And yet, I sit down to write this new blog entry about politics, again (I'm sorry). As the Americans approach a historic decision, I sit and watch with unpardonable interest. I feel the guilt one feels after showing interest against ones will in the headlines that greet you in the grocery store aisle. "Angelina: she cheated on him! Jamie Lynn Spears, pregnant again!" - it is terrible to be temporarily entertained by such voyeuristic filth, and why are these people worth caring about? Because they are arguably talented? I wish I didn't care to sneak a peek at the American election. After all, both candidates will manipulate facts to make their opponent look bad, they will both capitalize on insignificant circumstantial flaws to draw broad conclusions about the others capacities. If elected, both would produce similar policies, they will both break promises, to deal with the unavoidable recession. They would both disappoint us. They will both fail the international community. But I think one thing that gives me some closure is that President Bush is universally put down, loathed and considered a handicap to the Republican campaign. It is a pejorative, to be said to be "the same as Bush" ... finally, this view enters the public domain! Eight years too late, and that is the tragedy. And my evil mind rejoices, because I will never forget November 2004, when one of our guest lectures at Capernwray, in England, asked the auditorium of 170 people, 100 of whom were American, "How many are voting for Kerry?" and NO ONE raised their hand. I think he then asked the students of other nationalities to raise their hands if they WOULD vote for Kerry if they could, and there were dozens of arms in the air. And I remember seeing the American's mail-in ballots arriving in our little cubby holes, and the temptation to destroy their irresponsible choices was enormous. I fought with people during that month, verbal sparring. I held my tongue an equal amount, but it killed. Obviously, my debates always ended with me being hurt because there were just so many of them, they were bound to exhaust me and overpower me. Election day I barely left my room. People were gloating, gloating... "Bush won" ... it was too terrible. I was depressed for a week afterwards. Maybe two weeks. It was my darkest week at that school. I couldn't believe that the world was in for four more years. I was unconsolable. But NOW! Now I feel much better. And I wonder how many of those that were smug after Bush's win are voting for Obama this year? I wonder, because it would just make me feel so vindicated if they were. Acknowledging ... "we were wrong" ... if Obama wins, does that rescue Americans, in our mind? Should we forgive them?


Timothy or Lillian said...

I must also confess that even though I really dislike CNN's view of the world i too have been staying up too late, too many nights going from video story to video story on that web site. I feel dirtied by it all at times- the deceit and hypocrisy, particularily in the McCain team but also contaminating the Obama campaign. In spite of that it is still compelling. (maybe even because of it?) I too am dissapointed in myself for being so interested.

Polythene Pam said...

You got one thing wrong. One person raised their hand to say they voted for Kerry. I was that one person. Although the truth is, I was stretching the truth because my absentee ballot didn't come through. But SOMEBODY had to raise their hand, and since I would have voted for him, I decided I'd better fib a little in that case.

I just spent a few days with a VERY conservative short term missions team from So Cal. My blood got boiling more than once, and it killed me to hold my tounge too. I can imagine that was a trying couple of weeks for you. I really don't get it with North American evangelicals. And it really makes me sad. But yeah, as you say, there is reason to be feeling more hopeful these days!

Béthany said...

Those weeks are branded on my brain, and I seem to recall having a conversation about you being conflicted between Bush and Kerry: your indecision was about their abortion policies, I believe.