Not that it would have made any difference, but I wish I'd have started paying more serious attention to the presidential election sooner than I did. I have often made the comment that, realistically, I wonder how much impact the president really has on the economy. This is one case where I do think the impact will be significant.
Regardless, I believe that leaders deserve respect, encouragement and prayer. Therefore, I have promised to support Presidnet Obama to the extent that my morals and conscience will allow me. However, if he goes plunging over a cliff trying to make us all follow him like lemmings, I'll be writing about it.
There is one thing that really gets me about last night though. Repeatedly, I heard people on television saying what a "proud moment" this is for America to have elected an African American president. I don't get that. I don't get it at all.
For me, this election was never about race. It was about finding the best people for the jobs. It was about leadership, character, and policies -- who offered the best combination of the three. It was never about race.
In many decisions, there is what I call the "water cooler justification" and then there is the real reason -- the "emotional justification". The "water cooler justification" is the common sense and rational reason for the decision that folks will talk about to their buddies at work around the water cooler (or wherever people gather). In this case, that seemed to be the economy for most people and Iraq for others. Both are great, rational things to study and base your decision on.
The problem comes in when people, despite what they say around the water cooler, base their decision on their "emotional justification". And the "emotional justification" tends to be what they talk about right after the decision becomes final -- the truth always comes out. In many cases, despite their water cooler talk, they haven't really even studied the rational things upon which their decision could be made ... their decision was really made solely on emotion.
It's like buying a sporty new car. You may "say" you're buying it for the gas mileage or for the engineering or because it fits your family well or perhaps even because you got a great deal. That is your water cooler justification. But, when you first bring it home, all you can think or talk about is how cool it looks and how cool you will look in it. That is the emotion that really drove the decision.
All the talk last night about what a proud moment this is for America to have chosen an African American president, to me, resembles this sort of emotion-based decision. Immediately after the deal is sealed, the water cooler justification is no longer talked about -- the real reason driving the decision comes out. And that bothers me.
Sometimes, especially when we are in a situation we don't like, we make decisions based solely on emotion. It is, in some ways, a passive aggressive response. Also, sometimes when we're young and want to snub our noses at those older than us, we make even very important decisions based on emotional reasons -- what looks good or feels cool rather than what we have really researched and found to be the best decision. I voted for Ross Perot in 1992 ... his policies did make sense to me but the real reason I voted for him was that I have never been a big fan of any of the Bushes and I wanted to snub my nose at the elder Bush. (And so Clinton was elected president and now I get to explain to my son who this Monica Lewinsky in the blue dress was that was all over the headlines on the day he was born in 1998.)
So, I am wondering, how many folks who voted for Obama will someday wake up and realize that they made a decision based strictly on emotion -- that they voted race and rock star status rather than leadership, character, and policies?
I hope and pray that is never the case but time will tell.
If you voted for Obama, are you willing to post a comment here and say what it was about his Leadership, Character, and Policies that you really studied and liked ... or tell us what else drove your decision? I'd love to hear what you have to say.