I have a Facebook page. I know. I know. It’s a bit juvenile to have one at my age, but I enjoy keeping up with old friends from high school and college on it. In order to set up your Facebook page, you have to create a personal profile, and one of the things that you’re asked to do is summarize your political views in one word. They give you several options like conservative, liberal, moderate, and so on. I was really struggling with what to choose until I saw the one word that best summarizes my political views: skeptic. And that’s what I chose.
Why am I such a skeptic? I’m not sure, but I do know that the current presidential race is only serving to feed my skepticism of the American political system. Michelle and I watched some of the Democratic National Convention this past week, and I felt several times like I was going to puke. And just to be fair, I’ll watch the Republican National Convention next week with a barf bag in hand. It’s the posturing, positioning, and promising that I can’t handle. The sophisticated term for this is rhetoric, and it really turns me off.
The dictionary defines rhetoric as the undue use of exaggeration or display; to bombast. And this is exactly what we are being fed in large doses as the November election approaches. I nauseatingly listened to Barack Obama and Joe Biden make promises I know they can’t keep and say things that I know are not true.
For instance, I love how Obama tells stories like the one about the “single mom from Michigan I talked to last week who has been laid off from her automotive job and now can’t afford college for her daughter.” He says that this is the fault of the Bush administration because George W. doesn’t care, but he – Barack O. – does. And if he’s elected president, because he cares a whole lot more for this woman that George W. does, he’ll make sure things like this will never happen again to anyone. Cut to camera 2 and pan the row where all the Obama-lovers are weeping and cheering at the same time. Yuk!
Then there’s Joe Biden unabashedly blaming the deaths of 1,800 people in New Orleans back in 2005 NOT on the natural disaster known as Katrina, but on the commander-in-chief known as Bush. No kidding. He stood before 80,000 people in Denver – and millions of viewers all across the world – and with no shame at all, blamed Hurricane Katrina on President Bush. Cut to camera 3 and zoom in on Hillary clapping firmly and nodding her head in agreement.
Is it any wonder that I – and millions of other Gen Xers just like me – think our political process (that our forefathers bravely risked it all to establish) has turned into a joke? Is it any wonder that millions of Americans won’t even vote this November because they don’t know who in the world to even believe? Is it any wonder that more and more people are choosing the word skeptic to describe their political views on Facebook?
I know that this is not a popular position to hold as a conservative Christian…much less a pastor of a conservative baptist church, but it’s just where I’m at (and where I’ve been for a long time.) And just to ease some of your concern (godly as it may be), I will vote this November, and I might even wear the “I Voted” sticker on my shirt that day as well. However, I’m not sure who I’ll vote for.
A couple of nights ago, Michelle and I caught John McCain on The Tonight Show. He was quite funny and quite quick for a fossil. We quite enjoyed Jay’s interview with him, and I actually got kinda excited about the prospect of possibly voting for him. However, he’ll get his chance to spew forth his rhetoric this week at the Republican National Convention, and I’ll be watching. If he blames Barack Obama for global warming and Hurricane Gustav, I think I’ll pack up the family and move to China. I hear deciding who to vote for there is much easier.