Our Nation ~ A Bundle of Branches

While I usually distain from mixing religion and politics, as hundreds of thousands of Texas voters prepare to go to the polls on Tuesday, be assured, friends, that our only judge is also our advocate.

On the eve of Democratic primary and caucuses here in Texas, events that could well determine who the Democratic Party’s nominee will be in this year’s national election for President, we have two contenders.  One is a white female and one is an African American male. This is historic in and of itself. It is even more

Clinton vs. Obama

significant because one of them will most likely be our next President.  I say this  given the state of our nation’s economy following eight years of wasteful deficit spending, tax policies favoring the wealthiest of Americans over the middle class, rising health care, education and energy costs, a worsening trade deficit resulting from globalization and our growing demand for foreign oil, and the precipitous decline in the dollar’s exchange rate against other world currencies. In addition, after more than six years of our military response to 9/11, we are still pouring billions of dollars per month into Iraq and Afghanistan, dollars added to our national debt http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/02/EDHEV8GPC.DTL, which is nearly twice what it was when Mr. Bush was first elected in 2001.

The American people are clearly ready for change, and the defacto Republican candidate, John McCain, advocating a continuance of Mr. Bush’s policies, both in terms of tax cuts and our presence in Iraq, does not for me represent meaningful change.

Following early-voting, post election polls in both Texas and Ohio, and listening to the experts talk on ABC, Fox, CNN, and MSNBC new programs, it seems as though it’s all over but the shouting for the Clinton campaign.  Most political pundits are saying that it’s time for the Democratic Party to rally around Senator Obama and for Senator Clinton and her husband, President Clinton, to stop giving Senator McCain ammunition for the general election battle this fall.  They’re saying that, without resounding routs in both Texas and Ohio, she cannot win the necessary number of delegates for nomination, with or without the Florida and Michigan delegates.  These are delegates that the Democratic Party previously agreed not to count following these states’ violations of early-primary rules.  Even so, I’m not counting Clinton out, not just yet.

Since John Edwards threw-in the towel following Super Tuesday, it has been a close race between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama, that is until Mr. Obama won eleven straight states leading up to Tuesday’s primaries here in Texas, in Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  Voters have had a hard time distinguishing significant differences between the two on policy.  Battle lines, therefore, have been drawn on experience vs. speech-making, change vs. business-as-usual, how to achieve universal health care, and whether or not to dialogue with leaders of rogue states without pre-conditions first being met.  In short, it’s been a “beauty contest,” and this is what bothers me most about the early-voting polling results here in Texas.  White men are disproportionately not voting for Senator Obama and blacks are disproportionately not voting for Senator Clinton.  Younger, better-educated voters prefer Senator Obama, while seasoned, worker-class voters prefer Senator Clinton.  Hispanics, not trusting other minorities, are proving to be a base for Senator Clinton.  So, even within the same political parties, we remain splintered and exploited politically along ethnic, religious, and social-economic lines.  The most diverse nation on earth, we truly are a “bundle of branches,” a bundle that is only loosely bound by a collective self-interest.  It’s the American way.  We know that, if we want to prosper, the nation as a whole must prosper.  We have learned our lesson well, thanks to Mr. Bush: opportunity for the masses does not “trickle down” from the excess of a wealthy few.

While I usually distain from mixing religion and politics, as hundreds of thousands of Texas voters prepare to go to the polls on Tuesday, be assured, friends, that our only judge is also our advocate.  Accordingly, I’d like to offer up the following; it was the prayer of confession for Communion Sunday at our church today:

Let us open our lives for renewal. We have sinned and go on sinning, which saps our energy, dilutes our love, distracts us from worthwhile growth, and disturbs the harmony of our homes and our communities.  Forgive us, Father, and help us to begin anew.  Your favor is a mystery which we bear uneasily.  Your favor bids so broad a justice, and holds us so firmly to the compassion you require from us, that we feel only half glad to be called your people!  We are bound as branches of a body.  By a wiser choosing than our own, we find ourselves concerned with your justice, with the causes of health, peace and harmony.  Grant us usefulness as branches for Christ’s sake and our own.  Amen

Democrats, Independents and disenchanted Republicans, I’ll not suggest how you should vote on Tuesday.  But I do hope you’ll vote your conscience and not your prejudice .

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Published in: on March 2, 2008 at 6:48 pm  Comments (2)  

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  1. Kent, as usual you have really hit the nail on the head. Why are we so divided? I remember back in the ’50s, Nikita Khrushchev stated to our then President Ike that Russia would defeat America without firing a shot. Although Russia is the country that has been split, I truly understood what the Russian leader meant. By being so divisive and racially divide, we have and are creating our own downfall. What will it take for americans to understand that we are one people?
    I must get Jack Cafferty’s book, “It’s Getting Scary Out There.” I’ll bet it is a good read judging by how we are viewing things.

    Even though I am a senior citizen, I would like to see a younger person take the helm of leadership in this country because we have made a real mess of things. I have seen a real meanness and scary tactics during this campaign BUT I am assured by our Lord and Savior that His Word will prevail—in other words, He will make the final call. Aren’t you glad that we have a “Go To”
    person during these trying times. Don’t worry Kent, we have only one Master and Savior and He will get us through this whatever the outcome. I have a strong feeling that Barack was sent to us for a reason and I am very happy that he answered the Call and not do as Jonah did originally. That, my neighbor, gives us HOPE.

    Be Blessed my friend!


  2. Wow! Was I ever right to say that I wouldn’t count Hillary out just yet. Now, with the primary results after March 4th, the Democratic Party really has a dilemma on it’s hands; neither Obama nor Clinton can cleanly win the nomination based on popularly-earned deligates without the citizens of Florida and Michigan going back to the polls a second time. Even then, party suber deligates might very well have to break a tie. Amazing…

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