Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Don't Care Who You Are...

Or who you voted for... what an amazing moment in American history.


Electric Monk said...

He's got a lot to live up to now. Hopefully he won't let us down.

Susanne said...

I think it should read, "American's first somewhat black president." Just trying to be accurate. :) It is kinda funny to me to read "black" when he's just as white as he is black. It's the same as the Halle Berry at the Oscars thing.

He does have a lot to live up to...I think we're in for a really rough ride, but I hope he proves me wrong.

Kelly said...

Frankly, I am praying for God's mercy for He is tarrying for a reason and may things that break His heart break ours...He is coming soon and it will not get any easier but as believers in Christ Jesus there is that blessed hope and comfort for we look to Him not man who is limited...

Chaotic Hammer said...

Absolutely agree, Seth.

majorsteve said...

Whatever problems our now extremely liberal government get us into, you can be sure that they will continue blaming it all on Bush. As soon as B.O. pulls us out of Iraq and snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, Al Qaeda, who has been biden' their time, will emerge as the last plane is leaving and claim victory in the region. The horrors that ensue will not be blamed on Obama, it will be Bush's fault.

Tully said...

This may not be popular...but here goes:

I can not tell you the relief I feel that Sen. Barack Obama was elected. Grateful that he won by a landslide as to ensure that there would be no doubt as to who was our new President Elect; no fighting over vote counts or Acorn accusations; no debating that it was too close to call and that the "liberal media elite" called it too soon. He fought for, earned, and won this election.

The media is of course focusing on the historical nature of this election - our first African American President. It is, no doubt, historical and will hopefully pave the way for racist ideologies to be challenged and put to rest once and for all. However, once the moment calms and he is in the White House governing, I hope our opponents and McCain supporters understand that we did not elect him because of his skin color or because of his race. We elected him because of who he is as a leader - not a black leader, not a white leader, but OUR leader. He won people over because of his passion, his conviction, his intelligence, his charisma, his integrity, his personal values (even if you don't agree with all his political positions), his determination, and his eloquence. He is as much white as he is black, but more importantly, he is a leader with an idealistic outlook I haven't seen in my lifetime. He is a visionary and has stood firm in his values to rise above the dirty campaign tactics and earned my respect in how he has conducted himself every step of the way.

John McCain may have served our country with pride, but he failed us in this election. He sold his soul to the GOP and let them take over his election, choose his running mate, and go dirty which he promised not to do. Is he inherently a bad leader? I don't think that's true, but even if how he ran the campaign isn't indicative of how he would have governed, the fact that he was so easily manipulated by the conservative base and the GOP just to try and win the election, manipulate the American Electorate and pander to the lowest common denominator - all that doesn't say much about his integrity, does it? It doesn't say much about his ability to run his campaign HIS WAY. It doesn't say much about his conviction to be a "Maverick" and stand up for what he believes is right...so why should we have believed that his term in the White House would have been any different? That he would have stood up for what was right then? That he wouldn't have let the GOP manipulate him after the election to futher THEIR agenda...not his...or ours?

I feel strongly that John McCain forever tarnished his legacy! Most of us won't remember that he was a war hero, we will likely remember how he ran one of the most sad, negative, and unethical campaigns in our lifetime...and Sarah Palin can go crawl back under the rock she came from!!!

I went to bed last night feeling a lot of pride for my country, feeling hopeful for our future, and feeling safe in my home (a feeling I haven't had in quite a while). Last night didn't just feel like an election, it felt like we as a nation overthrew our corrupt government! It felt like we took back our voice as a true democracy! We reclaimed our power to say "we don't want to hear any more negative, slanderous accusations on our leader, we want solutions, and Johnny Mac, Sarah, and Joe (the Plumber)...your 15 minutes are up!" We locked horns with the traditional ideologies and institutions, not because we want conflict, but because we haven't felt heard in quite a while and want to be represented for a change. It felt like we can now reclaim our stance as a democracy that we keep trying to hold up to other nations as an example because this time, the system worked.

The last two elections were not democratic...as they were surely stolen from us by the GOP machine...but we are tired, we are broke, we are sick of feeling powerless, and we want a leader who doesn't just tell us what is wrong with the world (which is all we've heard from the Republicans) we want a leader who also gives us hope that we can change it.

Never underestimate the power of hope!

Never underestimate the power that true leadership will have on a nation - a leadership that is based on inspiration, a call to action, a desire to make things better, a quest to bring people together instead of dividing the nation, and most of all, the willingness to fight for it has hard as Barack Obama has in this election. The decay of our society has been our biggest problem and has lent itself to all the issues we are confronted with now. Barack Obama won this election not because he is African American or rhetorically gifted, but because we as a people can not survive any longer without hope! We need it almost as much as we need air...and only one candidate was willing to stand up for it, risking everything, and putting his faith in the inherent decency of the American Electorate to want a nation we can ALL be proud to call home.

Seth Ward said...

Yeah... now that the dust has settled, now that we've proven to ourselves that we are not as racist as we were 10/20/30/40 years ago... now that we have defeated who we've been made to believe is George Bush (the incarnation of our own anger and shame from crying for blood,) now that we've crucified him, what do we "know?"

These are the facts:

We can know that we have just elected THE most liberal-socialist-minded-(our country is hybrid of socialism and capitalism)-democratic president in the history of this country.

We have elected a man that has stated the the constitution should be re-written to better suite the challenges we have today.

We have elected a man to be the head of our armed forces, during a turbulent war - a man that has literally no experience in or around the military.

We have elected a man who has never run a business (besides his campaign - and even he admits that his manager should get all the credit there) to make tax decisions for the American people during the most turbulent financial crisis since the great depression.

We have elected a man who holds the most pro- abortion views in possibly the whole entire government.

What did we do? We just eased our conscience. We were tired of people hating us. We were tired of being the bad guy. We were tired of being reminded of all of our bad history. We decided that if we vote for a Black man, then that must mean we are really a good nation. Though I can sympathize with those sentiments, they are all wrong reasons to vote for a president. We don't need a pep-rally leader. We need a commander and chief of our armed forces. I hope he gets good help.

I just challenge all of you to imagine Obama with blonde hair, blue eyes and white skin. Seriously. Just try it. Just try to imagine if the African American genes were less dominant and the white genes hid all resemblances to a black race. Knowing what you know about him, his credentials, his record... would you have elected him?

Why am I bringing this up? Because I think to be prepared for the future, we need a reality check. Because I think he was elected primarily because he was black. Yes there were other factors, but any logic that caused us to doubt was easily stormed by the thrill of an opportunistic moment. I felt the urge myself when I was in the booth. No matter what people say, the color of his skin combined with the way we hate our world-image trumped every logical argument.

It is like marrying a girl just because she is hot. Even though she is kind of a b, she is just so hot! It is superficial and only pacifies the situation.

Therefore, I believe that we should pray for him. I believe that we should pray hard for him, that he would seek good council. That he would seek wisdom. I pray that God would change his mind on abortion. I pray that he would not waist time blaming Bush and he would chose people to his cabinet that would strive for unity and peace, not division. I also pray that some idiot bigot does not do something horrible, leaving us worse than we've ever been. I prayed that last night when he was giving his acceptance speech. Hey, I'm just being real here.

Of course I'm a little disappointed, but not much to do about it now but try to look on the bright side. So... I'm going to be positive about this. In the end, life goes on and the Earth is the Lord's and all that is in it. And yes, there are some positive things. And one cannot underestimate the power of public opinion in the world. It is important and it has gone up a notch or 10. I think he has a lot of good ideas. And I'm not just saying that. I really do think the man has some good ideas. I do think he is intelligent. I do think we'll be alright. And guess what? If we don't like him in 4 years, we get another one! That is, unless he somehow does what the NYC mayor just pulled off in extending his tenure beyond its limit.

I honestly hope that he will be our greatest president. Let's pray that he is.

Tully said...

I pray for all those things as well. ;)

The only thing I want to challenge is the notion that he only got elected because he is black. Everyone voted for him for their own reasons…no question was race a reason for some, but not all. Keeping in mind that the popular vote does not really mean much with regard to who gets elected, the electoral college didn’t all vote for him because he’s black – the reasons were varying and too complex to generalize.

I just don’t want us to get distracted by the sensationalism in the media spotlight right now. This historical moment is undeniable…but please don’t take away from him what he does bring to the table, because he is more than a color or a race. If he is as smart as I think he is, he will surround himself with expertise in the areas that you are concerned about. If anything, the fact that he has been labeled the “first African American President” means that he will likely be more cognizant of his responsibility and the legacy he leaves behind. He cannot make a mistake! He has to be perfect, or at least as perfect as he can be. If anything the significance of this election will make it THAT MUCH MORE important for him not to fail.

With regard to how liberal he is…if you listened to his speech, you will be heard. “Especially if you disagree” with him! He needs to re-evaluate his position on abortion (not overturn Roe v. Wade altogether) and I feel sure that he understands his responsibility not only to “liberal Democrats” but also to “conservative Republicans.”

Now, he is not “our Democratic candidate” anymore…he is OUR President…he has to represent all of us…not just those who voted for him. His speech made it clear that he understands that, so have a little faith my friend – we may not all see the world through the same lens, but together we can find common ground. ;)

This Southern Belle said...

Well said, Seth. I pray that he proves us both wrong.

Anonymous said...

"It is important and it has gone up a notch or 10." But this one goes to eleven?

Seriously Seth, I think my earlier comment to your post about Obama was bitter. Let me revise: I hope that Our Savior can deliver what He promised.

Seth Ward said...

Some good things to think about there, Tully, and I agree with much of it. I have lots to say about what you said but unfortunately, I'm heading out the door to catch a train.

I am very interested in what everyone has to say here and will be reading them on my Iphone while I travel. Please keep them coming!

Chaotic Hammer said...

@Tully - I thought McCain's concession speech was gracious, and disagree that he or Palin did or said anything during the campaign that was any worse or any different than anything that other politicians do or say to get elected during each and every election cycle. By the very nature of our political system, it's a mean and ugly process. Study the history of past debates and elections, and you'll see that this one was relatively tame. The media hype this time far outweighed reality, sorry.

...he is a leader with an idealistic outlook I haven't seen in my lifetime...
Then I'd be safe in assuming that you're too young to remember Ronald Reagan, and how it felt to be an American in the 1980's after four years of Jimmy Carter.

I do agree that people respond better to hope and idealism than fear or pragmatism. That's just human nature, and by no means a wholesale endorsement of each and every policy that a given candidate intends to implement.

And honest, I'm not trying to play the "I'm older than you" card here, but I've watched America swing back and forth from left to right and back again, and seen the inevitable economic cycles play themselves out, and there's a whole lot to be said for the general mood of the electorate going into an election. There are leftist ideologues who are always voting liberal, rightist ideologues who are always voting conservative, and most elections swing on the fairly fickle mood of the great unwashed masses in between, who make their choices based far more on visceral responses to the candidates and their aesthetic appeal than on a genuine understanding of the issues or underlying ideologies.

I've also watched the cycles and observed the trends long enough to know that the hope and good will people feel when being promised the sun, moon, and stars by a candidate vying for office eventually dissolve when the grim realities of the limitations to what a politician can do play themselves out. I know that sounds extremely negative, and is a splash of cold water in the face of all this happy-talk. But reality is what it is, and sooner or later reality always wins.

I also think it is a disservice to black Americans to dismiss or minimize the racial and historical component to this election. Many people did vote for Obama entirely because he's black. And that's perfectly fine. Here's a potentially positive side-effect of that, which I honestly hope plays out: For many, part of the experience of being a black American has always been a sense of alienation; a sense that you're living in a place made mostly by and for other people, who don't understand you, don't relate to you, and don't know what it's like to be you. It's like being a second-class citizen, in a country ruled by The Man. No matter how much opportunity you received, how much progress you made, how much success you achieved, you still had a sense that it wasn't really yours. Now, this place really is yours. You have a stake in it -- a stake in seeing it prosper, a stake in seeing the leader of it succeed. Someone who shares your experience in life is now in one of the most visible and powerful positions on earth.

I don't like group-think and perpetual self-victimization being prominent components of our political dialogue. At some level, it would be easy to argue intellectually that it's wrong to pull for a guy just because of the color of his skin (or likewise to be against him for the color of his skin). I genuinely believe that each and every individual should have equal opportunity to succeed based solely on the merits of his or her own words and deeds. But both sides are of the American political system have long been guilty of using fear, anger, hatred, and division to their advantage. In theory, this election should go a long way in reducing that effect, and in bringing about healing. Will it actually do that? I have no idea. But I guess we're all about to find out. All of us. Us Americans.

Tully said...

Chaotic Hammer – you are correct, not only am I probably too young to remember Reagan, but that is compounded by the fact that I was born overseas in Germany and lived there until 1983 – father was German, mother was American…so having lived in a country with a very different kind of government for the first third of my life, I may be coming from a different vantage point.

As for “reality” – perception is reality, is it not? Attitude is everything and if we go into this administration with the notion that nothing will change…then nothing will! We are a cynical bunch, but what if…“what if”…we can? Great achievements in life involve great risk…and anything worth having is worth fighting for.

Historical: I do agree with you whole-heartedly! I do not want to take this away from the African American community…but I do want to emphasize that it is not just a victory for them; it’s a victory for America. Obama doesn’t just represent the African American community; he also represents the bi-racial community – who generally feel that they don’t belong to either side. Talk about feeling unrepresented. Obama also will (hopefully) serve as a role model for those who didn’t come from privilege, who came from a broken home, who lived with instability in his home life, who in spite of all that should have held him back, still succeeded in achieving what he did. No more excuses can be used from anyone, in any demographic, as to why what they want can’t be achieved…work, perseverance, and conviction will go a long way. My hope is that all the above mentioned demographics will take this as a catalyst to also change their own thought processes and move toward promoting a meritocratic mindset – regardless of race, class, or gender.

None of us can sit back and play the victim card any longer, life is what you make it using the mind, heart, and soul God gave you to have an impact on the world you live in.

Fork said...

"...and Sarah Palin can go crawl back under the rock she came from!!!" - Tully

Dear Tully,

I walk the streets of New York with my McCain/Palin button still pinned to my bag. I politely declined a cup of Obama champagne WITHOUT saying, "I'd sooner put poison to my lips!". I can have civil discussions with my very liberal and, in some cases, admittedly socialist artist friends. And I'm increasingly surprised by how maturely I've been able to handle this upset. After all, it isn't Obama I serve, but One much greater than he. And do I ever hope things really will be "so great" like everyone around me is saying they will be.

Yes, I can abide a lot of things today...


...if you want to trash-talk Sarah Palin...

Sarah Palin who has fought for her state, Sarah Palin who speaks with courage and conviction, Sarah Palin who governed the only state in the country to make a profit in the last year, Sarah Palin who has NOT associated herself with America-hating radicals, Sarah Palin who challenged corruption in her own party and won, Sarah Palin who--love her politics or hate them--is so OBVIOUSLY one of the GOOD GUYS, Sarah Palin who has accomplished so many MANY things...

And Sarah Palin who was, along with her entire family, virtually gang-r.aped by the Obama-favoring media for the past three months...

Please Tully, do us ALL a favor and think a good long while before you DARE suggest Sarah Palin is some kind of repulsive bug or reptile who lives under a rock.

All of the things you say in your posts indicate that you, like much of young America right now, are totally oblivious to the facts. If it sounds nice and looks nice and makes you FEEL good, that's good enough for you. If he SAYS he'll listen to you, then you truly believe he will.

You say the Republicans stole the last two elections? Where do you get off suggesting such a thing without also considering that perhaps the Democrats stole THIS one?

And, having grown up in Germany where the political differences are vast, allow me to inform you that Obama is not our President yet. George W. Bush is. Barack H. Obama is our President-Elect.

Sorry. I drifted a bit from my original point. Point is: Ask yourself "What Would Obama Do?" Would he slam Sarah Palin outright? Or would he secretly flip her the bird in one of his speeches?

Don't mess with her. At the risk of conjuring echoes of the Britney Spears kid,


Anonymous said...

It IS an amazing moment. I have two biracial brothers. They woke up this morning in a world where a non-white person can be elected. I shed a few tears for that change, no matter how I voted

Tully said...

Fork – Please don’t presume that you “know” me from reading a few posts. Part of why Republicans lost this election is because they focus entirely on generalizations and don’t give people enough credit…and please don’t try and “educate” me on the American politics…I’m well versed and not as “young” as you might think.

Palin isn’t the saint you would like to paint her as…she was found to have abused her power as Governor, as mayor she had virtually NO responsibilities (as they don’t even handle social services), and her fear mongering and hate speech is EXACTLY why I would like her to go back to wherever she came from and leave US alone…if you love her so much, feel free to move to Alaska (a state who wanted to succeed from the country and is more socialist than any other).

Sarah Palin was plucked from obscurity and “gang raped” as you put it not by the media, but as a result of the GOP thinking they could manipulate voters with a caricature (as there were several: Sarah, Joe the Plumber, Tito the Builder, etc.). If you want anyone to take you seriously, come at with me something of substance, not the same tired debate tactics that we have had to endure for 21 months.

The Palin debate is over…there is much work to be done to make a difference in our country and this world, and none of it involves getting into pissing matches with fundamentalist conservatives…I think we have all figured out what a colossal waste of time THAT is.

Chaotic Hammer said...

Tully said: As for "reality" – perception is reality, is it not? Attitude is everything and if we go into this administration with the notion that nothing will change…then nothing will! We are a cynical bunch, but what if…"what if"…we can?

Honestly, I'm not going to knock idealism. The truth is that we all would like to see the same kind of world, where everyone is at peace, everyone has plenty, nobody is poor or starving, etc. That appeals to something deep inside each one of us.

But I don't know any other way to say it -- that's not reality. Not on a larger scale in the world, not as the result of any previous election in American history, and not in this case. Let's have this conversation again in one year, and two years, and four years, and eight years. The reality of what was promised in the form of vague and fuzzy concepts will have been manifested in actual legislation and policies, and will almost certainly not be what we expected. That doesn't necessarily mean we were lied to. Obviously the candidates all say what the people want to hear, because that's how you get elected. But within the framework of our system, budgets are proposed and new laws are passed, and by the time all the haggling and compromises occur, and all the mega-pork riders hop on board, it never ends up looking like the neat ideals and concepts that it purported to be in the first place.

Unpopular decisions will have to be made. A zillion little competing interests always vie for attention and funding. Because there's no way to get elected to office without a lot of money, those passing the laws are going to feel obligated to pay back their contributors, resulting in further dilution of priorities and promises. New challenges we don't even foresee right now (particularly in the area of foreign policy) will arise and cause unexpected crises and shifts in priority. And on and on.

Anyway, I don't mean to belabor the point. I honestly hope Obama makes a good president, and honestly hope America does well under his leadership. I will continue to do what the Bible instructs me to do, and pray for our leaders.

Fork said...

Ladies, Gentlemen. A moment please. I'm about to knock some sense into Tully in the most Christian way I know how. What I'm doing is not sinful. This is education. Consider this the plague of serpents from Numbers. Now I know how God felt.

Oooooh Tully. You got my ire up. Oooooh Tully. I told you to lay off my Sarah. You thought I was joking. And now, I’m afraid you’re about to be jabbed with a very, very pointy Fork. So get some Kleenex, honey. You’re gonna need it. Because we have a saying over at my little blog. You don’t [expletive] with the Fork.

Lookit, I’ve been a gracious loser all day long. I’ve had to smile and pretend like I’m not bothered by what I see happening to this country. I had to stand smiling while my nutjob socialist actor friends tried to be “gracious” by saying McCain could be classy “when he wants to be” as if Obama's campaign was as pure as the driven snow. I put up with all of this nonsense all day long. In with the good air, out with the bad.

Well, you listen up, Tully. You got me. You got me good.

I’m gonna work with Obama. I’m gonna pray for him every day of his Presidency. I’m gonna accept the fact that we have to work with these people and try with all our might to hold this country together.

Yeah, I’ve been a gracious loser all day long.


I will NOT sit here and let you twist the knife in deeper by your name-calling and fool presumptions that the “reason YOU GUYS lost the election is blah blah blah”.

You want to know why we lost this election? Look at the youtube videos of the kids singing praises to Obama. Have you seen those? They’re CRAZY. Tully, the reason we lost this election is because you CAN’T BEAT CRAZY, you can only let it run its course and wait for it to pass. Good grief, watching this election was like watching the Nickelodeon Kidz Choice Awards. Well you kids got your shiny, flashy, smooth-talking new President-elect who makes you feel all warm and fuzzy by making you chant simple slogans at the TV screen. Now we all have to pull together and deal with the fact that this is the guy who’s gonna lead us for the next four years.

But before we do...

Before we get to the work...

I’m not letting you off the hook, Tully. Ooohh no. A man is known by his words. And I feel like I’ve known you a loooooong time.

Okay. Maybe Palin isn’t the saint I would like to paint her as. I’ll give you that. But she is FAR from the Baba Yaga that you would like to paint her as. I want you to do us ALL a huge favor, Tully. You’re a level-headed, practical sort of person, yes? You want to talk facts? Okay, I’m down.

Here we go.

Obama sent his lawyers to Alaska to dig up dirt on Sarah Palin. What they found was your aforementioned “abuse of power”. Here’s what I want you to do for us, Tully. I want you to summarize what “Troopergate” was. You tell me. Now I want you to tell me how YOU would have handled that situation.

Oh wait--but this is where it gets interesting. Palin has been cleared of those “abuses of power”. She didn’t actually do anything wrong. Or didn’t MSNBC report that?

You’ve got some nerve suggesting that as mayor she had “NO responsibilities”. I should think that administrating and making decisions for an entire community of people is an awfully BIG responsibility, don’t you? And I should think that being governor of a state three times the size of Texas with an extreme climate and tendency to have disastrous earthquakes, and also be a hop away from a potentially dangerous country who is constantly violating Alaskan airspace would be a PRETTY BIG DEAL. And before you pull another “well if you love her so much why don’t you MOVE to Alaska,” let me tell you I DID live in Alaska when my parents were both serving in the US Military. I’ve BEEN to Wasilla. I KNOW what it’s like up there, and let me tell you something; Alaska ain’t Iowa.

And YOU PEOPLE have the GALL to diminish her accomplishments. This FANTASTIC woman who took on the disgusting, corrupt bigwigs in HER OWN PARTY—AND WON. This woman who was in charge of an entire state, who has fought tirelessly to do the right thing for the people there, who is a strong Christian, a woman of strong moral convictions, who is sassy without being bitchy, who is lovely and OBVIOUSLY good--and YOU PEOPLE have the NERVE to diminish her and make her into something LOATHESOME.

How dare you. How DARE you. It’s DISGRACEFUL. You should be ASHAMED of yourself. She is NOT A BUG. She is NOT A SERPENT. She is NOT VERMIN. Ooooh she’s not PERFECT. I know that. I’m not stupid. But you know what? She’s one of the GOOD GUYS. And you have to be a REEEEEEEEEAL SCHMUCK to say she needs to go “back under the rock she crawled out of.”

Why don’t you tell us what Obama has done as a Senator, Tully. Tell us what he’s done aside from writing his memoirs and running for president.

You’ll say I don’t know her. You’ll say how can I make judgments about a person I’ve never met. Well I never met Jesus. I never met Mother Theresa or Ronald Reagan or my friend Kristen’s grandmother, but I’ve heard all about them from people whose opinions I TRUST and RESPECT. And the general consensus is they were pretty good people. And you know what? Same thing goes for Sarah Palin. Even those folks at SNL who have no love for her, when they finally met her said she is a GOOD person.

Since we're being fair and balanced Tully, why don’t you tell me a little bit about Bill Ayers? Jeremiah Wright? Raila Odinga? ACORN? Frank Marshall Davis? Tony Rezko? Can you? CAN YOU?

You, you, Tully, look at Obama and you don’t see a person. You see a guy who is the embodiment of HOPE and CHANGE. You’ve said as much in your previous posts. He says he’ll listen to you. He will be YOUR president and do what YOU want him to do.

Are you a fool? He is a politician. Sure, he may believe those words with all his heart. But Tully, he said that so you’d VOTE FOR HIM. He’s not a blank slate. He is not your avatar through which your voice will finally be heard. He is a made man. And THOSE people got him where he is. And he OWES them. BIG TIME.

And while you’re educating us about all those guys, I want you to do us all another favor. This is the REAL clincher. This is the BIG one. I want you to TELL US ALL, RIGHT NOW what was on that video the LA Times refuses to release. YOU TELL ME what was on that video and why the LA times COULDN’T release it.

You say you “pray for these things” but you CLEARLY don’t vote for them. NO! You vote for the man who’s gonna leave dying babies in a closet when their intended abortion didn’t work!!

You stick your nose up and smugly dismiss me by saying I need to come back at you with something of substance? How’s this suiting you? You liking this? Because there’s MOOOOOOOOOOOORE where that came from!

You say I’m using “tired debate tactics that we have had to endure for 21 months”. You know what? THIS is why we can’t have a conversation with you. You lefties talk talk talk about wanting to have a “dialogue” but the second someone like me brings up something you don’t want to hear, you put your fingers in your ears and accuse us of being “divisive”. Your statements are made of toothpicks, Tully. They sound good, but there’s no substance to them. You’re the one who’s not being substantive. Not me. I’m being logical. I’m being rational. You say the fundamentalist conservatives are holding us back?

Wellllll I got news for you. It’s not just them. It’s people like YOU.

It’s people like YOU who say my friend Scott is a rich racist in Waco when he has worked his butt off to rebuild the Hippodrome and get the downtown operating again.

It’s people like YOU who say my mother is overpaid and inexperienced when she works twelve hour days to protect the state funding for the impoverished folks who are also the very people who ATTACK her.

And it’s people like YOU who look at the hard work Sarah Palin has done and say “it’s okay that Obama dragged her family through the FILTH--they **DESERVED IT**!!” It’s people like YOU who will NEVER BE HAPPY. No matter HOW HARD the rest of us work, no matter HOW HARD we try to please you. NO, you’re just gonna keep being SMUG and calling names and pointing at everybody doing the REAL work trying to keep this country running while you kick back and tell us we’re screwing it up.

Well YOU got us this guy. YOU got us this president-elect who told a little girl that America sucks. Who has compared this country to Nazi Germany. Who believes the Constitution is fundamentally flawed when it is one of the few documents that has changed this planet. Who wants to take the fruits of other people’s labors and do with it what he sees fit. Who wants to cut Iran a break and cut Israel loose.

YOU gave us this man, Tully. And we don’t like it, he’s a SCARY DUDE, but you know what? We’re gonna get behind him. And we’re gonna work with him. We don’t have a choice. But we’re not gonna get very far unless you get your act together and grow up REAL fast because let me tell you something else…

This country is on the brink. There’s a BIG ASS storm on the horizon. So QUIT the name calling. DROP the smug attitude. Shake off the hypnotic campaign slogans. And start appreciating the work people are doing for you so you can have a nice life in this fantastic country. We’re going to work with you, but you and all the people like you get over yourselves before we can get anythng accomplished.

I told you not to pick on Sarah Palin. ;^)

Anonymous said...

Tully just got pwned

Tully said...

Chaotic Hammer – You are so right. We can’t do everything we want to make the world a better place, so let’s just do nothing – great plan!!! As for myself, I am going to choose to do whatever I can to make a difference, volunteer, donate to great causes…and in my own small way, make a difference. You may sit on the sidelines and armchair quarterback if you like.

Fork – I’m surprised that you can call yourself a Christian with a straight face – and equate yourself to God no less. I assure you that God and Jesus would have spent less time trying to “educate” those who disagreed with them, but more time listening to understand where they are coming from.

I come from a place of love. A position of wanting to see people stop slinging mud at those who disagree with them (as Palin/McCain did nonstop…as well as many Republicans…as well as many “so called” Christians). Its small minded. I’m not going to participate in your negativity and your desire to create conflict – who does this benefit? I’m surprised that Seth would allow you and your arrogance to attack someone with an opposing view…but hey, thanks for “schooling” me…I guess you sure told me. I hope you feel better. Coming from a guy who likely voted for Bush (with all that he has done to screw up this country) it’s awfully rich to act like we are in such dire straits over Obama’s election.

Seth, I’m disappointed in your readers, disappointed that you advocate it, disappointed that you all call yourselves Christians with all the name calling, innuendo, personal attacks, and mudslinging. I’m all for intelligent discourse, but this is ridiculous. I love your writing, but you so called “Christians” will forever lose your audience of opposing views by not giving people the chance to have a differing opinion and to discuss it with some sense of compassion and desire to understand. This type of name calling, hypocrisy and adversarial attitudes is EXACTLY why I stopped going to church.

You all can feel free to stay in the bowels of negativity. Be my guest…peck like the crows after I’m gone...knock yourselves out. I for one will choose to rise above it, rather more like an eagle who can fly at a higher altitude, and focus on things I can do to make the world better instead of wasting my time on the internet debating people who just simply don’t want to understand anyone else, want to surround themselves with like minded people, and when someone dares disagreeing, act like they are the worlds foremost authority that you have all the answers to “knock some sense” into me. I am embarrassed for you.

I suppose one is only allowed to comment on this blog as long as one agrees with what everyone is saying…on that note, I’ll see myself out. Take care, Seth!

Seth Ward said...


I take a little train ride, sit on airplanes until forever o'clock last night and I wake up to find all heck has broken loose.

Gotta write fast so apologies for spelling ahead of time...

Now I did read Fork's comments and I read your comments. I do let people speak their minds on this blog and I let you speak your mind. The way I saw it was that you went after Palin, he went after you, you went after him, he went after you. Unfortunately, it escalated.

Now, children... let us play nice.

That means: Nobody crawls under a rock and we don't need to get overly emotional and call people schmucks. You two have expressed your opinions and though it has been one of the more heated discussions on this blog, I didn't think it was too terribly nasty. However, I've got a pretty good tolerance for debates. It is when it gets a little hot (still civil) that people start speaking their minds.

The election has been an emotional one for all. Tully, I understand your angst as you've had to endure many-a-slanderous email about Obama, from his appetite for baby-flesh, to his being the love child of Osama bin Laden. Forky, I understand all of your angst, living in a place where everywhere you turn, your intelligence and character is challenged and ridiculed for voting, or even liking a woman who you believe is good, intelligent and who has been BRUTALLY attacked, albeit with a smile and wave, by Obama's camp and the media. Those are facts. The media has even recently admitted, in a comparative poll, that they have been 70-something percent more negative towards John McCain and Sarah Palin than they have Barack Obama. It was obvious to most, even liberals-who reveled in the moments- that the media had chosen their man.

The point is, it all escalated. Forky, I'm sure that Tully caught a massive tidal wave that has been building up for months and months from biting your toungue around people that have lambasted you for your views. It was probably a tad much.

Tully, I would say, bad timing on the crawl under a rock bit. You might want to conisider waiting a few days before you make rubbing-it-in comments like that. Like it or not, that's asking for it. Even though it was a small part of what you said, the rest being very gracious and informed.

As for me, though I love commenting on this blog, and or moderating it, I am off-and-on busy. I'll have 6 hours free then I'll be slammed for a full 18 hours to 3 days straight of non-stop coffee and work. Such is the nature of this business. During those times, I won't check a single comment. I wish I could be more like Shaun Groves who seems to be omniscient in his ability to comment back immediatley when he wants but I can't. Maybe someday.

Therefore, I believe that it is unfair to accuse me of advocating name calling. Forky's comments where harsh and pointed, intense and heated, however, I figured you could handle yourself in such a scenario so I didn't rush out of the airport to miss my flight to find a computer to comment back. I thought about commenting from my Iphone, just to say, "play nice," but alas, the battery croaked.

One thing to know, Tully, is that people are people. Christians are people and we are flawed just like anyone else. We get angry, we yell, we rage and we do things we wish we hadn't done. The only difference is that we believe that God loves us in spite of those things and the through Christ, He is helping us day by day to be better if we ask him. We do strive to love and to be kind to our neighbor. Unfortunately, you don't hear much about those instances becuase, well, you aren't supposed to anyways. Jesus tells us not to say a word. Christians are held to a much higher standard than other religions and that's partly their fault. We are no better than everyone else and the beauty of the gospel is not that we were good enough to be loved by God and saved, but that God loved and saves us in spite of our wretched state. We don't deserve it, but that's the beauty of grace, availiable to all.

Besides, being a Christian doesn't mean "going to church." You can be a perfect asshole and go to church. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God then you are a Christian in my book. You may not be a church-goer, but that's okay. (I believe unhealthy in the long run... just from personal experience.)

Honestly, with all due respect, the church-goer meany stuff doesn't work with me any more. I've been there and I spent years there. What I found is that despite all the crap that goes on in churches, the world is no better. In fact, I believe the church would be much better if they were more in the world instead of gated off in their own little or big kingdoms. - for another subject, but I do understand your sentiment.

In closing, I do welcome all opinions here and I do like a good discussion. And we've had some good ones here. I have enjoyed talking to you and hearing your thoughts and would love to continue enjoying your thoughts. However, I understand if you need a break from all this election talk. This kind of discussion is to be expected in an emotional election and especially the day after.

Now, dagnabbit, I had a bunch of other stuff to say but I had to spend this whole time on this! Now I've got to go meet with the head of my department over my dissertation.

I would encourage a continued discussion, but one that doesn't get so rough. And please, let's just calm down the name calling or "crawling under a rock" comments. You guys are bound to know that's the surest way to get the blood boiling. I'd swear you guys were Irish.

More to say later!

tully said...

Thanks Seth...and it was unfair for me to say you were advocating it. I just think that sometimes Christians forget that us non-church-goers don't go to church, not because we don't believe in God or have the same values...but (and I can only speak for myself)...I have lost faith in people, as they are human, have a tendency to let people down, and Christians above all (who claim to love Christ but then act in ways contradictory) amplify that feeling. Because of that need to believe in something true, something that isn't based on the fallible...I chose to focus on God (not church) as a means to find hope and inspiration. So when Christians go on the attack and act in wasy that Christ would never do...it re-enforces my disdain for religion and people, but oddly enough, draws me closer to God.

I'm just tired of the negativity - it's so unproductive. Anyone else who feels that they have the right or need to "school" me, I will just ask that you take all that energy and go down to your local homeless/battered women's shelter, volunteer group, or humane society and do something positive with it:


FancyPants said...


While this began as a political dialogue in response to our president-elect, it seems it's turned a new direction, and so I hope you'll welcome an unrelated comment from a stranger with good intentions.

You said:

I have lost faith in people, as they are human, have a tendency to let people down, and Christians above all (who claim to love Christ but then act in ways contradictory) amplify that feeling

I've heard and read this statement before, many times, from people who have opted out of Christianity, which many today term and "institution" or an "organized religion." I'll leave those terms alone for now.

As a Christian, I feel I must respond to your sentiments. I understand them. I feel the same way towards my own Christian friends sometimes. I've felt angry because I've trusted them, opened up to them, depended on them, shown a bit of my true self to them...and I've felt let down. Maybe they lie to me. Maybe their words are unkind. Maybe they manipulate and try to control me. Those things have been done to me by Christian friends. And I've been mad. And I've wanted to ignore them and give up on the friendship.

But if I'm honest with myself, I remember the times I've lied, maybe not to them, but I've lied. I've been unkind. I've manipulated. I have. And so, if I don't forgive them, what right do I have accepting God's forgiveness?

I have no excuse. I should forgive them.

I can take this to a new level: that of my relationship with the church. It's made up of imperfect people, and I have to forgive, and do exactly what you say to do. Give up the negative talk and serve my church community. Realize it won't be perfect, but give anyway, because of what Christ has done for me and for every person in that chuch, and outside of it.

If you profess Christ as your Savior, Tully, then Christ asks you to assemble with fellow believers. If you are not a Christian, Tully, then I don't blame you for not focusing on church. But I do hope you'll come into contact with Christians who will love you the way Christ has loved them, and that's to know your faults and forgive them.

Tully said...

Much wisdom in your words FancyPants – and perhaps you are right. I will say that I’m incredibly idealistic and incredibly sensitive to my surroundings (a dangerous combination). When people are unkind, etc. then it just makes me very sad and I feel very disappointed – most often shying away from wanting to engage after that.

I will say that I am not a “Christian” by your definition. I left the church because of the negativity, but I have not returned because of deeper reasons. Religions, as a whole and individually, seem to want to polarize people. Christians vs. Muslims, Catholics vs. Presbyterians, and so on – when I left the Baptist church, I started reading about all the other faiths (Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormon, etc.) and found that there are amazing people in all walks of life, in all faiths, that for me (just me, not trying to say anyone is doing anything wrong) to say one faith is the righteous one was impossible. How can I choose a church that preaches that those who don’t believe in the Bible are going to hell? What about the Dalai Lama – a great man, who has been Christ-like in many, many ways?

The Hindu faith believes that the truth about God is so vast that not one religion alone can capture it and therefore are very accepting of alternate faiths – this has made the most sense to me in life, even if I did not convert to Hinduism. So, for me…I’ve chosen not to put my faith in people, in churches, or in religious doctrines – but I’ve put all my faith in God and try my best to accept and understand (even seek out) people of varying beliefs, ideologies, and worldviews – provided that they will talk to me (not yell or be nasty), share with me, and accept me as I am so that we can grow to understand each other and perhaps grow within ourselves. I’m not looking to change anyone’s mind or convert anyone to an ideology…and I’m not looking to be converted, but rather accepted for my own outlook.

I believe in God and understand why religions are important to those who subscribe to any of them. This is not a judgment on people of “faith” because some of the people I respect and admire most in this world are Christians. But I believe in His amazing love for all His people, no matter what faith, race, or religious doctrine they choose to read and believe! To say that any of His children are lesser than any other goes against every fiber of my being and the result of that has meant that I’ve pulled away from church and closer to God.

I never professed to be a Christian – at least not by your definition (but only perhaps by Seth’s) – I also want to preemptively point out that I never professed to have all the answers or be perfect – I just have a different outlook when it comes to God – all that to say, I appreciate you reaching out. ;)

Chaotic Hammer said...

Tully said: You are so right. We can’t do everything we want to make the world a better place, so let’s just do nothing – great plan!!! As for myself, I am going to choose to do whatever I can to make a difference, volunteer, donate to great causes…and in my own small way, make a difference. You may sit on the sidelines and armchair quarterback if you like.

I'm not even sure how to respond to this comment in light of the dialogue that you and I were having here previously. I don't see anything in my comments that advocates doing nothing, or "sitting on the sidelines". We were talking specifically about the role of government, not personal charity.

I suppose this is one of the problems with attempting to have discussions in an online environment. It looks like everyone involved is just sitting in front of a computer screen and spending all their time arguing with strangers. And for many people, maybe that's all it is.

I stand by everything I said previously, and without even owning a crystal ball or knowing how to see the future, what I have predicted is exactly what will happen. Read what I wrote carefully and you'll notice that I didn't even predict a bad or negative outcome from the new policies and legislation that Democrats will enact in the next session of Congress, and which Obama will sign into law. I simply analyzed the reality of the relationship between what a person has to say to get elected to government office vs. how government actually works.

With your "armchair quarterback" comment, it seems like you took an accusatory tone with me, completely unprovoked. I'm tempted to begin rattling off a list of the things I do personally that do make the world a better place -- of the various charities I've donated time and money to, the various neighbors and random strangers I've helped, and what my life is actually like when I'm not in front of this computer screen. Your comment indicates you've made certain assumptions about me, and they're dead wrong. But part of the problem with me getting defensive or listing all my "good deeds" is that I don't do these things to be seen and applauded by people. I do them because I serve Christ. He knows all the things, big and small, that I do to love and help others. He sees the things I do in secret that no other human being knows about, and that's good enough for me.

I've been very reasonable and civilized in my discussion with you. I have made zero personal attacks or assumptions about you. I've sought to find common ground on things we agree about, while debating in a reasoned manner on things we disagree about. That's what you said you wanted, and apart from the conflict between you and Fork (which has nothing to do with me), it is what you have received from the commenters here.

You knew, acknowledged even, that your first comment in this thread was going against the grain of the general political ideologies of most of the people that read Seth's blog, including Seth himself. But with all due respect, you'll have to grow thicker skin when others disagree with you. Don't take things personally. The arena of ideas can be a rough place, but having disagreements doesn't mean that people don't like you personally. As Seth said, your comments are welcomed here, and it's really not nearly as much fun (or as lively) having discussions where everyone is in complete agreement about everything.

Finally, looking back through these comments, I see that you and I both share some very important common ground. We're both willing to make very long comments on Seth's blog threads. More power to long comments! :-)

FancyPants said...

I enjoy reading your comments, Tully, and am encouraged by your search for goodness, your desire for God. We have that in common. I understand where you're coming from, and I am willing and able to accept you for your own outlook.

It is also important to me to explain, or attempt to explain, who I believe God is, how He relates to us, and why I believe it is the Truth. That being said: I'd like to respond to some of your statements in your last comment. Not necessarily for conversion sake, more for clarity's sake. Of course conversion's always welcome. =-)

....after my appointment with Grey's Anatomy and the Office.

To be continued....

tully said...

Sorry Hammer - didn't mean to sound like I was taking on a negative tone (although tone in electronic media is often on the side of the reader not the writer...otherwise I would have used all caps) :) - one of the biggest reasons why I should probably stop commenting on blogs! ;) These types of conversations are probably better had over a bottle of wine (or a pitcher of sweet tea), face to face, where people can read the non-verbals to both interpret tone as well as read the nonverbals of when nerves get hit the wrong way and to back off.

I think people tend to be much more aggressive in their positions on the internet, in email, and particularly with people they don't even know - because nothing is "really" invested and if you lose a reader/commenter...no one loses any sleep over it. Lets just all realize that there are real, live human beings on the other end of those keyboards whose worldview and perceptions can be skewed.

We should never underestimate the power and force we can yield with our voice (or our words in print). They have consequences - something I'm starting to painfully realize and will likely choose to remain censored.

FancyPants said...

OK, here goes:

You said:

Religions, as a whole and individually, seem to want to polarize people. Christians vs. Muslims...

Well....depends on how you're looking at it. Kind of a glass half full vs. half empty thing. You say religion seems to want to polarize people because you see different religions at war, or you see different denominations within Christianity fighting. But look at most major religions and you find that they embrace people to join in, to come along. All accept converts. So saying they want to polarize people from each other is not necessarily true. They require belief in a doctrine, yes, to be a "member", but the doctrine is not there to polarize people. The doctrine is there because that belief is defined, because there are definite things that a particular religion believes and does not believe. Orthodoxy.

As far as Christianity goes, is it right that Muslims and Christians are fighting? No. Is it right that our Church is divided? No. But Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace." There's nothing new about trials and persecutions and tribulations. Jesus, a Jew, was constantly at odds with the Jewish leaders of his time.

and found that there are amazing people in all walks of life, in all faiths, that for me (just me, not trying to say anyone is doing anything wrong) to say one faith is the righteous one was impossible.

I absolutely agree that there are amazing people in all faiths. And I regretfully agree that some Christians have mistreated others, judged them, treated them poorly, looked down from their high positions of righteousness. But Christianity is not a faith that boasts in its righteousness alone, but of its dependence on One who IS righteous. If any one of us is righteous, it's because we've admitted how unrighteous we are, and relied on God's grace to make us worthy.

It's a faith that is historically accurate. A real man walked on this earth, and healed people, raised them from the dead, died, and rose again. Not only that, but he told people who He was. And they've told us. That's the Bible. It's not an ideology. It's a historical fact.

How can I choose a church that preaches that those who don’t believe in the Bible are going to hell?

It's more than "those who don't believe in the Bible are going to hell." It's that, man, as a human race, is fallen. We've sinned. That's easy to see, right? There's disfunction. Everywhere. Not just in society but in myself. Every religion agrees with that. We've turned away from God and chosen ourselves. We've rejected God. The consequence is death. He hasn't rejected us. In fact, he's provided a way to life. He's given his Perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to take death upon himself so that we won't have to. We only have to repent, to turn away from OUR will and choose HIS way. His sacrifice through His Son. We can't gain perfect goodness on our own. Even trying is telling God that we don't need Him.

I just threw a ton of stuff out there. I'll stop there.

tully said...

So, then my question is...since we all agree that God is in control and His will is paramount to our own (and IMHO nothing happens by accident) - why are Christians so afraid of our new President Elect?

FancyPants said...


That's really your question?

OK, since I was never interested in talking politics, I'm out, people. G'night.

Chaotic Hammer said...

Tully said: Sorry Hammer - didn't mean to sound like I was taking on a negative tone...

That's OK, honestly. I absolutely agree one-thousand percent with your analysis of tone during electronic communication. I've seen it over and over again. Even between real-life friends that have sat and talked over wine or sweet-tea, tone is often hard to discern once they are back online again.

I think it takes time, and feeling out of boundaries. It takes extra effort to be respectful, and not to sound aggressive.

I've seen many online conversations where the person on one side was smiling and having fun and thinking everyone understood that sarcasm was being used, and a person or people on the other side were deeply and genuinely extremely hurt or offended.

And the worst thing of all -- we've probably all seen it if we've spent any time at all on the internet -- is a sort of coarse, vulgar, ignorant, mean-spirited, and often grammatically-tortured excuse for "comments" that litter most places on the internet that allow comments. Read a news story on a site that allows comments. Read the comments under a YouTube video. Read any, and I definitely mean any, politically-oriented board -- left or right, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, and it's everywhere. It's hit-and-run graffiti. It's drive-by shooting with sharp and careless words. It's verbal incendiary devices being lobbed into a crowd of complete strangers.

Unfortunately, you nailed it when you said that most people have nothing invested in what they type. That's where building longer-term relationships, actually becoming friends, and maybe even hanging out in real life makes a big difference. I ran a dial-up BBS before the dawn of the internet age, and learned early on that you can actually have communities of people joined together, and caring about each other, even if the primary medium of communication is electronic.

Anyway, I'm rambling again, and I'm not sure if I have a point to make. Just agreeing with what you said.

Yes, there are real people behind each one of these online identities. In real life, Seth is one of the most fascinating and talented people you'll ever meet. You can pretty much get a feel for that fact by what you read here. You have to visualize a big smile on his face when you read most of his blog entries. He can and does deal with serious matters sometimes, but after a few years of reading his stuff and engaging him in conversation, I've learned that his blog is somewhat of an extension of this sort of non-stop hamster-on-a-wheel creativity that pours through him continually. You happened to stumble upon his blog (I'm assuming it was fairly recently) during political season, and so that was the subject matter he has been having fun with lately. That's not to say that he's not serious about his political convictions, but that the tone here is generally light and friendly.

Susanne said...

I, for one, aren't afraid of Obama. Never have been. I just don't like him. I know that comment doesn't make me popular, but it's just how I feel. I don't think he was the best person for the job (I think Hillary should have been the Democratic nominee). Period. What I'm afraid of is Obama's connections. I know, I know...Democrats STILL deny his connection to terrorists, but the evidence speaks for itself, I'm afraid. Ignorance is bliss, though, and we saw much ignorance during this campaign. I'm praying that he proves me wrong...we'll see!