Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

One of the secondary reasons I write this blog is for my boys. I want them to have a record of these things. Which means I probably should write about today's election.

My boys all know that I'm voting for Obama. I spend the most time with Drew, so I've had the most conversation with him about it. Drew, who is 14 now, believes strongly that he's a Republican and that McCain needs to win this election. But....I'll give him this....he does talk to me about it in mostly reasonable terms. I'm not worried about his status as a McCain supporter because it's based on nothing but the lies he's chosen to believe about Obama. You know....all the Muslim, not a citizen, baby-killer crap that's been going around the internet for 2 years. He gets this from his dad who absolutely believes these things. Is it any wonder we ended up divorced?

I'd say that 95% of the kids at my school also support McCain and believe those same lies about Obama. It's classic conspiracy-theory paranoia at work. Since they are all too young to know any better, of course they believe the things that their parents tell them. Which is normal and to be expected. I don't argue with them. But I have been honest with them when they ask me who I'm supporting.

The funny thing is this; typically, when they hear that I support Obama, the student will do a double take of some sort, and you can see those little wheels turning. They are processing the fact that an adult that they respect, believe in, and trust is actually making a different decision than the one they've been led to believe is the only one that's reasonable. It's the very beginnings of kids learning that they have options and things to think through. They are at the age where they begin to understand that you don't have to believe everything that you're told and that you CAN investigate things for yourself. Which is what I advise them to begin doing so that when they are old enough to actually vote, they will know their own convictions and vote according to that.

I want to share a few other things that have shocked and concerned me during the election cycle, but I'll wait for another day. Today is the day to sit back and hope and pray for the best. No matter which way you voted.

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Anonymous said...

I'm in awe of your ability to handle such things so easily. I'm not sure I'd react well if I was presented with youngsters who have been convinced of such awful lies.

grace said...

Well Jarred....the thing is this. These lies are not unlike the ones they hear about Santa and the Tooth Fairy. And it's not my place to dispell that for them either. That's sort of the way I look at it. I hope to teach them to be thinkers. NOT to teach them WHAT to think...just to THINK.

Eventually, all of that works itself out.

I also tend set myself up as more of an observer of this particular culture when I interact with them. I've heard things that would make you cringe WAY WAY worse than any of this. And I listen to them and take it for what it is...just a kid spouting back to me the things they've heard at home.

This place is SOOOOO RED. It's quite unsettling at times.

Jean W said...

Last week, I had a 30-year old vistor at my church do a physical double-take (head snapping around, eyes popping) when I said I was voting for Obama. "But aren't you worried about - you know - his being a Muslim? she asked. This is a smart, sophisticated, IT professional. It ain't just kids believing these lies. Good for you, Grace, for speaking up. In Oklahoma, it is easy to say nothing so as to "not offend."

grace said...

Thanks Jean! And while your story makes me shake my head....at least I know that I'm not alone in my red state blues and it's not JUST because I live in such a rural area.

Robert said...

I gotta first say Pam that I love the folks in the South. Texas particularly has so many wonderful, warm, and genuine people that it makes eager to go visit.

I wanted to get that out there before I talk about the stereotypical slack-jawed yokels who scratch their butts and say that "Barrack HOO-SANE Oh-bamma" is a muzzie terrorist bent destroying the world -- just so you know I am coming from a place of love. ;-D

Willful ignorance unfortunately seems to be a particular problem in large parts of the South (most particularly of course in rural areas). In some places you can count on it just about as much as counting on a large slab of butter being served with your bacon, eggs, and biscuits. For the life of me, I do not know why that is. Lord knows we have heaps of ignorance in California -- and I know a lot of smart, critical thinkers below the Mason-Dixon line -- but there is almost a willingness to hold onto the wildest conspiracy imaginable out in your neck of the country. Congratulations on breaking free and being your own self.

grace said...

Hi Robert! Always so good to hear from you!
I love the way you reminded me that the word "willful" can be put to use with negative terms as well as positive concepts like grace. That's exactly what it is here so much of the time.

I'm like you...in that I DO truly love these folks and there ARE certain aspects to living here that are quaint and even positive for me (like family). And there ARE people who have different views because they actually come to different conclusions. It just seems there are so so many, as you said, who practice willful ignorance.

thanks for checking in!

grace said...

Oh...and Robert...

I offer my deepest and most sincere condolences to you guys that Prop 8 passed. Seriously.

Brady said...

Pam- the sad thing is that my parents (well my dad and stepmom) believe the conspiracy theories about Obama too. I'm glad the election is over--it was actually straining our relationship I think. I don't know, it's one thing to agree with McCain, but quite another to fall for the absurdity of these rumors.

Augustine said...

If at all possible, I hope you take me more as an inquisitive Christian than anything else. I followed one blog to the next trying to "take captive every thought" and I just have a curiosity towards what "the other side" is thinking.

From what I gather (just a few comments of yours and your Profile), you are a member of what could be called the emerging church. So you are a Christian with a take on Christianity that would seem "too liberal" for the evangelical church (Blue like Jazz was a fun read, BTW).

So there is some common ground - if only in the important issues. Why don't we agree then on the important issues of politics?

I understand that the elections are over, but I really wanted to get your take on this issue. I want to know how you reconcile your faith and your political position. If it's not too much to ask, I would like to get your take on a few things: Obama and Prop 8.

I don't particularly think that I have been won over by deceptive lies. I think through issues in a manner that I would say is pretty thorough. In fact, on Prop 8, here in California, I didn't even take a position on it before I got a strong grasp about the issue. So I ask:

What lie is there regarding Obama's stance on the issue of abortion? I don't know your position on this issue, but I do think you know that this is a very important factor to consider when voting a president (not because they can directly effect it, but because they can nominate judges and sign legislation into law). What hangs on the line for these people who are pro-life is the principle of valuing life over convenience - that's a pretty strong principle to stand on. So if Obama has shown himself to be pro-choice and pro-embryonic-stem-cell research, the people that you think are being lied to have a good reason to vote the way they did. (If you want to get into a discussion on abortion specifically, I'm more than willing)

I was going to move on, but I thought that it would be inconsiderate because you do have a life other than responding to random people surfing the internet.

You have a great day ^_________^

Very Respectfully,

P.S. If you would comment as to how abrasive I came off to you in the above statements, that would be great! I am trying hard to be graceful but I don't get to read a lot of people with my point of view in encounters with others of a different persuasion. This makes it hard for me to imitate anyone. I guess I could always take a page out of Paul's writing... Hahaha.

grace said...


First of all, I found your response to be full of grace, not abrasive in the least, and I appreciate that.

Secondly, I think, regarding the issue of lies, that you and I may be talking about two different things. I'm referring to the specific lies that I mentioned. I realize you may indeed view Obama as a baby-killer based on his stance on abortion, and I can certainly give you that if that's your opinion. It's not mine, but that is the only one of those particular lies that could be sort of "up for grabs" so to speak. The other things; his citizenship, being Muslim, (they also believe he was sworn in with the Koran), etc....are just lies.

I have no beef whatsoever with people who disagree with me or anyone else about real issues. I was speaking, I thought plainly but maybe not, about the LIES that my students and so many of their parents continue to take a stand on. It would be better, to me, if they could just say they weren't supportive of him because they disagree with his stance on issues. I think that calling him a baby-killer is a lie, even though I'm fully aware of his stance on abortion.

When you say "Obama and Prop 8" I guess I need more info. to go on. Prop 8 was a state thing. Obama doesn't support gay marriage. I do. But, again, it's a state issue. Right? Or am I missing something here that you are asking?

Thanks for commenting and I hope we can continue to dialogue about things! I think it helps us all to think through things and see them from other perspectives.


grace said...


On rereading your response I think you are wondering how I reconcile my faith with my support of Obama and gay marriage? Is that right?

Specifially, how do you believe that being a Christian would make it impossible for me to support either Obama or Prop 8? Maybe I could better answer the question if I know where you are coming from in finding it not possible to reconcile those things in the first place.

Does that help?

Zeffy said...

Whoa, you bloggers are a whole different breed of people from the Facebook crowd that I am more accustomed to. Your response was so quick whereas I might have come off as a troll who goes on random people's blogs and mean-spiritedly attacks other people's beliefs. I just wanted to say that I didn't just abandon the conversation. I just have a lot of papers to write for school and juggling all of these important thoughts are causing me to wonder how bloggers find the time to write after a long day of being out and about.

Once again, thanks for the quick response and I apologize in advance for my really slow one.

By the way, this is Augustine. I was inspired to make my own blog but the inspiration only got me as far as creating the account. Hahaha!

grace said...


My Facebook friends are also very "quick" with responses and such. Hmmm...

I also have a ton of papers to write (i'm in a grad program) AND I'm in the middle of making costumes for a 6th grade version of Macbeth that I'm putting on at school. I guess it's just a time-management thing...not sure.