Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Day After

I haven't waxed political here in quite some time. 

In fact, I can't even remember the last time I addressed politics on my blog.

It's time.  I want to remember how this election affected me and my family.

First, my kids.  Let me tell you, it's not easy being a Mormon kid.  Comedians, pundits, politicians, friends, and teachers occasionally will take punches at our religion, and my kids don't understand why we teach them tolerance and acceptance when they are not tolerated or accepted for their beliefs--why they hear inaccurate and sometimes cruel statements that are far from the truth coming from friends or off the TV screen. 

Yet I wonder if this is how Catholic kids felt when John F. Kennedy was running for president. Suddenly, all was possible for them.  If a Mormon could run for president, then it must be more than okay for them to be who they know they are.

I know they wanted Mitt Romney to be president soley based on his religion.  They're kids, and they latched onto that one commonality with gusto, and who can blame them for lacking any understanding of the economy, national debt, or international affairs at their young ages?

All of my kids sat around and watched the election returns last night.  Micah had been studying the electoral college with his third grade class, and he knew how many electoral votes were at stake for each state so he was our resident expert, spouting off 55 for California and 29 for New York.  Lily kept asking about the tally in Florida and why it kept fluctuating from Obama to Romney and finally landing on Obama.  Even Hyrum, at five years old, was aware of what the numbers and colors on the screen meant.  I hope that this election will teach them how important it is to care who runs our country and to understand the issues and people in contention.

Second, Brad.  Brad was always the voice of reason around here--the cynic and skeptic.  The one with his feet on solid ground, not swayed by debates or polls or pundits.

As for me, I must admit to getting caught back on the political roller coaster over the last two months.  For the record, I was never a die-hard Mitt fan.  I have deep respect for him as a man--a man who stands up for his God and his religious beliefs with fervor, never shrinking from answering the tough questions posed to him about his religion.  I can learn from that.  His political views, however, bounced from one thing to the next for most of the campaign, but after the first debate, I finally felt like he came to a sound philosophy for where he wanted to take our country. He is a businessman with experience that I felt could help lift our country out of the economic hole in which we're languishing.

The bottom line for me was this:  I had hope that Mitt would be able to take our country in a different direction from where it is headed now.  Away from the out-of-control debt and spending.  Away from insane levels of unemployment and underemployment.  Away from standardized healthcare and higher taxes.  Would he have been able to reach across the aisle and create his dream for our country?  We will never know, but I was willing to give him a chance.

Now I face a future of standardized healthcare, higher taxes for my family, plus a national debt and government spending that will burden not only me and my children but my grandchildren as well.  I see a future of a weakened view of the United States as a world leader, and what that means I'm sure we will find out.  I predict a new generation of young people that feel even more entitled than the current generation--and that scares me for our future.  If everyone feels entitled to handouts and free lunches, how am I supposed to teach my children the value of hard work and the satisfaction that comes from it?

Admittedly, I was quite depressed last night.  What does all of this mean for me?  for my children and grandchildren?  for our country?  for the world?  No one knows.  But one thing I know for sure . . .
. . .  and it is my job to keep my little corner of the world focused on that.


  1. You should google Paul Harvey's radio talk show titled "If I were the devil" I found this very interesting.

  2. nicely put...i too sat around with my kids in front of the television...sadly my oldest seems to push my views and beliefs to the side and starts to think the 'other's make sense...he thinks that since we are parents know more than kids and we tell them what they can and can't do...why don't ppl who hold a govern office with more experience than us tell us what we can and can't do. seems fair.

    i asked him why we started this country to begin with? for freedom....and if someone starts controlling that freedom then i don't really have that anymore...

    ok it was more in depth ...i started feeling like a failure as a parent....needless to say i'm depressed....raising teens is easier in my head

  3. Thank you for that thought. And you're right. If we can put our own corner of the world right, we'll be doing our part. I'm having a very hard day today, but am hoping to feel more like myself tomorrow. Start anew to build as much security and peace for my family as I can. It's a start.

  4. You stated my thoughts as well.

    My children are the only Mormons in their intire school. They are often at the end of intolerance.

    Especially today since the Mormon didn't win....

  5. Im glad your kids got to see a Mormon try. Try to make a difference even if he lost.

    Ugghhh...its hard to let it go and know that God wrote the book and this is just a chapter, I want to skip ahead a few chapters!

  6. A great post on this, Jen. Well done!