Monday, January 7, 2008

United we prevail, divided we shoot ourselves

As I have been watching and reflecting on the primary coverage on television, I have been reminded of the first time I voted in a presidential election. I voted for Jimmy Carter because he was an underdog who came out of nowhere, had an infectious smile and frankly because I knew absolutely nothing about what was going on in the world!

I voted strictly on the basis that I was old enough to vote and for the first time since I was old enough a presidential candidate captured my imagination.

Sound familiar? This seems to be what is happening with the groundswell of youth support for Barack Obama and I think it is worth praying into.

Why? Because I can remember how disappointing the reality of the Carter presidency was as Iran held American citizens hostage in our embassy and the humiliating retreat we made from those American rescue helicopters downed on the desert floor.

In my view, President Carter did the best work of his life with Habitat for Humanity, but if he had stayed silent on foreign affairs since leaving office we would be much better off for his silence.

If the youth rise up in a naive vote in this presidential cycle, we could see the repeat of a humiliating presidential term for the United States of America in terms of foreign affairs. This is a most dangerous time for the idealistic and naive to be the deciding vote in our elections.

While there is a groundswell of youthful idealism, on the other side of the coin we are seeing divisions among those who have been around the block enough times to know what is really going on in the world.

That is why it is pretty disturbing to see some Christian leaders coming out with vows not to vote for any candidate who is not “actively pro-life,” or like Congressman Tom Tancredo who has vowed not to vote for or support any candidate in his own party that does not tackle illegal immigration in a way that he approves of. If he doesn't get his way on this issue, then he will not support the candidate of his party. If we get much more of this we are in even more trouble than I first thought!

If we want to shoot ourselves in the foot, we will continue making vows like this.

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