Thursday, May 08, 2008

Change and Hope. And Decency.

This has never happened to me before, this passionate interest in a political contest. Joe has been following it with a greater intensity than ever, too. There's always been a decided preference for one candidate over the other, but nothing like this. The other night, as we sat out on the deck after dinner, we tried to analyze what was at the root.

As I try -- admittedly awkwardly (how I wish I had Chez's confidence of phrasology!) -- to unpack this, I must begin by stating that I am not attempting to reiterate any Great Truths, to produce a Profound Analysis, or anything like that. I'm just wanting to sort and pinpoint my own impressions and feelings. Certainly there are other valid viewpoints. Supporters of other candidates could argue from their own positions, and their impressions, thoughts, and feelings would be just as true for them. Mrs. Clinton's and Mr. McCain's supporters surely recognize attributes in them that don't resonate for me.

It has to do with two keywords from Barack Obama's campaign: Change and hope.

It has been so long since I have felt respect for the individual holding the highest office in our land.

A few weeks ago we watched the movie "Bobby," and we remembered anew the excitement and hope we had felt about his candidacy. Bobby represented change and hope. We felt we could see a basic, underlying decency in this man. And we wanted that in the White House. We were denied that opportunity.

Over the many subsequent years, we began to believe that we'd not have another. We'd come to think it was a once in a lifetime phenomenon. We endured wars, recessions, inequitable taxation, and philandering at the hands of our elected leaders. We believed another Bobby would never come along.

But he did, and we really believe this is our last opportunity. Twice in a lifetime was unlikely. Thrice is unimaginable.

Change and hope. Decency. A possibility that through this leader, our country could once again earn the respect of other nations.

In a way, it is sad that this is what it comes down to: Decency. It should be a given that anyone who would aspire to the presidency and did not have the right character would be eliminated early on; that both of the final candidates would be decent, honorable people.

A colleague who is a Hillary supporter said to me sadly yesterday, "She's a good woman." Another friend believes to his very core that John McCain has the qualities that we need now. I am glad that they feel that way; there remains the possibility that come next November I might have to ask one of them to help me understand these admirable traits that they perceive in their candidates. And, if it comes to that, I will ask them. I so need to feel good about our leader.

But right now I'm feeling very, very good about my candidate. The one who -- to me -- represents consistency and trustworthiness. Opportunity. Hope and change. And decency.

7 comments:

Loretta said...

I'm with you, Nance!

The world is looking a little different after Tuesday...I'm feeling--dare I say it--hopeful!

YES WE CAN!

xo Megan, aka Loretta True (ask me about my alter ego sometime)

P.S. an after-thought said...

You feel like I WANT to feel. I just don't put too much faith or trust in one person to do the job. And part of me thinks that any person who thinks he/she can do the job must be a little, well, nuts or something. I do hope we get a pres who has good moral values and thinks things through in a complex way.

Our current OCCUPANT thinks that he is a good person, and maybe in small ways he is. But there was too much trust put in him by some people 8 years ago and he didn't have the background to really do the job. He doesn't question enough. He puts principle above experience and evidence.

I posted a link on the top right on my blog to an editorial about asking candidates about their religion. The author basically asks questions about can you believe ___ and do ___?

Yes we need change, but I'm not sure any candidate would have the guts to say what really needs to be changed: our people humbling themselves and not soaking up so much of the world's goods and lording it over much of the world. Both Obama and Hillary live large, large houses, based on the income from books they wrote. I'm not sure that they get it that that is out of line with the world and Jesus' message of justice. But both of them at least have been out to various parts of the world. But there still is too much pandering to the electorate.

Yes, we need change, but I want to know what will be changed and in what direction and how they will do it.

Karen Dianne Lee said...

I wanted you to know I read this. I was here. I can't get your post out of my mind. I admire the fact that you're giving voice to this!

Rising Up for C,H and D Love, *karendianne.

Tanya said...

Thank you for expressing your opinion. I'm afraid being overseas leaves me feeling left out of the US elections and since the media is always biased (actually they just don't like anybody) I am somewhat in the dark.

debijeanm said...

Decency. Thank you for giving me the word. Obama has had the decency not to get down into the muck and I hope he will continue to take the highroad. I still think Hillary would be a good president but is showing her lack of integrity more each state. I was a fan of McCain (although I would not have voted for him) until it became obvious that the Bush puppetmasters had gotten their hands up... well, had taken control.

As always, Nancy, your thoughtful blog gives me something to think about AND something to hold onto.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
P.S. an after-thought said...

I'm sorry you've had to put up with the anom comments. I hope there is a setting for excluding anom comments. Well, I guess that is a taste of what it is like to be a minority.