They tell me in order to have a successful blog I need to focus on a particular genre or theme, i.e. mommy blog, politics, feminism, current events, religion, entertainment.
If that is the case my lovelies, I guess this blog will never be wildly successful.
Side notes: 1) If you had told me last December when I started this thing that I would have over 30,000 page views by the end of November I would have been shocked and I might have laughed in your face so for me numbers wise, totally winning. 2) Writing this blog has been the catalyst for so much amazingness in my life, that for me, on a strictly personal level it is a huge, wild, cacophony of success.
Now that my tee up is out of the way, I am here to tell you this blog is NEVER going to have a single focus and if that is what is necessary for “blog success” in terms of rankings and book deals and whatever, I am totally okay with that. I for one am just thrilled to be here, on the interwebs talking to you fine people and sharing my thoughts such as they are in all their glory and messiness and
in-processness (I am in a making up words mood this morning. You have been warned. I think it is the lack of sleep. Or maybe it is my giddiness afterglow from the speech).
Ahhhh, there we are! The speech! That is what I am writing about today. Not so much the election itself (as that is all over but the shouting) as the deliciousness that was Obama’s acceptance speech. Here we go…
That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.
That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.
ME: A friend of mine posted today that “a nation divided against itself cannot stand.” My response to him/her was this quote from the President’s speech along with these words. “Nations are pretty much always divided against themselves. Part of what makes America great is the way in which we treat those whom we disagree with.” We are passionate, we debate and yes (as we have seen recently) we argue. But we do so without threat of imprisonment or retaliation from the opposition. We disagree long and loud and on Facebook and we don’t think twice about it. Do you even realize how amazing that is. Think about that the next time you read a political rant and stop and be thankful, especially if you are a woman. As you know, even though we hold up half the sky, there are still far too many places where our voices are muted, discounted or silenced altogether.
We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president — that’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go — forward. That’s where we need to go.
ME: Please tell me you believe in a generous and compassionate America. I do and whether you agree with the President’s policies or not, please stop saying he doesn’t want the same things you do for these children. He is not a monster. He is a father and a husband and an American and a human being.
But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.
ME: I love that! It isn’t about what can be done for us but what can be done by us when we work together! Government of the people, by the people and for the people. As the three musketeers said, “all for one and one for all.” There is a song called Brother’s Keeper by the late great Rich Mullins that says in part:
My friends ain’t the way I wish they were
They are just the way they are
And I will be my brother’s keeper
Not the one who judges him
I won’t despise him for his weakness
I won’t regard him for his strength
I won’t take away his freedom
I will help him learn to stand
And I will ~ I will be my brother’s keeper.
This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.
ME: I wholeheartedly agree. What is amazing about us isn’t just that we are the most diverse nation in the history of the world but it is the fact that in spite of that diversity, in spite of all that divides us we understand that we share one dream. A dream of freedom and equality and justice for ALL regardless of their differences. We in the United States realize that in order for me to have lasting freedom, I must also defend your freedom to worship differently, choose differently and live differently than I do.
At our house we watch Once Upon A Time, and on that show Rumpelstiltskin is fond of saying, “Remember deary, magic comes with a price!” I would change that to say, “Remember lovelies, freedom comes with a price!” The price is being our brother and our sister’s keeper through love, charity, duty and patriotism.
I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. And I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care.
I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president.
ME: If we can’t agree that this girl should be able to receive care without her family losing everything they have then I am shocked and saddened.
And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.
I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.
ME: Yes.Yes.Yes. And for me, hope has a name and His name is Jesus. He taught us to pray that God’s will would be done on earth as it is in heaven and he invited us to be a part of bringing his Kingdom; Not by becoming a theocracy, or through military power, but by loving our neighbors!
America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.
I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.
ME: It is either liberty and justice for all or it is liberty and justice for none. We should reject the lines that divide us and reject those who would through fear and hate try to convince you that it is us vs them, men vs women, rich vs poor, gay vs straight, black vs white. Reject the scripts that tell you that you are somehow superior to your neighbor. You are not. You are, just as your neighbor i,s an image bearer of God, and he or she is just as valuable,and just as loved.
I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth.
Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States.
ME: I believe that. I believe we are more than the sum of our individual ambitions. I believe that when crisis hits and our country is attacked. I believe it when the storms hit and I see people (even Governors and Presidents) drop everything to help their neighbors. I believe it when I host a dinner party and all my friends come (black and white and Hispanic and Asian and Native American, young and old, rich and poor, able and disabled, gay and straight) and bring food for the food bank and have a totally out of control gift exchange. We wish each other happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and safe and prosperous new years all around. I believe it every day in the kindness of strangers who don’t stop first to ask my party affiliation before the lend a helping hand. Don’t get me wrong. It bothers me that my kids had to talk most of the other kids at their Christian school off the ledge yesterday because they were freaked out by the election results. It bothers me when people call George W. Bush evil. Please lovelies, these are just men. We elect them to do a job. They each try to do it to the best of their ability in accordance with their values, beliefs and consciences to make the country they love a better one. Do they make mistakes? Do you? Can you imagine having that job? “Sir, we need to know what you want to do. The seals are waiting sir, should they go in or stand down? Sir? We need to know right now!” Oh my gosh, I don’t even like to make the call on where to have dinner when I am put under pressure. Grace please. Prayers please. Peace, please.
On a related issue, can we please stop saying President Obama isn’t a Christian. He is one. He professes Christ. He believes in the tenets of the faith. God sees hearts, I do not and neither do you. It says God will judge. Neither you nor I will be making those calls (thank God). For now perhaps we who call ourselves followers of Jesus should pray for him and trust that he knows we cannot accomplish any of the things he set out in his speech without God’s grace.
Me: So, God bless you my lovelies and God bless these United States.
Oh, by the way, they also tell me I have to keep it short. Anyone who knows me knows there is probably not much hope of that.