Tuesday, April 3, 2012

a bunch of true stories on election day

True story--I went to vote for myself this morning (to recap: I'm running for school board) and I was right behind my opponent! The ladies working the polls thought it was funny--I could tell when they looked up after I told them my name. Hilarious! I imagine in a small town it's bound to happen that two people running for the same seat would run into each other while casting their ballots... I tried to catch the guy's eye to laugh about it, but no dice. He knew I was there, but didn't seem to find it as amusing as I did. For the record (and off the record), I have no gripe against my opponent. I'm running for the seat, NOT against him. It's not personal at all. That said, may the best woman win (hahaha).

True story--Rick, that other guy who's running for president, was at one of the cheese factories up the road from my house yesterday. My phone's been ringing off the hook between him and the other, other guy vying for my vote. Had I been at the cheese factory, buying my monthly infusion of cheddar, I doubt I'd have stood in line smiling with excitement. Just sayin'. Nothing I've read in the Good Book inspires me to cast a ballot for him--or the other, other guy. Everything I've read in the Bible tells me to vote for the guy looking out for the poor, widowed, immigrant, imprisoned and destitute. It doesn't mention anywhere that Jesus wants believers hating on gays, arming everybody with guns, passing harsh immigration laws, restricting access to health care (including birth control pills, natch), destroying the environment for monetary gain or denying welfare to those suffering poverty or unemployment. So you can imagine how my jaw dropped when I heard on a local Christian radio station that "believers should vote for Biblical, Conservative candidates." (Their emphasis on the capital "C" in "conservative, reader.) As opposed to Biblical LIBERAL candidates? I wanted to ask. Trouble is, most believers I know are lock-step Republicans and most of my liberal counterparts are not believers. Trust me when I tell you that I pray for wisdom on these issues, but it feels lonely in my Christian Liberal Camp. Every time I struggle to reconcile my faith and my politics, I keep returning to Matthew 22:37-39, which tells me it all boils down to "love God and love each other," an incredibly validating passage for this liberal voter.

True story--part of me is nervous as hell about today's outcome. On one hand, it's out of my hands. I've put myself out there, staked signs in people's yards and gave good newspaper interviews explaining my positions. On the other hand, losing would feel like rejection, which would be kind of a downer. On one hand, if I win I have a chance to re-correct the course of things in our town's schools. On the other hand, if I lose, I won't be obligated to give up a bunch of Monday nights and sit through countless hours of boring meetings. As you can tell, I'm trying not to think about it a whole lot. And, apparently I have four hands.

True story--last week I mentioned two great books I'm reading, but I forgot to mention their titles. The book about Haiti is Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat and the book about Tuscany is The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian by Phil Doran. Both are categorically memoir, the one about Italy is really funny and insightful, the one about Haiti gives me a better idea about Haitian culture and while it's written in that disjointed, impressionist typical of South American memoirs, I like it.

Stay tuned for election updates and a bunch of other random stuff tomorrow.

22 comments:

  1. you are invited to follow my blog

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can't wait to hear the results!!! I'm right there with you on the whole political side deal....duh, has anyone looked at the people in the republican party?!? Not really the highest of moral standards there... I fall in this odd mix of not really either side....

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would put myself in the Christian Liberal camp, and yes, the campground seems half deserted these days.

    Good luck with the election, and in finding something to do with your four hands while waiting for the results.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good luck! If I was there, I'd vote for the best WOMAN too ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good luck today. I wish I could vote for you!

    Have you heard about The Christian Left? http://www.thechristianleft.org/ I love them. They're a big part of why I'm on Facebook. I love reading their posts. Anyhoo, you're not alone. I come from a long line of liberal Catholics.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My fingers are crossed for you. It's always been odd to me that most Christians seem to be conservatives when you would think if they follow the teachings of Jesus, they would be liberals and help the disenfranchised just as Jesus did. I think part of it is because they don't think for themselves, and follow those who have political and monetary motivations. Sad.
    Looking at the comment from Sandra, I have noticed that Catholics take a much more active role in helping the poor.
    Anyway, I really hope you win Melissa!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good luck - got my fingers crossed here too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm crossing my fingers too --and I could be crossing more if you'd give me two of those hands. I could use four hands OFTEN!

    I've found that many of the Unitarian Universalists around here are Christian Liberals. Since UU's don't have a creed, our congregations are made up of a combination of atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, etc., but by far the majority appear to be Christian Liberals who couldn't find a comfortable home in any of the Christian denominations.

    One of my favorite bumper stickers: Jesus was a Liberal!

    ReplyDelete
  9. My tent is pitched in the Christian Liberal Camp, too! If you ask me, Jesus was one of us wild-n-crazy liberals. My local circle of friends is mostly made up of conservative Christians and I know they pray for my poor, little, left-wingy soul. Meanwhile, I pray for their poor, little, closed-minded sou...oh, wait, that's not very "love each other", now, is it? ;) I am DYING of curiosity about which presidential candidate they support but I DO NOT want to get into the inevitable no-win debate that would follow.

    I think I read the Danticat book years ago when it was an Oprah Book Club selection. I participated in that book club to force myself to read books I otherwise wouldn't consider. If I remember correctly, I wish I hadn't forced myself to consider Breath, Eyes, Memory.

    Can't wait to hear about your landslide victory!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I so hope you win! And I am right there in the Christian Liberal Camp with you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have my fingers, toes, eyes, and ovaries crossed that you'll win BIG today.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good luck in your election today! How exciting!!!! :)
    And thanks for mentioning the books (and sending the email). I was curious what fabulous books you were reading.

    I don't consider myself Rep or Dem anymore. I have very little faith in man. I think politics is a dirty, corrupt system. It is sad to me. As a Christian there are some things I am very conservative on and some things I am very liberal on. I try to see it as Jesus would. Always sticking up for the underdog and the little guy whether it is the poor, the minority, or the unborn. It makes it very difficult for me to choose someone to vote for.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well the polls are almost closed...are you going to have a big celebratory party when they announce your win?? I applaud you for even wanting to enter the political arena, especially the school board, when WI is making such a mess of the schools.

    I am so tired of Romney wanting to talk to me. Good ole Paul Ryan has tried too, I'm ashamed to admit that he is from my town.

    I consider myself a liberal Christian and a good number of my friends are too, thank goodness.

    Sandra, thank you for reminding me of the Christian Lefts FB page.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Good luck! That's too funny about your opponent being in line in front of you! Don't get me started about politics. I was raised a traditional Catholic. We went to mass every Sunday, I went to Catholic schools my whole life, even a Jesuit college. My experience of Catholicism was about social justice and helping the poor. It's like Catholicism has become an entirely different religion from what it was when I was young.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I give you props for putting your hat in the race. Win or not you're making your voice hear; you're being part of the conversation. I'm with Kat on the political front. Will be watching for poll results, good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I like others wish you good luck and all the best don;t forget to let us know what happens with the election.........

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am SOOOO staying tuned--of course hoping you win, but half hoping you get to stay home Monday nights ('cause that's the more appealing option to this lazy sack of skin). Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Believe it or not, AT&T had a glitch yesterday and we were out phone, Internet, and TV for most of election day. We were glad to avoid the robo-calls, but I was upset to have to wait for election results.

    Now, school board; you can still attend and sign up to speak when there's a good item on the agenda. Enough folks voted for you that you'll know there's a well of support out there.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love edwidge dandicat! Enjoy!!

    ReplyDelete

Spill it, reader.