Why Tuesday Broke My Heart

On Tuesday night I watched the election results and basically felt as if I had been stabbed in the gut.  For the first time I understood that fear-you know the fear that has been swimming through our ultra-conservative population across the country since Obama was elected in 2008-that the country is about to see some very very dark days.  I sat there with this ache in my belly wondering how long before we bleed out.  I used to think that that fear was absurd and irrational, but since the shoe is on the other foot now, I can finally understand.

On my Facebook page several people commented on how it was a new day in America.  One of them stated that now the morals and values would be returning.  That one made me start to think about my own values.  I’ve not always been inclined to state what really matters to me for fear that I may rock the boat and make others uncomfortable, but I think it’s time for me to tell everyone what being liberal means to me.

*I believe in doing what you can to help people in need.

*I believe that people are more important then the profits of enormous corporations and when the divide between the rich and the poor gets this out of hand we should really start asking what is going on.

*I believe that sick people have a right to be healed, even if they don’t have very much money or don’t spend it wisely.

*I believe that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry and adopt children in every state.

*I am pro-choice because I am simply not qualified to make that decision for someone else.  It has nothing to do with how I feel about abortions or whether I value life.

*I want to protect our environment so that we have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and a healthy food supply.

*I value public education and want to see it thrive.

*I believe in peaceful compromises.

*I believe that if our men and women in uniform (military and civil service) are willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedom and safety, we should be willing to sacrifice a little extra from our paychecks to help our communities and our country remain safe and free. (At some point someone’s got to raise taxes-starting with the Bush tax cuts- or else we’re going to be the United States of America: PROPERTY OF CHINA.)

I’m sure this list could go on and on, but I’ve been at this post for an hour and a half now and I’m fried.  The simple fact is, when I read over the list none of that sounds evil to me.  Being liberal to me is about being generous and open-minded.  There is a song we just taught the kids at church that sort of sums it up.

Love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away

Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more

It’s just like a magic penny, hold it close and you won’t have any

Give it away and you’ll have so many, they’ll roll all over the floor

(My take of it is that) the Republicans will have you believe that closing off the tap will save what we have and allow our wealth and strength to grow, but I think (and I’m pretty sure Jesus would agree) that quite the opposite is true.

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12 thoughts on “Why Tuesday Broke My Heart

  1. Vicki Herlovich November 5, 2010 / 8:55 am

    I LOVE THIS POST!!! not just because I agree with you 100% but also because you set aside the fear of rocking the boat and causing discomfort in favor of standing up for your core values. I’m choosing to believe that somehow in the long arc of truth that good will come from this even if in the short run it looks dim for now. Keep sharing Leslee- you rock.

  2. Meaghan Smith November 5, 2010 / 9:10 am

    I’m actually a Canadian musician (although I tour through the US a lot) but this post gives me hope! I LOVE and totally support everything you said and I hope that the fear mongering that seems to dictate how Americans live stops. We should act out of hope, not fear. Not fear of terror, fear of poverty, fear of people who believe differently or act differently. I can’t help but notice how often the American public is controlled by fear. (I’m at the Chicago airport and the threat level is ‘orange’. What does that even mean?? But it makes us all uneasy… We don’t ever have announcements like that in Canada, by the way. I’ve flown a lot and have never heard anything like this anywhere else either.)
    We should have hope for our future, hope for better things for those who have less, hope for a unification of hearts if not of beliefs or life styles.
    Please, keep being this way. Our world needs a lot more yous!

  3. Laurie November 5, 2010 / 10:17 am

    Thanks for this, Leslee! I feel very much the same!

  4. Kelley Shaub November 5, 2010 / 10:34 am

    I couldn’t have said it better. You summed up my political beliefs, well said.

  5. Anna aka Gots2noJohstono November 5, 2010 / 10:38 am

    Right on! Thanks for saying what I’ve been wanting to say.

  6. Shannon Caldwell November 5, 2010 / 12:55 pm

    Hi Leslee. I am proud of you for writing this. Its giving me courage to do the same. I agree with you with almost all of your points. The difference is that I tend to vote conservatively.- (unless I feel someone is a crook). I too believe in giving to those in need. What I don’t believe in is that the govt. should force me to send my money to give to those in need. I should be able to give it myself. There is this misconception that conservatives are greedy. Well–I just spent the last few months working almost full-time for MusicFest: a benefit for domestic violence victims. There is no tax-write off for time spent, and yes, it did cost me money. This is just one example of the things that I personally do to help people, and I am only one person. (only noted as a point–not trying to be egotistic) Many large corps give to charities too. Unfortunately, the greedy lie on both ends of the spectrum. There are those who are greedy with money, and those without money who just feel entitled to getting a hand-out. There are many people who continue to collect unemployment (which by the way–my small company is forced to pay) who are just collecting a check because they can. They are not trying to go out and get work. The same for some disabled people. Some of them just won’t try because they like the benefit. For some its because the system does not help them get back on their feet so why should they get up. They can get more money sitting at home doing nothing. Jesus told the crippled man by the pool to get up if he wanted to be healed. In other words–he would help the man if the man wanted to help himself. Jesus was also not forced to help the man. Our system is not like that. People are not being empowered to help themselves–instead some are being crippled from the system. If anything needs to be done by the rich–its to help to teach the poor how to become rich–not to just give a hand-out.

    All that said, I just don’t think govt should have as much say in our lives, and I am happy to just have a balance of the two extremes in govt. I feel people should be able to marry who they want to marry, and I absolutely believe the way you do on abortion. Just within the subject of abortion there are too many variables. Some use it as birth control, and some use it because of health or rape reasons. You and I don’t feel qualified to make this decision. The person who needs the abortion and her doctor need to make it. The same goes for my money. The govt isn’t qualified to make that choice. On the surface, I may have more money than others, but I also have a diabetic husband who had cancer and was out of work for a couple of months. How does the IRS see this?–They don’t! We know what we can afford and not afford. Even in the hospital–my husband’s sugar was going high while recovering from cancer surgery, and the nurse wouldn’t give him his insulin—because “she knew better” NO—he was getting sick, and he knew why—I had to sneak him his insulin. I know I have gone on long, but my point is that I can make good, ungreedy choices without the govt taking from me and telling me that they know better how to help people. There are just too many variables for a few people in Washington to make all the decisions on what is best.
    Anyway, my point really is to bridge the gap here. Conservatives are not bad, and you will find that we want most of what Liberals want too. There are unhealthy extremes on either side, (like in religion) and really having a balance of powers is probably best so that the masses can truly be represented. I also think its great that people like you can step up and say what you actually believe because it informs us on the other side too.
    Thanks for listening.

    • lesleehorner November 5, 2010 / 1:31 pm

      Thank you so much for this response Shannon, it was exactly what I needed to hear. Part of the reason I wrote this and then posted it on my personal FB page (instead of just the page for my blog readers) is that I hoped my conservative friends would read it and recognize our similarities. When politicians are working their butts off to get re-elected they lead us to believe we are so different, one side bad the other good, but when it comes down to it mostly our ideals are the same we just have different solutions in mind. We can all think of examples of people abusing the system (unemployment, disability, welfare, etc), but I’m sure we can also all think of someone who survived and thrived because they had that extra support when they needed it.

      Maybe one day we can find a true balance and respect each other for the side of the scale we choose to sit on. We’ve been see-sawing for too long now and in the end our fears and desires are more alike than different.

      Thank you again, Shannon, I am truly grateful for this comment.

      Leslee

      • meeshelleneal November 5, 2010 / 3:54 pm

        Seeing the similarities instead of the differences brings us one step closer to unity and the truth – which is we are all one, we’re in this together.

  7. julian November 5, 2010 / 1:24 pm

    Wonderfully written Leslee. Much to absorb, especially Shannon’s comment. Being of a Libertarian bent, I can agree with some of what she said but the word I have the most problem with is “conservative.” It makes my skin crawl. When I hear that word I think Theocracy. The reason I have a problem with the word “conservative” when describing a political position is it connotes the idea that morality can be legislated.

    With that in mind the part of your post that stuck out the most to me is the fear that the conservatives and ultra right loudly vocalized that I dismissed… I now get it.

  8. Shannon Caldwell November 5, 2010 / 4:36 pm

    Julian–maybe we can use a different word than “conservative”. I understand your point on morality being legislated and frankly, I have a problem with that as well. Unless we are actually HURTING each other, then why is any of what we do in our homes- the govt’s business? While I tend to vote more for Republican leaders (with a good legal record), I too get scared by the ultra-right who think they are “ultra-right.” Frankly, I wish the party system would just go away and we could have some good leaders just stand up and lead. Some of us are fiscally more conservative (my definition meaning careful with how I use my money) and socially more open. We get hung up by certain words though which can sometimes make us miss what is really being said. Please don’t let the word (conservative) scare you in every circumstance–just remember to listen to the actual message behind it. I compare this to issues on religion. Certain religious words or phrases sometimes shut me down. One day I opened up to a guy’s message even though I despised how he relayed it and I got one of the most important messages in my life–while still despising and not agreeing with how he relayed it. I know that some people get shut down by the word, “Father” or “God” but when I listen, I try to hear beyond the words to the message, and if I have a friend who cannot handle it when I mention the word, “God” then I change it to “Universe” and usually my friend will listen to what I have to say–and actually agree with my message. Sorry to bring up religion in this, but the subjects can be very similar in pulling people apart due to different approaches and words.

  9. julian November 6, 2010 / 7:48 pm

    At Shannon. : )

    Thank you Shannon. Your response was very kind. I agree completely.

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