Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Forward we go.

Several weeks ago, my wise friend Betsy reassured me of this truth:

God is in control. He will put us under the authority He chooses within His perfect will, and will work all of it for good! Fear not…!

Ever since, God has been nudging me with other assurances & truths, like how desperately our nation needs to put down arms against itself. Since Bush/Gore 2000, disaffected citizens & media seem to have assumed a solemn duty to tear down the presidency of George W. Bush. It has been vicious, & lately has bled out into other scorned targets. Our national dialogue has decayed to the degree that anger & hatred – real hatred – have become the blinding impetus of an entire social/political movement. It has deteriorated into a national disgrace. Any clear-thinking, honest person would be willing to agree.

Challenging policies & debating platforms is productive & clarifying. But likening your own President to radical, truly evil despots is demoralizing to the esteem of our entire nation. Before you jump to the defense of Michael Moore, the media elite, & even school teachers who allow their students to disrespect the President, know that this opinion isn’t mine alone. Jeffrey Shapiro, investigative reporter, attorney & former intern with John F. Kerry’s 2004 presidential legal team, gives a scathing rebuke of the disgrace that the treatment of President Bush has become.

So, back to assurances…I have worried & wondered what could possibly curb the molten hate which has oozed through our national landscape. The answer has come to me over the past several weeks: a nudge here, a nudge there. As a Presidential loss for John McCain seemed increasingly possible, clouds began to clear in an eerie, strange way. As last night’s results came in, a beam of sad but necessary clarity thrust into my consciousness. I emailed the following to a friend who was scared, sad & worried, “Maybe, just maybe, tonight's results will allow those who are so angry at George W. Bush to finally get it out of their system. Maybe the Left will feel a grand sense of vindication & give themselves the freedom to put down their hatred."

I’m one like Hewlett, NY who believes that President Bush holds in his heart the best interests of our nation. I believe he is a citizen who has done the best he knew how for our country - out of a true patriot's heart - during a terribly difficult season in our history. Agree or disagree, we owe him respect for that. We would all be better & more noble if we could summon that respect, & perhaps attempt to lay down our anger in the process.

So here we are, at the edge of a new time. The historic election is over. The votes have been counted & the message is decisive, thanks be to God. I believe the elasticity of our Republic has been stretched–to-breaking, & I'm not sure it could have withheld much more tension.

In this new day, let’s look to the leader to whom nearly half the electorate gave their vote, “These are difficult times…& I pledge to [Mr. Obama] tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face. I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next President our good will & earnest effort. And to find ways to come together to bridge our differences…Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans, & please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.” What a valiant, generous & gracious concession this was. Honorable, noble & just. It is to Senator McCain’s great credit (& to ours) that he is willing, even in defeat, to put his country first.

As I watched that speech last night, my heart was swollen with the sadness & disappointment of losing a hard fought battle, but also filled with the gratitude of knowing that my position was also honorable, noble & just; if not the winner this time. In his generosity, Senator McCain’s words prepared me to receive the next words that would fall on my ear…

I listened intently as I watched President-elect Obama. Throughout this campaign, I’ve been keenly aware of the bitter-sweet paradoxes that he represents. I ‘get’ why so many are drawn to him & inspired by his message. Never was it so clear as last night’s speech, delivered with a measure of humility not before seen in his countenance, & received with that same measure of humility by a throng of deeply grateful citizens. The gravity of the moment, & of history, had truly fallen upon the crowd. They all seemed aware, as I was, of the precious cornerstone of victory over our nation’s troubled past that Mr. Obama’s win signifies. I get that.

So today, I am willing to acquiesce to the authority placed above me, if not to the persuasion of its ideas. I am willing to ride this momentum into the future, not relinquishing principles, but certainly some degree of temporary jurisdiction.

Perhaps as a nation we can muster the courage - as Mr. McCain urges us all to do - to lay aside the penchants that have driven some toward a blinding, life-sapping hatred of our own countrymen. I’m willing to take up Senator McCain’s call. I will respect Mr. Obama, knowing that I stand, as he so finely noted, on the “enduring power of our ideals: Democracy, liberty, opportunity & unyielding hope.” As I do that, I trust that our nation’s character is more elastic, more resilient & greater than the strength of any one man to carry that torch of hope into the future.

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.” Philippians 3:20


nanc said...

thank you so much for visiting longrange - we must look starward from here on out!

here's a link you may be interested in - the original "jerusalem post" - first titled "palestine post", coincidentally.

Susannah said...

Thanks for coming by NANC~
I'm looking forward to looking into this site. Hang in there!

Robert said...

You are right with your forward approach. I truly think this is a crucial time to decide and define the route we will take. It is often said that we are at a "critical juncture" but I think it applies at the current time and with current events.

Thank youagain for your visit and I hope you will continue to be a regular and contribute at our conservative rally point!

Susannah said...

Indeed, Robert. Thank you for your efforts to sift through the issues & clarify conservatism. You & Jennifer's collaboration gives me renewed hope b/c people are out there thinking along the same lines. Great discussions!