Monday, August 24, 2009
As this is the anniversary week of what I call "Sarah Palin's Coming Out Party," I am reminded of what I was doing last year this time. As I recall, I was still suffering from heartache at the fact that my choices for President of the United States were Barack Obama and John McCain. The word to the wise was this: In the event that you are not satisfied with either choice, you must do the morally expedient thing and vote for the lesser of two evils. You've all heard it before. I had heard it a thousand times myself; however, it had ceased to make any sense to me, although for most of my life--being a person who absolutely hated politics--I never spent too much time weighing one evil vs. another. But when 2008 came, I was gripped with an awareness of the times, a deep understanding that this particular election could make or break this country, that sticking my head in the sand and playing stupid was not only juvenile but dangerous. I'm sure that was not ever the thing to do, but I knew that then, more than ever, not knowing the issues made me--plain and simply--not just an uninformed American, but a bad one.
I did not want to take the lesser of two evils road. I would never have voted for Barack Obama, so that was not even an option, in spite of the fact that one student begged me to vote for Obama "because he's Black."
"Before I'd vote for him," I responded, "I wouldn't vote at all, and that's saying a whole lot."
When he asked if I'd change my mind if someone paid me, my reply was short and to the point: "I'm not for sale." He needed a quick lesson on ethics and principles.
Now, I have the utmost respect for Senator McCain as an American hero. What he endured in service to his country deserves honor. I would not classify him as evil, but in the sense of the old adage, he was the lesser of two evils. That did not ease my heartache or make me want to vote for him. So although I knew I would do just that--given the alternative--I wanted someone to vote for, rather than just voting against Barack Obama. I had been praying since the primaries for someone to vote for. But I found no one to vote for...until August 29th.
That was when everything changed. That was when my prayers were answered. That was the day I no longer was voting against someone. I really was voting for someone, even though she was number two on the ticket. And I was not voting for the lesser of two evils, but for someone who represented all that was good and right in this country. I was voting for a woman who came on the scene with a record that had earned her an approval rating that had topped 90%. I was voting for someone who had taken on corruption within her own party. I was voting for a true reformer. And most importantly to me, I was voting for a woman who understood the sanctity of all human life. This fiscal conservative had paved her own way--not from someone else's money, but from faith in God, hard work, and a servant's heart. I was voting for a mom of five who had been tested on about every issue she had stood up for--and had passed those tests by walking the walk and not just talking the talk. I was voting for Sarah Palin, and in so doing, I was voting for the future of America.
It's hard to believe that a year ago this week, prior to August 29, 2008, I was struggling to find something to latch onto in the election, but that day I grabbed ahold of someone who latched onto the heart of America--and simply will not let us go.