My last post generated quite a bit of interest, and a modicum of criticism. In accordance with the policies in my House Rules, I posted those that presented logical discourse and debate. The one who had nothing to contribute but name-calling and anti-Semitic rhetoric got the attention he deserves: none.
It was, however, the criticism from much closer to home that stung me. I was told to my face (by someone who is NOT voting for Obama) that my post was shallow and descended into character assassination. That hurt. I wrote my post as a cautionary tale (in the spirit of my teaching philosophy derived from George Satanyana’s “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it”) in order to get my 1.4 daily readers to understand that his/her duty as an American citizen is to go into the polls an informed voter. Don’t choose one candidate over the other because of something that happened decades ago, or because of an accident of birth, or because of who he chose as a wife, or because of what his kids did (or didn’t do).
Think about your values–what is important to you? What to you is worth defending? Worth dying for? Worth preserving for your children, and for generations after that? What is it you want people to think when they hear the words “United States of America”? Once you’ve figured out what your values are, research the candidates. Look not only at friendly sources, but unfriendly ones as well. Get the view from all sides, because I guarantee you, there is no such thing as objectivity in media. There was for one brief, shining moment in the mid-20th century–Edward R. Murrow led the way, but in less than five years after Murrow’s death, even Uncle Walter was showing his true colors of bias.
What matters to me?
The Constitution I swore to give my life for when I joined the service back in 1985. Even though the Air Force released me from that oath when I received my Honorable Discharge in 1993, I still feel bound by it. I still will, if necessary, die to defend it. The ENTIRE Constitution–the Preamble (which, thanks to Schoolhouse Rock as a kid, I have completely memorized), all seven articles, and all 27 amendments, ESPECIALLY the first ten. I’m going with the candidate whose stated positions are more in line with mine regarding a strict interpretation of the Constitution. Point to McCain, but only because his view is ever-so-slightly stricter than Obama’s on the Constitution.
That includes the First Amendment, which I spent three months studying as a senior in college, under the instruction of one of the foremost scholars of 1st Amendment law in the country, Dr. William Lee at the University of Georgia. The 1st Amendment states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. [Emphasis mine]
Note that the Amendment guarantees freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. Sorry, ACLU, you’re dead wrong! Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Wahhabists have as their stated goal the deaths of all who do not worship their way. Sorry, pal, but that ain’t the American way. If I die for my faith, I fully intend to take as many of my murderers with me as I possibly can. I’m willing to let God sort it out–are they?
Which leads me to the Second Amendment. The founding fathers learned their lesson when the British government seized their guns at the first opportunity. They specifically wrote the Second Amendment to prevent that from happening again. I AM the NRA, and I DO vote. I’ll be damned if I drop the ball on my watch. Point to McCain.
Twice already, I have mentioned dying for what I believe in. That’s my choice. “Choice” is NOT forcing an innocent to die for one’s own misfortune or stupidity. Abortion is cold-blooded, pre-meditated murder, period. Even in the case of rape or incest–there has already been one innocent victim, why must there be two? Castrate the bastard who did it, and take care of the pre-natal needs of both innocent victims: mother and baby. When we were first married, my husband and I sat down and had a serious talk about the Right to Life (which was called “Inalienable” by that Patron Saint of Liberalism, Thomas Jefferson). We both were in total agreement that if, God forbid, I were ever to be raped and become pregnant as a result, that we could not punish an innocent baby for the circumstances of his conception. Neither one of us knew if we could raise this child in our own family (and so far, thank God, we have never had to make this decision), but there are SO many good families out there aching for a child to call their own. One of my very best friends and her husband just recently gave up on their quest to adopt after 16 years on the waiting list. It was heart-wrenching to see her go through the process of giving up a dream. Neither Presidential candidate satisfies me on this issue. Point to Sarah Palin.
Obama made a point of saying at one of his myriad rallies that “All sexuality is sacred.” Bullmalarkey. Does that include rape? Pedophilia? Incest? Beastiality? When it comes to homosexuality, call me a realist. I know it has gone on since long before recorded history. It will continue to go on long after I’m cold in the ground (did I ever mention before I don’t want to be cremated? I don’t, but not for any religious reasons. The “why” will have to be a Tale for Another Day). We can make laws against it (and adultery, and premarital sex) until the Second Coming, but it won’t matter a hill of beans to what goes on between two consenting adults in the privacy of their own bedroom. (On the other hand, I’m all for laws against sexual activity when at least one party does NOT give consent, or is not an adult). HOWEVER, what you do in the privacy of your bedroom needs to be just that–private and in your bedroom. Don’t parade it in front of me or my kids, don’t flaunt it, and DON’T make a mockery of a Holy Sacrament instituted by God the Father Almighty by calling what you do “marriage.” John McCain is on record as supporting the Sanctity of Marriage Acts spreading among the states like a healing salve. Yes, I know all about the fiasco of his first marriage and transition to his second. I’m not happy with it, but I’m much less happy about what Obama has said and done. Point to McCain.
I believe that a stronger America is a safer America. September 11, 2001 marked the first time in 189 years that a foreign power committed an act of aggression on the American homeland (Hawaii and the Aleutians were merely territories when the Japanese attacked in WWII). On the morning of September 12, 2001, I bought a red, white, and blue cloth bracelet bearing the slogan “God Bless America” that was being sold as a fundraiser that week by the school where I taught at the time. Sales had been slow before 9/11; afterward they couldn’t keep them in stock. It’s still on my wrist, just above my watch. I remove it only for sleeping and washing. It’s a constant reminder of what can happen if we let our guard down for just one moment. I like Theodore Roosevelt’s philosophy of diplomacy: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” His “big stick” was the Great White Fleet. Ours is the ultimate “wack-bonk” stick: we hit (“wack”); they fall (“bonk”). [Hey, Instinct, did we agree on 5 or 6 cents per click royalty for the use of your Registered Trademark? I forget.] Obama wants to meet the most insidious America-hater on the planet, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, without conditions. He hobnobs with Hamas. He wants to abandon all we have worked for in Iraq and Afghanistan, making the deaths of our servicemen valueless and their beliefs (and those of the rest of us veterans) meaningless. I’ll throw in my lot with the man who has been on the receiving end of the “tender mercies” of America’s enemies. I want my country represented by a pit bull, not a pansy. Red, White, and Blue point to McCain.
There’s my two cents and a bit more. Vote your conscience and vote for the future of America. But above all, vote.
Margo Channing, the Broadway superstar in the classic 1951 film All About Eve portrayed so brilliantly by Bette Davis, said it best: “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” Make that a bumpy fortnight.