Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Last night I voted. I had hoped to read or sew or both, but alas, I put off voting until the last minute, so my evening was spent reading about propositions and initiatives and candidates. All of the local issues were fine. They took the longest to read about and they were the most difficult to decide on, as there are pros and cons to both sides of the arguments. But they were fine. It was the Senate race that bugged me. There are two really big oppositions in this year's election in Washington - the Senate race and the House Representative race for Congressional District 8. I am not in this district, so it didn't really affect the way I voted at all, but theirs was certainly the most publicized of the Congressional races, so all of northwestern Washington was subjected to their advertisements. These two pairs of candidates engaged in a tremendous amount of mudslinging. It was appalling. I know of no other profession in which people can get hired by telling their prospective employer just how horrible the other candidates are. Stop it, people! I don't want to hear about how bad your opponent is. Tell me how good you are. What are you going to do for the people you serve? Dave Reichert, one of the Congressional candidates, was probably the cleanest. He talked more of his own record, his own qualifications, and less of his opponent's - well, her lack of record and qualifications. He did not abstain completely from throwing some mud in her direction, but he threw a lot less than she did. The Senate candidates sucked. Not just in the mudslinging arena, but overall. I felt as though I had to choose the lesser of two evils. Their campaigns were run almost exclusively on the premise that their opponent is bad, not on the premise that they are good. Come ON!

A while back I saw a bumper sticker that read, "When Clinton lied, nobody died." Disregarding the absolute irrelevancy of this statement, I started thinking about how sad it was. Is that what politics in our country have become? "Our candidate isn't as corrupt as your candidate"? Is that the best we can do?

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and deeply saddened by the corrupt state of our country, by the extreme pain and apparent hopelessness in the world. Then I feel overwhelmed and deeply saddened by how little I can do about it. I try to "make it [my] ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind [my] own business, and to work with [my] hands" (1 Thes. 4:11), but that does not negate the corruption and suffering that is all around me. I guess this is just a reminder that our hope is not to be found in this world.

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