Monday, August 15, 2011

Campaign '12

I've been paying a bit of attention to the beginnings of Presidential Campaign '12.  Here's some thoughts that have been rambling around in my head.

Republicans aren't completely sure how far to the right they want to step and how much  they want to be indebted to the Tea Party. Democrats seem to be a bit unsure about how tied they want to be to President Obama.  Decisions. Decisions.

The Tea Party, in some quite remarkable ways in a short period of time, got everyone talking about some fundamental fiscal issues.  But there's more to the political landscape than talking about money.  Not sure this movement has the 'chops' to dive into the murky waters of non budgetary concerns but will need to in order to gain wider credibility.  Being a bur in the saddle of the establishment works for awhile but long term more is required.

The President looks like he'll avoid primary opposition although I can't help but think that his Secretary of State might hatch some sort of plan to try and snatch the nomination.  If that's going to happen it better be sooner than later. 

Sarah Palin.  Will she? Won't she?  Will it matter?

I'm sure the Democrats would love to see an ideologue win the Republican nomination.
The Republicans think they've got one in the White House already.

I'm thinking that too many underestimate the emotional reaction the President elicits among the marginalized and those feeling disenfranchised. If that emotion and idealism can be mobilized again and turned into votes Obama will be tough to beat. It's a big if though. What a whole lot of folks don't understand is that the  President represents the mountaintop MLK and others promised.  That can't be minimized.  Education reform, health care, a coherent, justice laden immigration policy and other social policy issues continue to be hot button issues for the Presidents base of support.

The American people have to realize that only partial answers come from Washington.  Pointing fingers and throwing the rascals out only goes so far.  Who's willing to take constructive action on the local level?

Budgetary sanity is a big issue.  Character is a bigger one. From my vantage point the lack of character has gotten us into the mess we're in. I'm not sure we're convinced character counts anymore.  Whoever takes the moral and ethical high road during the campaign will stand out from the crowd.

How ugly will this campaign get?  And if it gets ugly fast how close are we to seeing here what the British are experiencing in their streets?  I'm secretly thinking that we're only one catalytic event away from some rather major social unrest.  There's a huge cloud of anger hovering over us.  It's being fueled by a jet stream of social media that deals in sound bytes and not substantive discussion.. And the coping mechanisms necessary for dealing with that anger aren't part of the everyday habits of way too many in our society.

This has the look and feel of being a perilous time for our nation.  I'm reminded of a scripture that's been used almost to the brink of irrelevancy but let me suggest it anyway as a truth we can't ignore.

 "Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land." 2 Chron. 4 (NLT).

Operative words are humble themselves, seek my face, turn from wicked ways.  Those are soul searching and gut wrenching words don't you think?  We always want the promises of God but often reject the means to those promises.  We want the blessings, healing and forgiveness of God without doing the grunt work of posturing ourselves in the right ways before Him.  


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