Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Stretching

I can't even believe I am about to talk about this here.

Today is voting day in Texas.

And my stomach is in knots.

My husband says it is no big deal because it is just the primary, but in my quest to take on more serious endeavors in my life, I think it is about time I made what I believe in a big deal.

Here I go.

I know, and feel strongly, about what I believe in generally.

I get nervous when trying to decipher and understand what "they" believe generally, AND more importantly, what "they" are going to do specifically about what "they" believe in generally.

So, I am going to talk out loud for a moment here. I am going to name names, but just so you will better understand my thought process. I would say so you could lend your insight, but that scares me on a whole other level. I am in no position, mentally or physically, to monitor political discussions at this location. So, while I welcome your thoughts, be ever so kind as you do so!

Let's rewind for a moment.

As a young person, I took on and many times embraced, the thoughts and beliefs of my parents and other mentoring adults in my life (grandparents, etc), in terms of religion, politics, general values. As I became a young adult, I retained those beliefs and feelings about certain things as I began to stretch my independent thinking skills at the same time. Over the last 10 years, I have probably experienced the most stretching as I really tried to discover why I believe what I believe. Not my values so much because I felt pretty good about them, but my political and spiritual views for sure. I think I was surprised at what a painful process it could be. Many times, it means letting go. Not of the people that did their best to nurture and teach you, but of their views and beliefs that you took on as your own without question.

I think I made it through the spiritual re-discovery in one piece. My beginning beliefs were well-rooted. I just had to make them my own.

Political re-discovery has been a whole different ballgame! For too long, I was just surface political. I knew what I had grown up with and I know where I stood now, but I have never really taken the time I should to really dig deep and know why I stand here. I will be plainly honest here-it just can be so darn confusing! And truthfully, I do know enough to know that there are so many things intertwined that make up our political/government system, that it is never just one person, one policy, one agency, one need, one solution. It just isn't that way. But that is what makes my head spin a bit trying to figure it all out.

So, here I am today! I am making my voice heard today. I will make it heard again in November. In between, well, I will just pray. Not just for the right one person, but for the right whole bunch of people that will work together to make good things happen.

And because I don't feel out on a limb enough here :), I am going to get a bit more specific. Yikes!

Obama- He seems like a nice, well-intentioned person. I am sure he has great vision and great ideas. I have viewed where he stands generally on issues, as I have with all the others. He and I could probably get along on some things, but I just don't feel we stand close enough on most things to say he is the one for me. And just honestly, I am a little concerned that he has this media frenzy behind him that is causing more people to choose him than he merits...and they don't even know why!

Clinton- Well, it hurts to even type her name. I am all for strong women and I would love to see the right woman as president some day, but she.is.not.that.woman! I don't believe her, don't trust her. I think her history of skeptical involvements is long and her past actions leave me wary (ok, plain scared!) of having her be the one to shape my family's future.

McCain- I don't know, I just don't know. Like the others, I searched and looked over his stance in general on the issues. We do stand close together on several issues. He obviously has a long history of experience. I don't think I would be displeased with him in general should he be elected. I guess I would just really hope he keeps a good balance of people around him to help him do the job.

Huckabee- As with the others, I have seen his views on the issues. Although he is an experienced leader, I am not sure he has the same type of experience as the others in several areas. My hope would be that he would surround himself with the best of the best to lead this country effectively. The thing is I trust him. In the ways it counts the most (to me), I have peace about him. I have peace that he would not only make decisions based on facts, but on the same foundational beliefs that I hold as well. I am making my vote count for him today.

I don't have all the answers here. Heck, I don't even have some of the answers! But I will keep moving forward in the direction of learning more and discovering more about why I believe what I believe. I am a political issues babe who is still using the training wheels, but at least I am the one doing the peddling now!

Now for someone who has worked on this pondering stuff a bit longer than me! I leave you with thoughts from my friend Andrew. We may not make the same decisions when it comes to this political stuff, but I really appreciated how he shared his thoughts today!

Stacey

11 comments:

The Carpenter said...

Very well said my friend. You are tapping into the good life. I see it in your posts.

Thanks for the props.

Andrew

Kimmy said...

Well, as I don't know a whole lot about American politics, I can't give any insight whatsoever. But what I can tell you is that you are doing the right thing by pondering the who, what, why, etc. of this important decision. Speaking to Canadian politics, too many people don't do their research and then when it comes time to vote, they either don't vote or vote based on media pressure. I liked this post. I learned something about your grand country. Thanks.

Jenna said...

We are so much alike in this area that it is scaring me ;) My boys keep asking who I am going to vote for, and I honestly do not know. There are 2 canidates that I would consider, and there are things that I like and don't like about both of them. The agony!!

K in the Mirror said...

I could have written this post, except not so eloquently. I feel exactly the same way, about all of it, down to the questioning and also how I feel about each candidate.

It's a lot harder than one would think for some people. I have friends (and a husband) who scoff at me for not knowing exactly what I think about politics. I just want to look at EVERYTHING, and there's no candidate who feels like I do about everything.

Someone Being Me said...

Its a tough call. I feel particularly vunerable talking on my blog about it because I am a conservative. Most of my readers are die hard Obama or Clinton people and I have to bite my tongue. Hard. I voted for Huckabee in the early elections last week. He is still not conservative enough for me but hearing him talk about his tax plans, abortion, and immigration made me feel much better about voting for him.

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willblogforshoes said...

You, my dear, are a brave woman! I could never in a bazillion years blog about my political thoughts. Then again, I can't say that I'm as well versed as you. I 100% mirror your feelings on Obama and Clinton. Personally, I'm hoping for a McCain/Huckabee Republican ticket. Huckabee gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, but I don't know that he has the experience yet. So, I say, give him 4-8 years as VP and he'll be all ready for the big job!

Ok, that's about way more than I'm comfortable putting out there. Hopefully, the trolls won't bombard my blog with hate comments. And if they do, maybe they'll at least take the time to vote on Li'l Bit.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Awesome post, Stacey! I totally get where you are coming from on the stretching thing. Very well-said.

Jennifer said...

It doesn't look like you need any bloggy love here, my friend... you have a good and kind group of readers, it seems.

I'm so not politically minded, so I'll start by apologizing for that! I would say I'm definitely jaded... I mean, by the time they get to this place (pres. nominee) I fear they have played the game too long and scratched way too many backs, no matter who they are. And on the campaign trail, they can say whatever the heck they want, can't they? I mean, it's not illegal. Politics is a dirty game and most players are not above lying. The media can't be trusted, either, and it's all just a shame. Now, don't I sound cheery and hopeful? :)

I like Huckabee the most because of his stand on homeschooling, small government, taxes, and the fact that he's a REAL Christian, at least as far as I can tell. (these days everyone seems to think they are a Christian, don't they? I think we need to come up with a better definition here...!)

He strikes me as pretty genuine, but like I said, I'm still jaded. Feel sorry for me, please!

I do read World Magazine, does that count? -and I listen a lot to what my husband says. And overarching all of this, I know for a fact that God turns the hearts of kings wheresover He wills and I do not fear what this man (or woman!) can do to me. I mean, hey, we survived 8 years of Bill Clinton, didn't we? There can't be much worse, really, as far as presidents go!
Ahem, in my humble opinion. :) And God works all things together for the good, after all.

I agree with your opinions on Hilary. Shivers. O'bama scares me because Oprah likes him. Double shivers. McCain needs a good running mate - he's pretty old, that guy! And he's so very moderate. But I do like that he has his own opinions and doesn't feel the need to always go along with the crowd, I guess. If only we could channel that power for the good...! :)

You know what I'd love? A breath of fresh air - someone who will just SAY what they mean and hang it all, you know? No apologies. I wonder what would happen then?
I want someone actively pro-life and pro-family, someone who wants to give back some power to the parents and to the states, who will get rid of income taxes and the IRS. I'm not asking much, really, am I? ;) And so, you see why my ears are not perked at the moment.

I'm convinced that my efforts right now are best directed towards home and community, training the hearts of my children, investing in the families in our church and their children, praying that God will begin HERE making a solid, spreading kind of change that will be foundational in the future. I guess you could say I'm a "bottom up" kinda girl, willing to wait for the top man to be the icing on the cake rather than the whole enchilada.

No, I don't hope in politics much, it seems to sap more energy than it's worth for most churches today. We have so much to be working on locally within the Body of believers, but it's easier sometimes to focus on the "big and exciting" world of politics and elections and such because it's outside of ourselves, and the inside is always dicier. But I am obviously in the minority on this one, so feel free to disagree.

Let me hasten to add that I do NOT interpret your post as such!!! I see you working through the thought processes just like I do, in as balanced a way as possible, and coming to some interesting conclusions of your own. That's great! You're very brave for posting them, too. I agree with much of what you said here. I guess we'll just watch and wait... and pray for wisdom and perserverence.

Great discussion! Thanks for sharing. Keep learning and growing - and filling us all in on it, too. :) It's a helpful kick in the pants!

Jen

gail said...

You're right on, Stacey!

Jennifer said...

You are much braver than I am! I have the same viewpoints, but have a difficult time putting them into words. I told my husband that I know God is in control, and I have to trust Him to take care of us no matter what happens. But I am human and the thought of Clinton or Obama in office really scares me. I just wonder what on earth is going to happen to this country if they are in "charge". Shivers for sure! You said things very well - I agree with you totally. I was very happy that Huckabee took our state. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like enough.