Some Thoughts on Election 2006

One of the most memorable commercials I’ve ever seen was one in which the CEO of a company calls his management team into his office and tells them that they just got fired by a long-time friend and major customer. He said it made him realize that they had taken people for granted, had lost touch with those they served and that they needed to do something about it. So he pulled out a sleeve of airline tickets and began passing them out telling the managers that they were to go visit their customers. As he handed everyone their ticket, he had one left in his hand and one of the managers asked him who that one was for. The CEO replied, “It’s mine. I’m going to visit an old friend.”

After the drubbing the Republicans took in this year’s mid-term elections, one can only hope that Ken Mehlman, Karl Rove and other Republican leaders have already filled their pockets with tickets. They’ve got some listening to do. They need to get out of the beltway, off the east coast and back here in flyover country where the real people live. They need to by-pass the people they’ve been listening to for the last 2-4 years. They need to skip stopovers that would bring them into contact with all the pundits and talking heads and go sit in a mainstreet cafe. They need to drive on past the James Dobson’s and Pat Robertson’s and go to church in the clapboard sanctuaries nestled in small towns and mid-sized cities. They should skip the captains of industry and titans of finance and head for the people who’ve been pumping three dollar a gallon gas into their minivans and SUV’s. They should ignore Rush and Sean and Bill O’Reilly and talk to some small town newspaper reporters and some local community columnists. And they should come with their hats in their hands.

A message was sent to the Republicans this year. Let’s hope they hear it. Here’s what they need to hear.

You all smell corrupt. Deny it all you want, but the power of being in charge has polluted your character and you got used to the stench. So while you all made excuses over Foley and DeLay and the many other lesser scandals, it was hitting our gag reflex out here in the real world. We KNOW politicians make mistakes and are stupid and are sinners just like everyone else. It would have been nice if you’d admitted it was a problem and stopped pretending like it was no real big deal.

You all got cocky and deaf. People love self-assuredness and confidence. They hate arrogance and aloofness. Guess which one the White House has been portraying the last several years? The question is do they get it now?

When you call yourself Republicans and act like the Democrats, voters notice. Thanks for giving our children and grandchildren hundreds of billions of dollars in debt in the name of Medicaid Prescriptions and No Child Left Behind — two HUGE government giveaways.

When Democrats start putting up moderates and even a few conservatives in the South and Midwest, voters notice. What does that say? When there’s little difference between the Dems and the Republicans, people are going to vote for both. Add to that they are ticked off at Republicans and the Dems sweep both houses. Does that sound familiar? I’d like to think that the Democrats are generally moving to the right on some important issue. I’m still a little too cynical to believe that right now. But here are some Democrats with checkmarks by their names tonight that I’m glad will be sitting in Congress. I couldn’t care less about party titles. I care about personal principles.

American’s don’t want to lose the war on terrorism. The problem is that mostquestioning Americans don’t see the connection between Iraq and the War on Terrorism. If there is a link, the Administration has done aLOUSY job of showing it. They seem as lost as a termite in a yoyo when it comes to the war and it’s lasted long enough now that most of us know of someone who has been killed or maimed for lifeto support a nation of people that, at their core, loathe us andthe Godmost of us worship. No WMD’s, nooccupation or transition strategy, no exit strategy. It’s not that American’s want to lose the war. It just appears to many of them that the current administration doesn’t realize we are already losing the war. And they’ve done a lousy job explaining it.

This election wasn’t won by theDemocratsbecause the Democrats had a better plan. No one has any idea what the Democratic plan is. This election was won by the Democrats because the Republicans were arrogant, incompetent and out-of-touch. This blogger called this election months ago and the political landscape only got worse.

I predicted publicly as recently as last week that there would be a 25-30 seat shift in the house toward the Dems and that the Senate would end up 49-51 and I didn’t know which would be the majority party. I was pretty close in my assessment.

So what don’t I feel smug that I was right? I really don’t.

Which reminds me.

I’m not a politician, I’m just a citizen.

And my American citizenship is temporary. In50 years or less, I’ll be leaving it behind. My permanent citizenship is in Heaven.

My calling isn’t politics. It’s a private interest and occasional hobby.

My calling is the Gospel of Christ. So tomorrow some will be lamenting the election.

Me? I’m going to be rejoicing in the factthat I can rest in the sovereignty of God. And nothing, and that means NOTHING, can separate me from the Love of God.

So,until I vote again two years from now or until somebody in elected office tries to do something incredibly stupid that will mess up my family or my ability to practicemy faith, I’ve got a church full of really great people to serve.

Politics is fascinating. Ministry is fulfilling. I’ll take the latter.

8 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on Election 2006

  1. Jim Welch

    Thanks for a great and true read! Jesus is still Lord and salvation will never be through either political party!
    We get to serve our Savior today!

    Reply
  2. Bob

    Dan,

    I am very thankful that you are so transparent. It is very heartening to me to read somebody out there that articulates so well what I think about the political scene. You are dead on, I think. Thanks for sharing.

    Bob

    Reply
  3. Mike Hess

    Dan,

    You closed this post with a bang and I appreciated the fact that you made your calling of God the preeminent focus of your post. Really though, this was a well deserved defeat. The swagger that was once obvious from Bush has now become an insecure president who looks to have a very ineffective last two years on the horizon. I pray that I am wrong but it does not look that way. There is a lot of work to do but we both know that it is God alone who sets up and brings down kings and who reigns in absolute sovereignty at all times over all things.

    Good post.

    Mike

    Reply
  4. Watchman

    When Stevens retires in a couple of months (or weeks) and has to be replaced by a Kennedy rather than a Bork because the Democrats are running the Senate, you’ll be OK with abortion continuing unimpeded? And gay marriage becoming settled law? And

    When our troops are pulled out, excuse me, redeployed over the horizon (in Okinawa [even though it's 6000 miles away] according to Jack Murtha) of Iraq before the job is done, rendering all the sacrfiice offered so far meaningless, you’re OK with that?

    When the forces of political correctness aided by their newly empowered allies in Congress restrict further the ability of Christians to speak out in the public arena, you’re fine with that?

    When immigration “reform” further opens our borders to potential terrorists and one of them blows up a dirty bomb in Charlotte, you won’t mind?

    You’re right that our ultimate citizenship is in Heaven, but since we’re living here until we get there, I fail to see how you can be so cavalier about the journey.

    Reply
  5. Dan Burrell Post author

    Ah, c’mon, Bob….you can do better than scare tactics and false dichotomies. The same President that you think will now give us a “Kennedy” tried to give us a “Meyers” last year. With no future elections at state, what would prevent Bush from sending up a Souter anyway. Or, if he is really a principled conservative, he could send up conservative after conservative after conservative. And no one I know is thinking Stevens will retire soon anyway. But he was probably even less likely to retire if the Senate was in Republican hands.

    So do you think Iraq is a bigger threat to us than N. Korea? Do you want Bryant going to Iraq so that they can set up a Muslim government totally committed to a strict Muslim government that would try and execute Christians? I sure don’t want Nate or Josh going there.

    And last time I checked, Bush has a veto pen and we still have a 1st Amendment, so I’m not worried about Christians being able to speak out. Even if they took every right a have, it wouldn’t shut me up anyway. And from what I see going on with the revival in China, I’m thinking it wouldn’t work anyway.

    And the Republicans have done a really great job of closing our borders these last six years, haven’t they. Oh, wait…no. They haven’t done a blasted thing. So I don’t know that I’m in any great dangerous now than I would have been.

    I’m not cavalier….I’m focused. Politics takes years to unfold. Eternity can start at any second. We’ve just elected 2 years of gridlock. There are worse things that could have happened. More of what we’ve been getting was one of them. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I hope pastors all over the country get back to the business of World Evangelism and forget the Reconstructionism.

    People like me aren’t responsible for the Republican loss. The Republican leadership is responsible. The smartest thing that they can do is take the next two years and regroup and decide who they are and what they are going to be about. Otherwise, we all need to practice saying President Rodham-Clinton and Vice-President Obama.

    Reply
  6. Watchman

    Well as Ronald Reagan said to Jimmy Carter, “There you go again.” It’s not scare tactics or false dichotomy. (Too late for that now if that’s what I was trying to do.) It’s a statement of fact. All of those scenarios are very possible and some are even likely.

    I don’t guess anything is going to be gained by continuing this discussion, so I’m going to bow out with this one sentence from James Lileks that pretty thoroughly describes the effect of what we’ve done by allowing the defeatists to come to power: “If I were an Iraqi I wouldnt necessarily be booking a spot in the line to the embassy roof, but Id be checking price and availability.”

    Reply
  7. clarence puckett

    Dan: I just lost as a republican candidate for our county commission[fourth district] which has about 70% democrats, 30% republican registered voters. I did
    manage to get 34% of the vote[5819].A very hard campaign, and a long one, since Feb., if there is a next time, I believe I will run as an independent, republicans are guilty of hypocrisy, arrogance, pride, as well as corruption and immorality. Grass roots candidates are on their own survival course, finances included, the party pays more attention to the upper notch candidates and supports them with all their finances and volunteers[young republicans] etc. I ramroded my own campaign. Bush has earned the title of being the rich man’s
    president, while visiting Charlotte a while back, where does he go but to Eastover
    and CD Spangler and company, his prescription program is a total flop,home land security is a joke and job security for do-nothing executives in most cities,
    he deployed too few troops and our enemy is taking advantage of our weakness
    and is the major cause of most of our casualties, roadside bombs and ambushes.
    Bush states continually that Islam is a religion of peace, he does not know our enemy, he is in dire need of new advisors, like Daniel Pipes, Brigitte Gabriel, Walid Shobat, Joseph Farrar, so he will know the muslim threat and intent.
    Clarence Puckett

    Reply

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