Design · Culture · Spirituality

2008 election initial thoughts

As election anticipation continues to grow around the country, for more reasons than one, I want to post the initial thoughts I’ve been developing for the last few months. I don’t want to give the impression that this blog is going to become political. There are plenty of those. But politics is part of life. It’s part of culture. It’s part of my life.

Design is about life. Design is about culture. Faith is about life. Faith exists within, and transcends, culture. If this is a blog about faith, it can also be a blog about design, and it can also mention politics, without losing any of its identity.

With that said, it needs to be said that I tend to be very cynical about government and politics. I’m a pacifist. I don’t identify with a political party. I have a bit of a conspiracy theorist streak in the way I view politics in our country. I passionately believe in the separation of church and state, and that there is no such thing, and shouldn’t be any such thing, as a Christian nation. I don’t believe in voting on one issue, whatever the issue is, and I don’t have any problem with not voting at all in an election if I don’t feel that there is a choice I can truly support. But I do believe in hope. I believe in looking for something I can support. I believe that faith and spirituality can and should speak prophetically to government and politics, and that it can and should influence government and politics without succumbing to the lure of influence.

As we proceed toward the 2008 election, I have some hope, and I want to present my hopes. I want to have a voice, even if that voice isn’t heard in the end.

First of all, I am amazed by Ron Paul. If I had to vote today, I’d vote for him. I don’t know that I have enough faith in the American people to overcome the constant talk of terrorism and war and big government with little freedom to actually vote him through a primary, especially in the Republican Party, but I am amazed by him. I’m amazed that he’s the only Republican candidate, and almost the only candidate period, who has opposed the Iraq war from the beginning. I’m amazed that he opposes the idea that America is the world’s police, mandated to push our way of life on the rest of the world and get angry and defensive when they don’t like it. I’m happy that he opposes the Patriot Act, and actually supports the Constitution.

I don’t necessarily agree with all of his positions, but he is consistent. I believe he is trustworthy. I believe he would be an amazing president; one that I could honestly respect and support. I think he offers hope to those in our country who are disillusioned by politics. I’m amazed by the idea that I can even say that at all.

Ron Paul is by far the only Republican candidate that interests me at this point. I think Giuliani is in the running because he can talk loudly about terrorism. A country that lives in fear seeks people who appear strong in the face of its fear. Romney offers us more support of the death penalty. And McCain offers us more support of the war.

Although I don’t want to appear a partisan liberal, I have more interest in the Democratic candidates, aside from Ron Paul. I’m interested in John Edwards and his campaign against poverty. God’s heart is always for the poor, and this is an incredibly important issue for me. I’m also interested in Barack Obama, because I feel that he has a powerful message. I want to trust him and his views on the poor, and on the war, and the other issues that he is pushing. I think he also offers hope to the disillusioned. While I am all in favor of the idea of a woman president, I’m not, at this point, in favor of Hillary being that woman. In addition to other issues I have with some of her past and current positions, I feel better about the Clintons than I do the Bushes, but I have a strong distaste for family politics.

Now that I’ve gotten this off my chest, I want to again emphasize that these are initial thoughts. I feel that they are careful thoughts. I’ve been turning them over in my mind for several months, and feel comfortable with them. But they are initial thoughts. Things can change. But I have hope for this election, and that’s a big deal.

1 Comment

  1. tj

    Check out these sites if you haven’t been there before.

    http://www.ronpaullibrary.org/

    ronpaulforums.com

    Cheers!

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About the Designer

Jonathan Stegall is a web designer and emergent / emerging follower of Jesus currently living in Atlanta, seeking to abide in the creative tension between theology, spirituality, design, and justice.

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