Where to draw the line

I’ve been contemplating this blog post for a couple weeks. I’m not a political writer and can honestly say I’ve been luke-cold for far too many years. I’ve never committed to one political party. I try to see the good in everyone and refuse to make a god out of anyone. A democracy should not be about domination and polorized views. By the people and for the people, right? How crazy to think a country could and should run itself with equality. As with all good things, greed and power eventually corrupt that which could have been great. 

I’m a liberal conservative and a conservative liberal– the role of moderate. I try to listen to both sides in various forms of media– print, tv news, radio, the polorized views of social media. Satiriacal news seems to be the most reliable.  Frankly, both sides can be nauseating, especially on matters that affect your life and those around you in a more deep and personal way. 

I feel my perspective is a bit unique. The last two years I have lived a life that put me smack dab in the crosshairs of vastly different viewpoints. On an economic level, we found ourselves in the middle-class poor. My job loss brought a full gambit of situations that provided both new perspective and a fervor I had never known. I wish I could write these experiences out to share the vantage I’ve been silently living out. The reality of this middle ground might provide a much needed awakening for our polorized, opinionated world. 

I look at this season from the perspective of a woman who just sent her only child off to college, with a self-employed “baby-boomer” husband old enough to retire but unprepared to do so. I’ve been downsized twice from an industry that’s either suffering from growing pains or dying a slow, painful death. 

I am a small town girl who moved to the city. I was raised by a mother who was widowed at the age I am now when I , her youngest of seven, was just nine years old. I am married to a man who was the oldest of his three siblings in a classic suburban life. His mom was college educated– graduated with high honors then stayed home to raise her children and care for their home. Her husband retired at age 65 having worked for just one company– Yes, his entire career. Both our parents served in WWII.

Do you see how different perspective can be, just in our family? Imagine breaking that bubble to do life with diverse people groups in our community. Then going beyond my comfort zone and beyond our borders to see life as more than a tourist. I’ve had my listening ears tuned in and have heard a lot.

I’ve decided to break my personal silence because I realize someone may care to hear a new angle. I’ve been encouraged to hear new perspectives emerging in the eleventh hour of this disgraceful election. Yet many still see this as black and white; red and blue. 

Two weeks ago, the news struck me in a way that I never would have imagined. Two things were happening simultaneously that seem superficially disconnected but they rocked my world. My husband and I were celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary and the media was stirring about Donald’s controversial groping philosophy. Our anniversary always puts me in a reflective place of appreciation for the grace that kept us from divorcing seven years into our matrimonial agreement. This year was a bit different…

A picture of the two of us surfaced on social media. It was taken about a year before we finally started our family. Comments were shared about our appearance– our youth and an image of me I had forgotten. My face was thinner with the glow of a fake tan. My thick hair was long, layered and highlighted– classic of the early 90’s. My more recent acquaintances were surprised by the old me. What I saw was less of a beautiful woman– I saw the woman who was vulnerable in her workplace. I saw the face of my husband who appreciated other men looking favorably on his “trophy”. He was clueless to the situation I was exposed to in my workplace. It takes two to tango. My insecure self had no clue what I was into until it was too far gone. For many years I carried the shame of bringing my situation on myself. Two weeks ago, I relived that season but felt my hurt differently. I heard the voice of a man confessing his ability to use his power inappropriately. Rather than feeling completely responsible for my actions as I had for many years, I realized I had been a victim. Like “The Donald”, my aggressor also had a fake tan, bad hair, a crisp white shirt, and a fat wallet. He also was quite “handy”. Why was I so foolish to not draw the line? 

This is where the stories intersect. I realized two weeks ago, I couldn’t draw the line. I would not be able to cast my vote for either of the candidates chosen by the dominating political parties. In the same media coverage of the newly released conversation, counter attacks were launched about the scandals of Bill Clinton. The words “Bimbo” and “flooszy” cut deep. This became intensely personal. The momma bear that has tried to raise a daughter with self-confidence to avoid the hurtful situations I experienced was poked. 

Never poke a bear… especially a momma bear. 

The last two weeks I’ve studied politics like never before. I love the upcoming generation. It isn’t hopeless. There are incredibly compassionate voices that need to be heard. Thank God they don’t think the way we have or we’ll be trying to treat symptoms of new virus’ with outdated medicine. Fighting new wars with antiquated weaponry. 

Unfortunately, many of the next generation arent fully comprehending how their new thinking can positively impact the world. Rather than waiting through another term or two from either of the two candidates that appear to be our only choices, I am hopeful new ideas will come quickly. An open-minded person will soon learn complete freedom and liberties are deceptive. The power struggle that is dominating this election could further polarize our nation if we don’t recalibrate our political system. 

I hope the upcoming generation and my middle aged generation will educate themselves to cast a meaningful vote. Sadly, many of our generations are not going to vote at all because–

A. They don’t think the popular vote matters. 

B. They would rather take a sharp stick in their eye than cast a ballot for either candidate that is being slated as our two choices– take it or leave it. The lesser of two evils. 

Some fear the Ross Perot situation from the 1992 election. By and large, Perot siphoned votes from both George HW Bush and Bill Clinton. 

“Exit polls also showed that Ross Perot drew 38% of his vote from Bush, and 38% of his vote from Clinton, while the rest of his voters would have stayed home had he not been on the ballot.”

I’m writing to inspire those who might stay home or those who plan to vote the way someone is advising them to (parents, pastors, coworkers, friends, celebrities).

BE DIFFERENT. This election sucked the life out of America and I have reason to believe neither candidate is right for us at this time. I normally would keep my opinion to myself. However, there are too many moderates doing this very thing. My gender, race, or ‘religion’ could put me into either stereotypical pigeon hole. My evangelical efforts here and abroad likely have many assuming a conservative alignment. I can’t cast a vote for him, even if those around him are reputable. I’m “trumping” this theory and asking others to consider it as well. Did this campaign bewilder you? Force you into apathy?

Don’t stop caring! 

Care more.

Draw a line. 

I attended a lecture at my daughter’s college today. While I respect the wisdom of the communications and political science professors that presented, I couldn’t help but feel inspired to believe more strongly what I feel in my heart– this could be a game-changing election in an unpredictable way. 

What if neither Don or Hill win?

That statement likely ruffled the feathers of many well-educated folks. But what if??

What if enough people, numbed by this election, rocked the vote?

Since Ross Perot, third party candidates have started gaining electoral votes. Historically, two Presidents have been put into office as Independents. What if neither republican or democratic candidate in the current election earned enough electoral votes to win?? I would like to see both egos deflated. The struggle for power is playing out like Hunger Games. Those of us living life in “the districts”– what will our futures be?

No matter your age, you can shake this thing up by showing up to vote with radical, yet intelligent and compassionate viewpoints. Don’t vote solely based on your race, gender, ethnicity, or who you would rather look at for the next four to eight years. Don’t vote hoping the vice presidential nominee will somehow balance out the crazy in the highest office. 

Know where to draw the line. 

Faith is believing in what cannot be seen. How does my faith factor into this election? I have a high respect for the office of the president but the God I believe in has more power and perspective than any human being. 

The God of Christianity is sovereign. Bad things do happen to good people. Bad people happen to good things when they have no accountability. No matter who holds the powerful titles, the things of this world will one day pass away. We may be at the dawn of a day when liberty silences many. We will be free from religion but know oppression far greater than we ever could imagine.

Who will be Lord of the Flies?  

My Dear Wormwood, 
Be sure that the patient remains completely fixated on politics. Arguments, political gossip, and obsessing on the faults of people they have never met serves as an excellent distraction from advancing in personal virtue, character, and the things the patient can control. Make sure to keep the patient in a constant state of angst, frustration and general disdain towards the rest of the human race in order to avoid any kind of charity or inner peace from further developing. Ensure that the patient continues to believe that the problem is “out there” in the “broken system” rather than recognizing there is a problem with himself. 

Keep up the good work, 
Uncle Screwtape 

(CS Lewis, 1942)

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