Saturday, January 05, 2008

An election year whine

I haven't written about politics in a long time, but its getting to be that time again and I am realizing something about myself.

I'm getting tired of feeling that, as a pro-life person, I *have* to vote for a Republican just because the party has a "pro-life" platform. I feel like I'm being backed into a corner in every election, and that I can't make a real decision as to whom to vote for--I just have to vote knee-jerk Republican down the line. I also feel like the Republican party knows that many of us feel we have to vote Republican because of our pro-life views, and they are taking advantage of that.

I am a fairly "traditional" type of Catholic. But I feel like religion in general, has become nothing more than a "buzz word" in party politics at this point. Both parties know that there is a "religious" vote, and they try to say all the right things to gain it.

I'm not automatically endeared with a candidate who talks about wanting to *make* America a "Christian Nation". I think America should be a nation that abides by its own first amendment. I think we should learn to be *respectful* and not just "tolerant" of each other's beliefs. Let there be manger scenes, menorahs and Kwanzaa candles in public places, for goodness sake! It won't kill us! We need to stop being so offended by the fact that other people have a set of beliefs that they follow that just might be different from our own.

It's ok. It's allowed. This is America.

A candidate's religion *should* certainly guide his politics, in spite of what JFK insisted he would (or wouldn't) do. But a president has to take the good of the entire country into account in each action he or she takes. The president of the United States is not a religious leader and shouldn't use religion as a way to run ripshod over the will of the people. The president of the United States is elected, and he or she should never forget that for a minute.

I do not want the United States to become a religion-free nation. I want our religion to influence who we are as individuals and who we are as a people. But I don't think I want religion to influence politics in quite the way it has been doing lately.

I am also having misgivings about the dynastic aspect of the U.S. presidency--Bushes and Clintons, both. I don't think I'd vote for a ticket right now with Jeb Bush on it just because of that. And, I wouldn't vote for Hillary under any circumstances.

I want someone new. I want someone with vision. I want someone with spark. I want someone with integrity and sanity.


Marilena said...

if i was american, i'd vote for ron paul or mike huckabee. but in canada, all our parties are unfit for any vote. oh well.

LifeisgreatTAC said...

Wow. Lots to say and all of it required a lot of thought. You Go Girl! This is a post that doesn't really take sides (at least in my mind) and I like it. I particularly liked where you said we should be respectful not simply tolerant of each other's beliefs. I think that would go a long way. I mean, tolerant to me is like agreeing to sit in the same room, but not having conversation -- not even admitting that someone else is there. Respectful means getting along and NEVER assuming the other person is ALL wrong. We are a nation made up of many beliefs BUT if we put RESPECT and LOVE FOR ALL first, things would simply fall into place.

I, too, have felt the need to vote Republican because I am pro-Life. And it gets way too petty to listen to the candidates argue when all they are really saying is what they suppose we want to hear, not what they really believe or intend to carry out.

This has been one person's opinion and I will step off my soapbox now. Great Job on your part!

Dymphna (4HisChurch) said...

Well, Marilena, I'm beginning to think the same is true in U.S. politics!

Lifeisgreat: Its difficult not to become jaded when dealing with politics. I've said for a long time, that we should have a viable third party in this country. Or, perhaps, the 2 major parties that we do have could start LISTENING TO THE VOTERS for a change!

Anonymous said...

Have you been listening to Cygnus and I talking? Cygiee and I don’t agree completely about all points but he can express that for himself if so inclined. However, I agree with most if not all of what you said.

Cygiee and I have long said there needs to be a third party as well.

At this point I'm not drawn to or inclined to vote for any candidate Republican or otherwise. I know more about whom I would absolutely not vote for, Clinton or Giuliani come to mind, then who I MIGHT consider.

It may come down to note voting for any Presidential candidate.

I've long felt that we should respect people of all beliefs and religion. Aside from the obvious reasons like this is what our country was founded on. I figure if I want respect for my beliefs I need to respect the beliefs of others. Just because I may not agree with someone's beliefs does not mean I should disrespect the person or their beliefs. The only exception would be if their beliefs included the killing, persecution or destruction of other people or other their beliefs. Beliefs that include those aspects I cannot respect and would have to stand against. (Nazism comes to mind)

Dymphna (4HisChurch) said...

Ladycub, I whole heartedly agree with you!

Cygnus said...

Marilena, I've discovered that Canada has only two political parties: Way Too Liberal, and Don't Hate Us Because We're Not Quite As Liberal.

Yes, Dymphna, I agree that there's been much too much pandering for the social conservative vote. A candidate that's pro-abortion gets a thumbs down from me, but a candidate who is pro-life doesn't necessarily get my vote.

Huckabee is a great example. I love the fact that he's pro-life, but he's also big government in ways that G. W. Bush can only dream of being, and he knows just about nothing about foreign affairs.

Ron Paul seems to be sincere in his beliefs, but I've seen a distinct slide in the libertarian movement to the left, and his followers are totally whacked. Ah, libertarianism (motto: "Who needs morals?"). I may well vote for even a non-viable third-party candidate like Michael Peroutka, a Maryland lawyer who runs on the Constitution party (well, maybe not so much now because he endorses Paul).

To get a viable third party started, it'll take money. And LOTS of it. Sadly, it's the only way.

Cygnus said...

Actually, Peroutka and his ilk are scary. See for yourself.

Coffee Catholic said...

I don't even vote any more. It's useless - all politics has become is a Good Ol' Boys club where the rich and privlidged keep moving in the upper circles while their fellow Americans continue to go without medical care, proper food or housing... I've been on the bottom living in the poverty in America and it isn't pretty and none of the politicians actually DO anything to help end it.

Dymphna (4HisChurch) said...

Cyg--I just want someone who is sane and has a bit of a mind and uses it! (Plus, of course, someone who has morals and values etc.)

Coffee: I'm having those thoughts myself, but I keep remembering that Adolph Hitler was elected and then think that maybe my vote *would* make a difference.

Marie said...

You know I dont understand how you Americans can stand all this electioneering?? We have 2-3 months THEN we vote..We could NOT survive 2 years of it! There would be a revolution and we'd probably elect a KOALA bear as Prime Minister(lol).

In fun


Cygnus said...

Marie: We don't understand it either. I mean, the primaries will all but be decided by next month. Then we wait 5-6 months for the (now purely ceremonial) nominating conventions, and then the election three months later.

And then it all starts again.

Deb said...

I really love how you said this about our Country! I have the same sentiments, and I believe that somewhere within the Catholic Church's teachings on Social Justice, there must be tolerance for those who are different from us, and intolerance of violating one of the early tenets of our Country: the Separation of Church and State. I believe this is being ignored currently by our politicians who are using emotional issues to gain votes, rather than logical ones. Thank you for your postings, and your blog! St. Dymphna is my Patroness, since Confirmation in 2002 (I am a convert, at age 41!).

Cygnus said...

Saints preserve me, I think I'm sliding into the McCain camp. I think I can forgive him his misguided crusade for so-called "campaign finance reform."

Dymphna (4HisChurch) said...

Welcome, Deb!

McCain, Cyg? Really? Wow.

Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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