I can’t wait for this election to be over, no matter the outcome, although the just the idea of another Bush term is enough to paralyze me with anxiety.
Now that I’ve sent away the very people I wanted to address with this post, here goes:
While it is clear that “God is Not a Republican. Or a Democrat.” it still troubles me that some people would consider a vote for Bush a “Christian” vote. Or, I dare say, a republican vote. I’m going to make just a couple quick points for why I think Bush has violated both his Christian and republican values. First on conservative politics:
- Record deficit: I find Bush's campaigning against Kerry, that he won't come up with the money for his promises, hard to swallow. It's like I'm hearing candidate Bush from 2000 (the one I voted for, btw) again. But his record just isn't consistent with his supposedly conservative values. It's so much the opposite it would comedy if our futures were not at stake. (graph from bushgame.com) By the way I'm not going to take "we're in a war on terra" as an excuse for any of the things I'm mentioning. Gotta call bullshit on that my friends.
- Patriot Act et al: He's also campaigning again on keeping government out of our business, and again I would laugh if it weren't so sad in light of the facts. Every time he says "strong leadership" I want to say "if by 'strong leadership' you mean 'a dictatorship.'" Forget international treaties we've completely ignored and the hypocrisy we've been so in everyone's face with (after Abu Ghraib I was shocked to hear the term "rape rooms" ever again in the context of Saddam). We've had more civil liberties taken from us since 9/11 than in the prior 26 years of my existence. I wish the irony of gun-toting republicans rolling over as all the rest of their rights as citizens are taken from them would escape me.
And on Christian character:
- Lies: I've tried to give the president of the United States the benefit of the doubt. I really have. And I understand how power will seriously mess with one's mind. But it's also no secret that I think lies are the worst (those quotes from New Zealand theologian/thinker Mike Riddell). People like Bush's "plain speech," yet his words have been anything but. He's spun himself and his policies (i.e. lied) so many times now he believes it to be true. That's when we cross the line from typical politician to scary zealot.
- War: Is it me or has the "moral majority" and "Christian right" completely forgotten about Matthew 5:9/James 3:18? I don't believe you have to be a pacifist if you are a Christian (although the argument could be made). But we are the geographical aggressor for the first time in our nation's history. Do you realize the jump from helping other nations defend themselves (even when we have something to gain), or even supporting coups (or otherwise sticking our nose where it doesn't belong), to what we've done in Iraq? This point is actually against both conservatism and Christianity. And he said he wouldn't do it. Little did we know he would do it on unprecedented levels. (If you honestly still believe Iraq was a threat, I'm certainly not swaying you with this post anyway.)
I’ve tried to keep my points short despite the number of issues I have with our current administration and those issue’s complexity. But I was a true conservative Christian in 2000. In the last four years I have seen all those values turned on their head. Since when have Democrats had the authority in matters of morality* and fiscal responsibility? Since now.
I’m still not crazy about Kerry. Social security is dead as a doornail and I wish he’d stop making promises in regards to it. I don’t like either candidate’s plans for healthcare (and I’ve been completely uninsured for almost a year, and had been previously as well), although I lean towards Bush’s (but healthcare has been an issue for a long time and nothing’s changed). But I can’t stand to have blatant hypocrisy thrown in my face for another four years. I’ve never been afraid of the terrorists. But another Bush term makes me very afraid indeed.
*And those other “moral” issues (abortion, gay marriage, etc.)? You can’t legislate those, brothers and sisters. Surely you can see that by now. If you want a theocracy, convert to Islam and move to Iran.