Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


This here Iowa voter

McCain is admirable--a real American hero; but I think he may be too old. I'm thirteen years younger than he is, and I'd have questions about myself. But I like him.

Huckabee's Christianity, to me, seems just about as obtrusive or unobtrusive as I think mine might be. He's shown more heart and soul than almost anyone in the Republican roster, but sometimes I have to admit that I wonder about him. When, years ago, he was quoted as saying, "We've got to take this nation back for Christ," I'm as fearful as I am of Romney's about face on just about everything. But he seems to have changed since that startling and scary rhetoric. And, he's compelling. Unlike the others, he's human.

Equip Guilianni with a drawl and a ranch, and he'd be George W. If there anything we don't need, it's more of him.

I'm not a libertarian, so I'm not for Ron Paul, but I love it that he's doing as well as he is--and saying what he's saying among Republican candidates, each of whom is trying to out genuflect before the god Ronald Reagan has become.

There are more good democrats than republicans. I really like Joe Biden, but he doesn't seem to have a chance. Who, really, has more foreign policy experience? Richardson is really attractive, too--for a number of reasons; but sometimes his miscues trouble me. We've had enough of those too.

I never liked Bill Clinton, not even before Monica and "it depends on what the definition of is is." Never trusted him--he loved too indiscriminately. I didn't mind his politics, but to me, he's the kind of guy, as a Canadian friend of mine used to say, who will shake your hand and pee down your leg at the same time. I don't like the idea of him hanging around the White House for another four years--or, Lord help us, eight. It's hard for me to like Hillary because of him. Why be coy?--it's hard for me to like Hillary, period. It was stunning to hear her accuse Obama of being too dedicated to becoming President. Sheesh. This country has had enough of two whole families--enough of Bush and enough of Clinton. Maybe they both retire in joy and peace. Amen.

On the democratic side, that leaves Obama. Yesterday, in the Washington Post, Brian De Bose claims that younger generations (X and Y) are drawn to Obama, not Hillary. I understand that, and, right from the start, liked Obama myself--for that reason.

I teach Gen Y's everyday. I've often been mystified by them, the folks David Brooks wisely called "the Odyssey Generation." My GPS system has been set unalterably--and for better or for worse--by the 1960s. My faith generates the parameters of my world view, but so does my Sixties' orientation. When it's time for me to make assessments of events and behaviors and ideas, the infrastructure of my mind and heart and soul guides whatever new data my consciousness imbibes through the set architecture of my generation, the Beatles era, flower children, Vietnam, race riots, and three horrific assassinations. In two months, I'll be sixty, but a part of me that will never die is what was printed there indelibly by that turbulent era.

And that's why I like Obama, quite frankly. He's not like me, like the Clintons, a Sixties guy. And that's why, right now, I'm favoring Obama. It really is time for a change. It's time for us--the Sixties generation, most of whom, like me, have bad knees--to start thinking, at least, about shuffleboard.

I'm an Iowan. This morning's Des Moines Register has come out favoring Clinton and McCain. Not more than a month ago, we stopped our daily subscription--and I'll tell you why: because the Des Moines Register itself, once an institution in this state, has had to change because the world, even in Iowa, has. Newspapers are changing radically--or dying on the vine. They're trying to fish for Generations X and Y, who don't respond like we did, the Sixties generation.

Here's my choice, just a few weeks before the caucuses: Huckabee and Obama. Me and the Register part company this morning.

But I can go to only one caucus, so I'll have to choose. So I'm going democratic. Why? Because Obama loves Niebuhr, or so says David Brooks, who I trust. That makes him a Calvinist, which means he's got guilt, like Lincoln, not Bush. Do Baptist free-willers have guilt? Hmmmm, don't know.

But if Iowa voters are known for anything, it's their not knowing who they're for until five seconds before they have to raise their hands. Consider me one of those.

Although this time, I'm going to go democratic.
Last week, I ate supper at church, where I sat between two retirees, both of whom had good minds. Both were disillusioned this time around, both snarly, angry old farts.
I hope I never get that way. This is a marvelously exciting campaign, all full of shocking surprises, overflowing--too much, in fact--with religiosity. I wish, for once, we could just let it alone a bit.
But then, I'm supporting Obama because to me he feels like a Calvinist. Go figure.

2 comments:

ricknieklikebike said...

The point for me is whether or not the guilt that one understands compels one to guide a nation born of it's declaration of freedom to demand his or her bosses (of the people, by the people) to act peacefully and generously? Or does the guilt compel one to real in power for themselves so that no one other than he or she can do right by the U.S. I choose a candidate who promises the former. Bush hasn't been a great example of conservatism, but the powers in the Dem. party can't seem to march the American way either.

Anonymous said...

well, I am reading this almost 6 years later and our Pres. Obama is in a big mess with Health Care Release, and about 10 other scandals, wonder how you would vote now? I never voted for him, he just seemed to good to be true and the public media never really wanted to vet him, so we are stuck with him another 3 years. His smile is strong, but his actions are weak, our country is loosing esteem in the world, thanks to Pres. Obama.