The McCain campaign is swinging through Virginia. I’m pretty excited; we have tickets for the rally on Monday.
That last sentence is pretty weird for me: I’m not the type who gets excited about seeing personalities in person. Ok, I get excited about seeing the pope in person (twice in St. Peter’s Square, from far enough away that all you could see was a little white dot) and once on the tarmac as JPII left the U.S. at the end of a visit (a bunch of us mids from the Catholic Midshipmen Club were down at the far end of the crowd, waving our hats and hoping he’d see us). But that’s been about it. I don’t check for all the latest gossip about my favorite musicians, I don’t really have any heroes whose careers I follow. I don’t chase after personalities.
I don’t wait in line for concerts; I figure the sound is better on the CD, anyways. I can remember one concert I actually went to some slight bother to attend: Alan Jackson, when I was in college. I don’t really wait in line for movies (Lord of the Rings and Star Wars got me to go across town to secure tickets for that night for our favorite eat-in movie theater with THX sound, but it was a fifteen minute line, not the camping-on-the-sidewalk type line). Ok, I waited in line for a few hours to get into the annual 50% off sale at a gigantic local fabric store, but that’s different. Which is all to say that I don’t really go for big, loud, showy events, either.
But, strangely enough, I’m excited about this rally.
With three kids in tow, I don’t really think we’re going to have any extra hands to carry a sign, but the DH (dear husband) and I have been tossing around some ideas for signs:
Naval Academy grads for McCain
Catholics bitterly clinging to our religion for McCain
Adoptees for McCain (for the kids)
Legal immigrant for McCain (for the youngest)
What I really want it to say is: “Catholic homeschooling adopting blogging pro-life Naval Academy grads (including one pitbull who doesn’t bother with lipstick and who is a grandchild of proud legal immigrants, thank you very much) for McCain.” But then the print would be too small to read from a distance, so I guess we’ll just probably go without.
The question remains, though, why am I so excited?
On the one hand, I have the sense that this election could really make some positive difference in this country. As much as I have disagreed with Sen. McCain on some of his viewpoints, the fact is that he has done a lot of work with Democrats. Before he was running for president, Democrats said, “Well, we hate Republicans, but McCain could be ok; we could work with him.” Of course, once he was running, he was just one of “them” and had to be vilified. I see reason to hope for a real bipartisanship (after the electioneering is over) in Washington if McCain wins. We desperately need it. Class warfare and belittling people for “bitterly clinging to their guns and religion” has got to end.
Plus, Sen. McCain has generally voted pro-life, and he picked a strongly pro-life running mate. The “right” to abortion was invented in the Supreme Court, and it will have to be shown for the lie that it is in that court, too. And that means judges. Several Supreme Court justices are expected to retire in the next president’s term; their replacements will decide whether we live with the stain of legal abortion on our country for another thirty years or not.
On the other hand, I am very interested in seeing Sen. Obama lose. Clinton was bad enough; now we know what could be worse. Clinton had ties to some slimy people of questionable business practices. Sen. Obama has ties to people who want to “radicalize” school children (I thought school was supposed to be for math, reading, etc.? The Chicago schools’ records wouldn’t seem to indicate they have any extra time to devote to encouraging their students to get involved in politics.) and teach sex ed to kindergardeners (I’m all for giving kids basic lessons on “private parts” and not getting too familiar with strangers, but the curriculum Sen. Obama was pushing apparently included some not-so-acceptable lessons on gay/lesbian couples being perfectly normal and other subjects I really don’t want the schools trying to foist off on my kids.). His latest ads have Sen. Obama explaining that, no, really he doesn’t want government-run health care (while implying that McCain is for zero accountability for health insurers). Funny, but Sen. Obama sure gave that impression earlier. Why the change at this late date?
And, at this late date in the campaign, why is Sen. Obama still hiding so much of his background? He won’t release his college records or thesis (although much hay has been made of McCain’s less-than-stellar and very public academic and discipline records at the Naval Academy). We only just finally found out in the last few weeks who the heck was paying for Obama to play “community organizer”, and the discovery couldn’t have come at a better time (ACORN, the organization Obama worked for, is being investigated in a dozen states for voter registration fraud and is also implicated in the root causes of our current financial crisis through its agressive advocacy of mortgages for people who shouldn’t have qualified).
In addition, Sen. Obama is desperately trying to run from his record of being the most pro-abortion member of the Senate. While in the Illinois state legislature, Obama was the only one to stand up and speak against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which would have required doctors to provide medical care for a baby who survived an abortion attempt and was delivered (normally, the babies that live are dumped in a bucket of saline to drown or just tied in a bag and left to die; that is supposed to be illegal, but it was almost never enforced, hence the need for a new law with consequences attached). But Sen. Obama is now insisting that he’s against infanticide… even though he voted to keep it legal in certain circumstances.
In the end, it just feels like this election could be a turning point. (And I’m sure someone says that about every election.) We have become so divided that we’re barely on speaking terms. Heck, we don’t even run into each other in many cases because we’re so divided. Democrats tend to live in cities, Republicans tend to live in the suburbs and country. Upscale Democrats tend to be in Hollywood, the media, and academia, while the upscale Republicans tend to be in business or the military. Even our churches tend to predictably lean towards one party or the other.
Something has to change.
And I don’t mean more business-as-usual, shoving increasingly socialist and anti-morality decrees down the throats of those in the red states (or slipping it into the public schools) whether they like it or not. Or giving taxpayer-funded handouts to make voters back home happy. Or bowing to everything either the unions or the corporations say.
Our country was founded on the idea that government derives its legitimacy from the consent of the governed.
And a lot of the “governed” are distinctly unhappy with how things are going right now.
The question is, will this remain the usual, generalized, “I want change, but don’t know why or how, so I’ll just vote against the incumbents, whoever they are,” feeling?
Or will it solidify into something more specific, focused, and significant?