Hoping for Change

As we rapidly approach this November Presidential Election, I am pretty confident that Mitt Romney will be elected President. I have written about this before, and I still think I am right. But even if he does win, I believe so much has already been lost.

I used to live in an America where we were trying to get along. We largely believed that America was a great place, and that we were blessed to be here. We also used to own our own futures, believing that we had great opportunities here, and that it was up to each of us to exploit those opportunities. And when we made mistakes, we owned those, too, and corrected our own courses instead of looking for someone else to blame. What happened to that America?

There is something seriously wrong with many Americans. They seem to have no actual guiding principles other than casting their opponents as racists, bigots, mean, uncaring and evil with little regard for how their opponents have arrived at their decisions. This is no sudden thing. It has been coming over a long period of time. I remember being yelled at by an 80 year old woman for whom I was working simply because I admitted to being a registered Republican. “Don’t you have any brains!” she shrieked at me. We had not gotten to the meat of any issues. How did she know what I thought about anything?

I have had people discontinue using my service because I was on the other side of the political spectrum. Even though we had not even argued about politics, one wife of a famous law school professor could no longer abide my presence in her home. I thought we were friends. I had no idea what was stewing just below her cool exterior. It seems that I represented something heinous and despicable just because I did not despise President Bush as she did.

Today, this ill will is not below the surface. If you don’t like Barack Obama and plan to vote for Mitt Romney, you’ve probably learned to either keep it to yourself, or you got thicker skin. You are now a racist; as if the only thing that is different between Obama and Romney is the color of their skin. But then they will come up with other differences, so it obviously isn’t race. They just say it to hurt you.

I did not vote for Barack Obama in 2008. It was not because he was black. It was because I knew he was a socialist. I knew it because he said he was going to force green energy on us, bankrupt the coal industry, and that energy prices would skyrocket under his policies. Fox News didn’t say it. Rush Limbaugh didn’t say it. He said it himself. That, and the fact that he came out of no where: a state senator who was not even done with his one term in the US Senate, who had no examined life at all. I did not like John McCain much, but he was a known quantity that I could live with. Besides, I thought Obama would just be a rubber stamp for an extremely irresponsible Democrat Congress. I had no idea he would be much worse.

Since that time I have watched so many friends, neighbors and relatives give him a pass on everything from double gas prices, green energy corruption, Fast and Furious, taking sides against Israel, and his divisive rhetoric. He’s all good to them. There is no critical thinking. Everything is “Bush’s fault,” as if George W was still secretly the President. And don’t even get me started on the debt.

Whether Obama wins or loses, we have lost something. I believe it is spiritual. I believe that many Americans have forgotten that there is a God in Heaven who will one day judge us all. Being aware of that may cause us to consider our ways rather than simply choosing sides.

A reading of the 2nd chapter of the Book of Acts may be in order. It was on the Day of Pentecost, more than a month after Jesus had been raised from the dead, and 10 days after He ascended into Heaven. The Holy Spirit had fallen on all the disciples and Peter preached to a large audience that was in town for the religious holiday. He finished his message with this exhortation: “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” If we cannot save the country, we can always save ourselves, and whoever will hear us.