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Thursday, October 09, 2008

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Through the Glass Darkly

I don't write much in the way of opinion on politics or religion here. Partly because I have a sick need for everyone to like me (OR EVERYBODY DIES). And partly because we live in a time of such polarity, a stated opinion tends to assign people to one camp or the other, and I think my humanity and yours transcends that. I want people with many points of view to always feel welcome here. God forbid I should ever occupy a space, on or offline, where my only discourse is with people who think and believe as I do. Don't even get me started on Olberman, Kos, Fox News or "Christian" talk radio.

But believe me, I do have opinions. And in my opinion, if Jesus of Galilee were to run for office in this election, Sarah Palin would be standing at the podium with a hammer in one hand and a box of nails in the other, ranting about every traitorous tax collector, radical and prostitute he ever broke bread with.

(No, I'm not comparing Barack Obama to Jesus. In such a vacuum of leadership, both sides need to be on guard against messianic craving. I just think people who live by the sword of religious self-righteousness should be prepared to fall on it.)

Earlier in the primaries, I took comfort in believing that even my personal worst case scenario, a McCain presidency, would be okay. I don't believe that anymore. I believe Senator McCain crossed over to the dark side of ambition and power when he chose his running mate. Every new, desperate day of his waning campaign only deepens my disappointment, and strengthens my conviction that Barack Obama is the man for this precipitous moment in the history of this great country, a country that is a little more than two hundred years old, an adolescent in the life of nations.

America, it's time to lose the swagger, and come of age. Barack Obama is not and can never be, the end-all, be-all. But in him, I believe we have both the substance and the symbol to bring us — a moment late, a little breathless, but finally — into the new millennium.

I sat in my car yesterday, listening to undecided voters on the radio voice their fears about Obama. So much fear. Fear of retribution for the racial sins of the nation. Fear of losing a foothold on the middle class. Fear of annihilation. Fear of everything new, uncertain and unknown. I was literally moved to tears. My mothering heart went out to these frightened people. I wished I could sit with them and tell them all I have learned — and have had to learn over and over —about making decisions from a place of fear. What a dark and shrinking place it is from which to live, how once you consign your world view to that small and airless room, you find all the windows face out to your worst fears.

I think Sarah Palin and John McCain are trying to herd as many people into that bunker as possible. And I'm still not going to tell anyone how they must vote. But please don't cast your ballot—for anyone—from in there.

Labels:

18 Comments:

Blogger She She said...

Wonderful. Just wonderful. And you said it with such kindness, which is something that's missing from our discourse these days.

Looking forward to November 5th, whatever happens.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Hi Kyran,

I'm sure you've heard of this recent study?
http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2008/918/2

It seems there may be a physiological basis for what you are describing!

And for the record, I agree with your observations about the "new" McCain 1000%(sigh).

1:20 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

"...I think my humanity and yours transcends that."

What a lovely compliment. Thank you.

Great post.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Harper said...

Well said... and much nicer than the way I put it the other day.

1:53 PM  
Blogger BarbaraCA said...

The further this election devolves, the more I lose hope for about about people. How did two camps, with different ideas about how to run and fix things, become so violently an "us v. them?" It's vitrolic, and I agree, McCain, for whom I was never overly fond, as a Democrat (but, like you, was going to be okay with him in charge), now has me horrifed, and thinking of them as "them" as never before.

2:39 PM  
Blogger The Other Laura said...

Well said!!

4:46 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Really. What became of McCain? He now embodies all that he once repudiated. As a Christian, I know I'm supposed to love "Sarah!" and God knows I'm trying. But if I hear her call herself and McCain "a coupla Mavericks" one more time, well, I'm gonna have a lot of penance to do (and I'm a Protestant!).

6:36 PM  
Blogger unique_stephen said...

Nice post.

Now is that a K. Dick reference in the title?

6:53 PM  
Blogger zdoodlebub said...

Well said. There's a Christian radio song that within contains the question (I paraphrase), "Would Jesus be allowed in our church or would he be turned away because he might bleed on the carpet?"

I wish they thought our intelligence transcended some of the stunts they are pulling lately.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Perfect. A template for speaking one's mind with compassion and empathy.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Busymomma66 said...

You go girl!!

10:37 AM  
Blogger Melinda said...

I wonder how you managed to speak so clearly from my heart, not even knowing me. But I'm glad you did.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Kristy said...

Perfectly said. I felt the very same way about McCain. Now I watch the way he's behaving - under his $5,000 a day makeup ... trying to be something that I don't believe he is in the first place. It's sad really.

I wish that there could be a debate without all the mudslinging ... or maybe have them both over for dinner without a camera crew to just talk and say, "come on guys ... ditch the BS already".

12:44 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

I was just thinking about emailing you and asking for your thoughts...then I checked my reader and here it was. It seems like everyone has forgotten that ultimately we are in this together. And I just can't understand why M/P are herding the hatred into their bunker. Why are they silent while hatred spews right in front of them? It is so upsetting, from a human, not political point of view. And all the around the world, people are watching and asking what has happened to America? America was always conservative yes, but THIS hateful and divided and economically and politically challenged? I had no idea. So, I just sit here and hope for the best I guess...

2:50 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

... so thoughtful, articulate and right-on, particularly in your analysis of the "fear bunker." You are preaching to the choir (over here), and this choir is singing your chorus! Thanks so much for this blog, K. It truly nourishes me - mind and soul. It is my favorite thing to share with women who haven't discovered it (or you!) yet. Much love to you. Bon weekend! Barack on!

(p.s. this is my first-ever comment, woo hoo!)

3:49 PM  
Blogger ya ya's mom said...

wow! i found your blog via "why mom drinks rum"....love this post, completely agree with you too. and, i'm adding you to my reader, can't wait to see what else you've got coming!

10:27 AM  
Blogger Running with a sharp pencil said...

Well, I'm not sure I fit in here, because I am a McCain/Palin supporter who distrusts CNN as much as you all do Fox News. But the right to one's own opinion is the American way. Bless all and VOTE whatever your persuasion.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

sharp,

I'm happy to have you here! Keep coming back.

k.

11:07 PM  

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