Tall Poppy Diaries

Observations and musings on life as a happy high-achiever (or what the Aussie's call a "Tall Poppy" ). "Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have." --Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


  Hatemongering, Party Affiliation and the Pearly Gates

Yes, I AM going to get back to the pressing issues of fashion, etiquette, and pop culture. Seriously! I really am. Maybe even tomorrow. However, for the second day in a row I have been inspired by Chasmyn to write a post of a more serious nature. Please bear with me.

I am a political junkie. It's in my blood. During this election season, I have been relatively quiet on political matters for numerous reasons. Thoughtful writing by The Moderate Voice and others who share similar centrist/conservative views to mine have made it possible for me to remain more or less out of the fray and focus more on the lighter, quirkier aspects of American life.

However, one aspect of being a Tall Poppy is being Broadminded. Being able to embrace those who are different than you whether or not they agree with you is critical to being successful AND happy. I think that I'm about as Broadminded as you can get. I am an Independent, having been an operative in both parties and finding myself unhappy with the leadership of both. I am TRULY non-partisan (a term that Fox News has made almost obsolete.) With regard to the issues-- I say may the group with the highest percentage of votes win. No matter what the issue, and no matter which side I am on, and no matter how strongly I feel about it--if you win fair and square, YOU are in the majority. Good for you!

Unfortunately, what I have seen over the last decade is a change in the political structure of our country that is alarming and disgraceful. It has NOTHING to do with the ISSUES that we care about and EVERYTHING to do with pure, unadulterated lust for POWER. I have been the kin, the confidante, the best bud, the employee, the lobbyist and the wife to federal elected officials (wife to only ONE of those, let me add). However, I have never in my life seen such gross divisions between the political parties AND their constituencies on both sides. Though it may have seemed otherwise from the outside, DC used to be a pretty genial place when the lights and cameras weren't around. No more.

I've been an operative in both parties. I know first hand (not just from a hypocritical power-hungry talking head) where the majority of the hatemongering is coming from. It's supposedly all about being a good Christian and having a moral compass--or not. Well, I'm a pretty good Christian, but what I am seeing out in the real world and on the Web isn't akin to anything I ever learned in Sunday School. Until the American people wake up and realize that the Ends DO NOT justify the means, that it's about the issues and not the political parties and that just because someone you agree with politically "says it" doesn't make it true, our country will be in a downward spiral...and I don't think that Jesus or his father are going to be too happy with us.

Most of us were given the gift of discernment by the grace of our God. Judeo-Christians believe that it was first bestowed in the Garden of Eden. When we pay attention to it, we know what is right and wrong. As children, it tells us who is the playground bully and who is a victim. But these days, we're so busy playing that we don't see the bully's first blow. We only see the victim fighting back. And when the bullies cry, "He hit me", we don't bother to listen to the poor kid being carted off to the Principal's office with a black eye. We listen instead to the Bullies pontificate zealously about how sad it is to see "such a good kid drop so low."

If we choose not to carefully read the clues and if we blindly believe everything we hear because, whether it's true or not it "sounds good" and the speaker said they were a Christian, we do so at our own peril. When we only listen to the bullies, we don't realize that WE have become the victims. And the bullies are standing around the corner laughin' their heads off at just how easily we took the bait.

Like millions of other Americans, I left one political party for the other in my teens because I felt that the one no longer best reflected my core values. I left the other a decade ago because I knew that my God would hold me accountable for "the company I was keeping" when I saw the dirty tricks and underhandedness they used to get their way first-hand. It wasn't a tough choice: One party seemed to lack a compass on issues of financial and personal responsibility; the other is led by hypocritical zealots pontificating about Moral Values that none of them follow, but use all manners of Tom-Foolery to convince millions of people to defy the facts and believe that they do. I chose to rid myself of both labels and follow my conscience. I vote as I believe Jesus would--person by person, judging each candidate on his/her TRUE merits and disregarding party affiliation or the gossip-mongers. Good plan. At least I can say my prayers without feeling dirty.

Wrap evil and hypocracy in the cloak of Christianity, the flag, or a piece of lettuce and it's still the same--WRONG! I don't believe that my God cares what political party I belong to. I think he looks at each of us individually and judges us separately from all others. However, I do believe that he will hold us accountable for choosing to put blinders on rather than using the gifts of discernment and discretion that he gave us.

My angst over the election has nothing to do with political parties and everything to do with how gullible the American electorate has become to the dirty tricks of a group of power-hungry (mostly) men. People are so desperate to believe that the Emperor is wearing clothes just because he says he's a Christian (so he MUST be telling the truth!) that they willingly shirk integrity and defy reason to prove to anyone who will listen that second (or third or fourth) hand lies are true. It scares me.

I don't doubt that GWB is a Christian. He's mortal and makes mistakes just like the rest of us. I don't hold that against him. I was a HUGE, HUGE fan of his Dad and Mom. I liked a lot of 41's policies, and I disliked others. But I recognized that he was just a Man and not without fault or sin...and I felt that good or bad, HE was in charge. I voted for GWB and had great hope that he would do his best as well. Instead, he has allowed others to run his White House and the country in a manner that I couldn't have imagined. He surrounds himself with some WAY shady characters who profess to be just to the right of Diety, yet walk on shifting sand. But because they cloak their every word in the mantle of Christianity, people believe that what they say must be true.

I don't fault people for having different views on issues than I do. And I couldn't care less what party you choose to affiliate with. But I do care when it becomes obvious that people are trying to vote for "The Best Christian" or "The Most Righteous Person". If you don't know these people personally, and the moral compass' of those who are talking about them are EXTREMELY sketchy, wouldn't it be best to just stick with the issues rather than bringing a person's eternal salvation into it?

My guess is that there will be lots of folks standing at the Pearly Gates one of these days saying, "But...But...They SAID it on the RADIO, so I thought it had to be true...". Good luck. I'm rooting for you. May the force be with you. But I just don't think it's gonna work.

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