A Historic Night

When my kids ask me many years from now what I did on the night the first black president was elected, I can tell them I watched “Lords of Dogtown” starring Heath Ledger and Emile Hirsch as the original skateboarders in the 1970s. Good times.

As for the election itself, while I am sad in the outcome, I’m resigned to it (but gratified that the popular vote was more evenly split despite how the ever-ridiculous and unnecessary electoral college votes came down). But the next two years will be a potential hailstorm of change – and not for the better. Obama has a blank check to do whatever he wants now that both the Senate and the House are decidedly Democratic in majority. And here’s what I worry about:

  • I fear for the ability of millions of people to live quiet lives without government interference.
  • I fear for the homeschooling parents who just want to provide the type of quality education that their local schools can’t.
  • I fear for godly parents raising godly children being told to stop because it’s “intolerant” (but heaven forbid THAT’S not being intolerant at all, right?).
  • I fear for the potential to have five-year-olds suddenly being told about sex in such graphic detail that is wholly inappropriate for their age, and parents not being allowed to say, “No – now is not the time.”
  • I fear for that baby who survives a botched abortion who is now just left to die in a cold empty room because laws in place to protect children may be stripped away.
  • I fear for those young pregnant women who don’t know what choice they want to make NOT being told that pro-life is a choice they can also make. I fear “choice” being removed altogether under the banner of being “pro-woman.”
  • I fear parents not even being told of their daughter’s decision to have a MAJOR MEDICAL PROCEDURE rather than give birth to a child.
  • I fear for the people and leaders in Iraq who are finally almost ready to take the reins of their country and forge ahead with a newfound democracy that may be so abruptly abandoned by the US that all the hard work falls apart.
  • I fear for any family making more than $120,000 (which is the new magic number, by the way, according to New Mexico’s Bill Richardson while out campaigning for Obama) and the heavier tax burden they’ll face with this new administration.

And that’s only a few of the things Obama believes in where I disagree with him. Things he believes in that I fear he’ll take immediate action on while the iron is hot and he has these next two years with a sycophantic Congress.

But as I said in a post a couple days ago, he is my President, and I’ll honor the office and pray for the man. I’ll pray everyday that he honestly seeks to represent ALL of us – not just his own personal agenda. I pray that he surrounds himself with people of diverging opinions so that he can see all sides of an issue before making a decision. I don’t want him to have a “free pass” with the press like he has over the past year. I pray that the nation will hold him accountable for his actions when he takes a wrong turn and breaks our trust.

He’s not the man I voted for, but he’s the man in office for the next four years. I’ll accept that graciously and I honestly hope for the best. But I admit I have fear when no checks or balances are in place. And beginning January 2009? There will be no checks and balances until at least January 2011. And that’s the scariest thing of all.

Congratulations, Mr. Obama, on your victory. You now need to prove yourself not to 50% of the voters who didn’t vote for you, but to 100% of the nation you claim to serve.

My Signature

If you liked that post, read on...

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22 comments

  1. Well said, Jaynee. I will pray for the man as well. I too am concerned about the blank check he has with his liberal agenda. I plan to stay in touch wtih my congressman and senators!

  2. The only thing we have to fear is Bush and his cronies throwing a coup. Just kidding. I finally got one of these voting things right. I blamed Bush for eight years of misery. Feel free to blame my guy. Sounds like you’ve already started and he hasn’t even taken the oath.

  3. Denis – no, I’m not blaming “your guy.” How can I blame him for ANYTHING when he hasn’t DONE anything yet (and yes, I’m including his work as Senator). I’ve said here multiple times that I will NOT insult the man unlike those who so gleefully insult Bush. I’m merely stating my concerns regarding what might possibly happen under an Obama administration, given his stance on those topics. That’s not placing blame – it’s expressing apprehension in documented positions he takes.

  4. I have to agree with Denis…looks like you have already started to form a defensive posture regarding our new President: “prove yourself … to 100% of the nation you claim to serve.”

    Perhaps in addition to praying for “the man”, you might want to pray for your own attitude toward him. Just a thought…

    (Jen/Pop: I hope the quotes in this post were used appropiately…) 🙂

  5. I had to look up the kindergarten sex ed stuff, because I don’t live in a battleground state and did not see any of the scare ads relating to it. It relates to proposed (but not passed) legislation in IL, right? Apparently “comprehensive” sex ed beginning in K translated to making sure children understand good touch/bad touch, and parents would have had the option to have their kids participate or not participate. Is that what concerns you, or are you worried about some hypothetical worst-case scenario that, if you’re being honest, is not going to happen.

  6. You know, Obama said himself that he knows he needs to earn the trust of the people who didn’t vote for him. Just because he got elected doesn’t mean I instantly trust the man. He has to earn that trust by his actions as President.

  7. Beth – I don’t want the educational system to teach my kids ANYTHING about sex. That’s MY responsibility and choice to determine at what age it is apppropriat to teach certain things. And much like the slippery slope of what constitutes ‘rich,’ so too is the legislation for sex education. I’ve taken the opportunity to teach my kids about good touch/bad touch in terms I’m comfortable with and feel is appropriate for their age. But I’d rather the Pandora’s box not be opened as to what ELSE they might start teaching my children and how. And the option to participate or not may not always be in place.

    Lori – the same could be said for all those with the negative attitudes (and words) towards Bush or McCain or Palin.

    I’ve put on my calendar a reminder to check back with this post in January 2011 so that I can check the list for things that have come to pass. We can discuss then whether I think Obama is a good president or not. For now – he hasn’t proved himself and won’t even BEGIN to prove himself until he is sworn in in January. As for me, I didn’t vote for Obama, so I’m not going to jump on board and be EXCITED about his Presidency. I’m cautious, which is within my right. Don’t presume to imply that you wouldn’t feel the same way had McCain won last night. I’ve expressed my concerns about how Obama’s policies MAY affect my life and that of my family. That’s not being negative or defensive. I’m optimistic enough to HOPE (after all, isn’t that his catchphrase?), but realistic enough to worry.

    But my congratulations to him were absolutely honest – he has accomplished a great thing in winning this election.

  8. Well, Jaynee, I did read your post as you suggested. I’m sorry, I can’t understand or validate any of your concerns, although of course, that’s your privilege – to express them and feel them. But your fears don’t resonate with the reality I see in an Obama administration. I believe your sex education fears to be misguided, at the very least. Government intervention? Well, that was my fear for a McCain administration; I don’t want my government telling me what to do with my body. I don’t want to tell you what to do with yours, either; that’s why I’m a Democrat. We don’t do that.

    Has anyone ever stopped to think that the tax burden on anyone wouldn’t be necessary if we hadn’t spent billions of dollars in a tragically inept, unnecessary war in Iraq?

    We’ll just have to continue to disagree on these fundamental issues. I don’t share your fear. Today I feel hope, for the first time in 8 long years.

  9. Government intervention comes in many forms, Melanie. You fear a government which wiretaps and reads emails, I fear a government which tells me how I am supposed to raise my kids or worse – seeks to take me out of the equation altogether. Both forms interfere in the lives of its citizens, but I can tell you which one concerns me MORE.

    I’m glad you have hope for the first time in 8 long years. Whether you believe me or not, that’s true. But I think I’m allowed to have my worries.

    And yes, the tax burden WOULD be necessary. It’s necessary due to an atrocious Bailout Bill laden with pet pork projects left and right. It’s necessary due to men like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and Frank Raines who loftily offered and allowed mortgages to those who couldn’t afford them and refused to provide much-needed regulation to ensure there was no fraud taking place. It’s necessary due to CEOs on Wall Street who only cared about their golden parachutes and bonuses and then asked for government handouts when their companies failed. So yes, the tax burden WOULD be necessary – Iraq War or no Iraq War.

  10. Hope I didn’t open up this can of worms. All I said was it’s your right to bemoan his presidency, but at least let him get into office first. You can hate the man without hating the office. IMHO. (See any of my posts or comments re: George Bush.)

  11. Denis – that’s my exact point. You SHOULDN’T hate the man. Absolutely shouldn’t. It’s wrong in every conceivable way. If Barack Obama ends up being a bad President, I’ll feel DISAPPOINTMENT. But you won’t find me standing in front of my tv hurling insults at him.

  12. What Melanie said.

    Also, you bring up three things having to do with abortion – parental consent, counseling, and something about a “baby” “surviving” a procedure? Aren’t all of these specifics handled at the state level anyway?

    I am also unclear about the godly parents and godly children comment. Are you implying that public funds should be used to teach religious doctrine?

    And regarding your follow-up about whether you are overreacting to some worst-case sex-ed scenario, it’s great that you want to and are able to teach your children those things. Not every parent can or would do that, so where does that leave the rest of the children? If they are unlucky, they end up with unwanted pregnancies (see above) and surprise STDs.

  13. Beth: Obama is in deep with NARAL, who seeks to broaden the current restrictions in place on abortion and take away control from the states. If Obama has his way and state control is wrested away in favor of a national referendum, then if an infant survives a late-term abortion, rather than providing medical care for that child, medical care will be AVOIDED and the baby is essentially left alone until it dies. That’s disheartening and inhumane to say the least.

    No, I do not want the government involved in religious doctrine AT ALL. The two should absolutely be separate because I don’t want government intefering with the church. I almost didn’t include that comment because it’s actually not directed at Obama’s platform. Just a general discomfort with the intolerance that is now shown towards anyone claiming to be a Christian who stands firm in their beliefs. That’s not Obama-centric, so much as a 2008 concern. So I’ll redact that.

    Re: sex ed, I’m not saying NOT to have it at all. After all, I had “health” class in the fifth grade and it taught me a lot. But in the fifth grade I was perfectly capable of handling that kind of information. Kindergarteners are not. And once sex-ed is allowed for five-year-olds, I’m not optimistic enough to hope that at some point good touch/bad touch conversations will progress to something far more advanced and inappropriate.

    We can discuss this all day long. As Melanie said, we’ll have to agree to disagree on these points. There are many infinite nuances to ANY policy that may be enacted, and there’s no point discussing them before they’ve taken place. I’ve merely put down my personal bookmark to come back in a couple years and take note of how Obama has acted on issues that matter to ME during the first half of his Presidency.

  14. Well, you’re a better man (or woman) than I am, Gunga Din!

    For all the people in mourning, there is an equal number of people filled with so much glee they can hardly contain from peeing in their pants. It’s a wash.

  15. Beth – I thought I’d add further information on the kindergarten sex-ed issue. Illinois Senate Bill 99 is the sex-education measure under discussion. One of the purposes for the bill was to increase the scope of sex education. The existing language in Illinois stated “Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades 6 through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention, transmission and spread of AIDS.” I think that’s absolutely appropriate. However, the NEW bill under discussion take out “grade 6” and replaced it with “grade K” so that the discussion of STDs and AIDS is done with kindergarteners. So whether the INTENT of the bill is to provide good touch/bad touch teaching to kindergarteners – that’s not what this language says. You can see the blacklined (read: updated) bill for yourself here: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=3&GA=93&DocTypeId=SB&DocNum=99&GAID=3&LegID=734&SpecSess=&Session on the Illinois General Assembly website. It’s there plain as day. Barack Obama supported this bill in Illinois.

    Also, on that same page, if you do a search for terms such as “predator” or “molest” you won’t find them. When searching “touch” you DO find language about inappropriate touching between fellow peers and adults as topics to be discussed regarding sexual harrassment. But the main scope of the bill is clearly NOT about sexual harrassment.

  16. Okay, so when I saw your post I thought the title was “A HISTRIONIC Night”. And after a full day of “in your face” antics myself, I think it might be just as true!

  17. Bravo, Jaynee, for doing your homework on the issues. As disappointed as I was with the results when I went to bed last night, I woke up this morning with peace in my heart, but that peace didn’t come from being excited about an Obama presidency. Lori, just because he has been elected doesn’t mean that we wipe the slate clean of our “defensive posture.” We have had a defensive posture for two years during this election process, keeping an eye on every move and motive and an ear to every discussion of policy that offends our values and moral foundation. We don’t suspend our defensive posture now or on January 20. We must remain ever vigilant. Still, no matter what our opinion is of the man or his policies, we are exhorted that “all prayers and intercessions and giving of thanks be made to all men, for kings and all who are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life.” Obama is our president and, believe me, I want a peaceable life so I will be praying! If more of us had prayed for Bush rather than cursing, criticizing and tearing him down all the time, perhaps we would have lived a quieter and more peaceable life these last eight years.

  18. Well said, Marmie.

    I for one, am going to give Obama the chance he deserves to be a good President. I’m praying for him and his team already and I will continue to pray for this new leadership. But if he does stuff I don’t like, then I’ll make my views known – without belittling the man (hopefully).

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