Some good news, anyway…

The professor mentioned in the previous post has spoken to me (with no knowledge of my bloggery), the student involved, and additional witnesses to the scene and has offered both a verbal and a nicely typed written apology for his actions.  I am glad to know that some people are man-enough to accept responsibility for their mistakes, and I commend him for his quick, classy, and responsible apology.  There are no ill-feelings there.  I believe that repentance is not only possible, but should be accepted when offered.

 

In other good news, I have a cold!  Oh wait…that isn’t good news at all…that sucks!

 

You’ve seen “Current Listening.”  You’ve seen “Current Watching.”  You’ve seen “Current Reading.”  …but as a FIRST from my blog, I now present to you, “Quotable Quotes!”

  • “Up with this, I will not put!” – Bernard Black, Black Books
  • “-Fresh Straw in every mattress, Jack.  It’s only a matter of time.  -That sounds like socialism.  -What it is, Jack, is a lot of straw in a country full of straw.” – Roddy Doyle, A Star Called Henry
  • “God calls us to forgive.  He does not, however, call us to submit ourselves to further abuse.” – Anonymous

An Open Letter to My Conservative Friends

Dear Friend,

 

Before I get too far into this, I just want to make it absolutely clear that everything I’m saying is sincere and is meant with the best of intentions.  I have a history of making sarcastic, often mean-spirited posts about the practices of the Republican Party.  In recent days I’ve tried to change that, and I hope the readers of this post will recognize my change of tact and see this post for what it is supposed to be.  I mean no insult, and I certainly am not trying to gloat or rub any salt into any wounds.

 

Over the past couple of days, I’ve noticed some high tensions in my Conservative friends.  I just want to say that I genuinely feel for you.  I know what it’s like to have supported the losing ticket.  I know how bad it sucks when you pour all of your governmental passion into a candidate, you’ve fought to have his/her message heard, and you’ve maybe even PRAYED that they’d win, and then your candidate loses.  I know what it’s like to have the majority of the country tell you you’re wrong.  Shoot…I have that pretty much every day where I work, being a Liberal among a 99% Conservative staff.  I get it.  It sucks.

 

I am not going to say that I feel bad that Obama won.  In all honesty, I feel great about that.  But I really wish you, my friends, didn’t have to go through it.  Most of you don’t deserve it.  Most of you are good people who just wanted your candidate to win.  You weren’t the ones shouting “terrorist” or “off with his head.”  You weren’t the ones intentionally misspelling Barack’s last name with a “s” instead of a “b.”  You weren’t the ones slinging mud and tearing down campaign posters in people’s yards.  The people who did that stuff deserve to feel how they do — but the rest of you don’t.

 

I apologize for those in my party who are making your life a living Hell right now.  I know what that’s like, too.  It’s rude, it’s unsportsmenlike, and frankly it’s unpatriotic.  Mr. McCain’s consession speech was a WONDERFUL speech.  I really wish my party would have listened to it and taken it to heart.  He was kind, supportive, and forward-looking.  He didn’t try to rally the troops behind himself or his party; he tried to rally people behind the next President.  It was WAY more generous than I ever expected.  I wish my own party was being as kind to you in victory as Mr. McCain was to US in defeat.

 

That, however, is a two-sided coin.  By the same token that I wish my party had listened to Mr. McCain’s words, I also wish some members of YOUR party had done so, too.  There are some who are being just as crappy to those of us in the Democratic Party as our crazies are being to them.  Look, maybe for my past blogging sins, I deserve some of it…but I’m getting it from complete strangers who I KNOW have never stumbled upon my blog.  You don’t get to do that, and neither do we.  Things already SUCK in this nation, and we shouldn’t be making it suck more now by saying and doing the things we’re doing.

 

As a concession to all of that, my Obama sticker’s coming off my car on Tuesday (I think a week of celebration is still fair-play).  My avatar on Facebook has already been switched to a picture of ME instead of the Obama “HOPE” poster.  I’m trying to build bridges with my Republican colleagues.  I’m not bringing it up in conversation with people that I know voted for Senator McCain — though if people ask me DIRECTLY about it, I will express my satisfaction, hopefully respectfully.  I am not on the attack, nor do I feel the need to defend the victory, since there was nothing shady or weird about it.

 

I will say that there’s one aspect of what I’ve seen in my experience that genuinely bugs me, and that I think is entirely unacceptable.  There are those among my Christian brethren and sistren (which I know isn’t a word) who are invoking the name of God in a way as to win arguments, post-election.  I’ve been involved in a recent conversation where I witnessed someone I used to respect as a Christian leader berate someone else based on their voting.  The man said things that questioned the other person’s racial integrity, moral compass, and even their salvation.  To make matters worse, the person who was berated was a student and the man doing the damage was a professor.  I have not yet decided if it is more appropriate to confront this man or to simply go directly to my boss and the administration of the school.

 

Friends…you don’t get to do things like that.  You don’t get to abuse your power.  You don’t get to hurt people.  And (pardon the contradiction of words/thoughts) you DAMN sure don’t get to invoke the name of Yahweh-God to demean someone who just feels differently about health-care than you do.  That has to stop.  I am as yet unexposed to the Liberals doing similar things, but I’m sure it’s happening.  That isn’t right either.

 

On Tuesday night, for the first time in months, Senator McCain and Senator/President-Elect Obama had a similar message.  They both spoke of unity.  They both spoke of hope.  They both spoke of a better tomorrow.  They both, in fact, promised to work together with their colleagues of both parties to try to dig this country out of the hole it’s in.  I hope those weren’t just empty words to either of them.  I also hope those words can somehow find resonance with us all as we work toward a better America.

 

I have much hope with Obama in office.  Even the most Conservative people I know recognize the historical significance of Mr. Obama’s win and see it as, if nothing else, a major good sign of how far this country has come from a racial perspective.  Personally, I think it goes deeper than that, and that this isn’t just a symbolic win.  I think the country and the WORLD is going to change for the better.  I just hope those of us who are living amongst each other — especially those of us in the church — can embrace the goodness and end the hatred that has been so prevalent in recent days.

 

Thank you for listening, and I genuinely hope these next four to eight years are not as terrible on you as many in my party feel the previous ones were on us.  I hope you prosper and find good things in the changing times to come.  I also hope members of my own party, alongside yours will realize that change is not automatic, problems do not disappear overnight, and prosperity doesn’t happen without first having to sacrifice.

 

Good luck to all of us.  God bless America.  And all that.

 

-Derek

Oh…My…God…

We actually did it.  We actually voted Barack Obama into the White House.

 

It hasn’t sunk in.  I still don’t believe it.  He has not yet made his acceptance speech…and I’ll tell you…  I’m in such disbelief that I’m half expecting him to walk out onto the stage, rip off a mask, and it’s George Bush.  That’s how shocked I am.  I can NOT believe that it’s real.

 

Michelle Obama said it, and it was a faux-paux…but I’ll say it and mean it.  For the first time in my adult life, I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.

 

I promise, I won’t rub it in.  I’m not going to put the Republicans I know through ANY of what some of my Democratic colleagues probably think they “deserve” after eight years of Bush.  That’s not my place.  I’ll be happy.  I won’t be cruel.

 

I will say, though, that it’s going to be weird blogging without Bush and the Republicans in the White House.  What on Earth shall I bitch about now???

 

I know there’s no way that — by God, I get to say it — PRESIDENT Obama will ever read my blog…but I still feel the need to say this, just in case.

 

Sir, THANK YOU.

Something to Pass the Time…

So, we’re still a few (sigh) hours away from knowing who the next President of the United States of America will be.  Until we find out, sometime in the wee hours I’d bet, I thought I’d post something to keep you busy.  So…

 

Here is a picture of what I’d look like if I’d lived in 1937:

 

bowler2

 

Discuss…

 

Current Listening:

  • A Mix of Steve Earle’s “The Revolution Starts Now” and a bunch of Springsteen, mostly made up of songs from “The Rising” and “Magic.”

Once More Before Tuesday

In 2004, they said that Bush/Kerry would be the most important election of my generation.  That election, of course, went to Bush.  In 2008, they are once again calling it the most important election of my generation (assuming I’m still in the generation they’re talking about, four years later).  This time, I actually kind of believe them.

 

Tomorrow.  It happens tomorrow.  We will either decide as a country that the politics of the last eight years were just fine and endorse John McCain as the next President, or we will decide that we’ve had enough, that it’s time for a change, and we will elect Barack Obama.  As most of you who read my blog (may God have mercy on your soul) know, I’m hoping for the latter.

 

At this point, I don’t think I have to say anything more about Bush.  There’s only so many times that I can point out his pantheon of faults and errors.  (Okay…I’ll probably do it ONCE more before the office is handed over in January).  I also am sticking to my word that I’m not going to slander John McCain.  However, I will say that I think most of the policies that he’s presented are very similar to George Bush’s, and therefore I find them just as ridiculous, out of touch, and irresponsible.  He said in the last debate that he’s “not George Bush” and he’s right.  He’s only 90% George Bush, as per his TV ads which claim that he voted with the “President” [sic] 90% of the time.

 

I sometimes wonder what happened to McCain.  He used to be the Conservative that the Liberals liked.  He seemed like the kind of guy that we wouldn’t have minded having on one of OUR tickets…but since the White House became tangibly in his sight, he seems to have become everything we hate (though “hate” may be a little strong — or maybe not).  That means that either we misread him for years…or that he got wind of the fact that he had a real chance at the White House and changed his demeanor to better fit the Republican party, therefore selling out everything he’d been for decades.  If that’s what happened, it frightens me that he could be in the highest seat in the nation, come next year.  Do we really want someone who’s willing to change himself on fundamental levels, just for a lick of the brass ring?  (“Lick?”  What the…?)

 

I stand behind Barack Obama.  He’s different from the previous generation of politicians.  The previous generation made such mistakes as the war in Vietnam, the war in Korea, Watergate, Iran Contra, etc…  Barack, on the other hand, only learned of those things in history books.  Some say that’s a lack of experience.  I say it’s an opportunity to remove the old guard and get someone in there who may not have as much experience (though, surely, he’s just as qualified as Ronald “Bedtime for Bonzo” Reagan was *cough*), but it does mean he has history on his side.  What’s that old saying?  If you do not learn from history, you are destined to repeat it?  …and how many wars/police-actions have we fought in the same basic region since 1980?  Correlation?

 

Look, I’m not going to say that I think Obama’s perfect.  I don’t like what he says about education.  I don’t like what he thinks about abortion.  I don’t like his ties.  But, for the other 95% of what he says, I think he’s great.  I think he’s got new, fresh ideas, and the man inspires me to be a better American and a better person.  Keep in mind, after the Gore/Bush debacle, I was defining myself as an Anarchist…so that’s saying a LOT.

 

I’m asking — in fact begging — if you’re still undecided, please consider Barack Obama when/if you step into the booth tomorrow.  Or, if you choose McCain, at least do so responsibly.  Don’t just go in there and flip a coin.  There’s too much riding on this one.  I don’t really know HOW someone can be undecided at this point, to be honest with you, but apparently something like 1-in-7 of you are.  Regardless of who gets elected, I really wish undecided people weren’t allowed to vote at this point.  You’re deciding the course of our nation for the next four to eight years, and you shouldn’t be allowed to do that based on a guess.  If you’re not voting for Barack, you at least owe AMERICA enough respect to be able to explain why you DID vote for McCain.  It doesn’t make you a good American to vote by guessing; in fact it makes you a really crappy one.  Sometimes it makes you a better American to NOT vote.

 

…but that said, I really hope the majority goes to Obama.  And I mean the majority of the ELECTORAL vote, unlike what happened to Gore.  Sigh…

 

Good luck tomorrow.  To all of us.

 

(For more on Barack, please see my post here.)