I've never cried about an election turn-out before. When Clinton won I was too young to care. When Bush won, he had my support. When Obama won in '08, I was well prepared for that eventuality, and hoping for the best despite the fact that he did not get my vote.
But last night was a true devastation. I know of only a few readers of this blog who are not conservative, maybe there are more lurking, but I doubt it. Anyway, I know that other people cried over political victories that I have hoped for. I understand that politics are ever-changing, that there are so many sides to every decision and national problem, you can't fix every issue in one fell swoop, and so it can be tricky to judge leaders. However, I am 100% baffled that Romney did not have a landslide victory, incumbent advantage not withstanding. I am horrified by the journalistic bias. Even if I'm cutting Obama some slack, we all have way more to call him out on, and as I look ahead to the next 4 years, I ache over what half of America passed up last night.
More baffling things: while everyone is complaining about tough times, they don't blame Obama. They sure do blame George. The statute of limitations is up on that, guys. It's baffling that in recent months Obama gave campaign speech after campaign speech touting the exact same promises (sometimes verbatim) he did 4 years ago -- people, do you REALLY expect him to make good on these now? When he has no one's agenda to satisfy but his own in his 2nd term? I believe Obama revels in popularity, but I think he cherishes his own plans even more, and his plans punish the hard working and successful to give the cluelessly lazy a free ride, just to start. What a waste. What backwards thinking. And I'm not talking about the downtrodden who were dealt a miserably hard hand and need help to get going, I'm talking about the capable people who sit and get loaded day in, day out, watching TV and texting on free cell phones.
Lots of people who don't agree with me would probably assume that since Romney and I go to the same church, I was a blind enthusiast and would follow him if he were selling Activia yogurt as a BM regulator. Not true. It does help me to understand him better, but I don't really care what his religion is. He was qualified to lead in a way that Obama isn't, or choses not to. In recent weeks, I'd listen to Romney and feel happy, energized, grateful, inspired. I'd see Obama's smug expression and hear him spout out low blows, making hypocritical remarks, and rub shoulders with the all-wise and clearly inwardly confident Katy Perry and feel ill.
When my last tears were shed, the McFlurry was digesting, I'd deleted the Facebook app off my phone, and Jeff and I were each quiet, a few bits of lightening struck my brain and I've been clinging to them since:
1. I can't control Obama, I can't control other voters, but I can control myself. All over again I am resolved to be a better wife and mother, and to work even harder to spiritually nourish my family. I still have hope that this battered country can somehow pull through (probably not for 4 more years, but who knows?). However, whatever the direction of our country, my kids need to be stronger than I was because they're going to face more than I did.
2. I have my faith, I have my covenants, and no one can any of it from me. There is protection promised to the faithful and humble.
3. Since Katy Perry and Rihanna were around before last night's election, the world was getting sicker anyway. Even if Romney had won, this moral decline has long been prophesied and a concept accepted by many religions; that isn't just a Mormon thing. It's just time to get tougher.
4. One of the first emotions to hit me when the election was called was loneliness. I feel like I can't relate to anyone who would vote for Obama -- why the love of punishment?? And yet my countrymen said, "Everything is horrible -- here's to more of the same!! Yay!!!" I turned to Jeff after a few minutes and through my sobs said, "Well that's it. We're moving to Switzerland." That is a long shot, but I'd go and love the beauty, chocolate and Coke Lite every day. Anyway, back to the point: I felt isolated. I felt horrified at the thought of watching my wonderful America descend further into debt, weakness, and frustration. So since we probably can't exactly get off a sinking ship, I felt motivated to be a patriot for the things that made America great. I'm going to throw a bang-a-rang 4th of July party every year. I'm going to pray harder for our country. I'm going to be more of an enthusiast for the things we're losing our grasp on.
Do I sound like a religious zealot, or a cheeseball? Probably, especially to someone who thinks God's laws are not for the exciting and the awesome. People feel pressure to be "progressive" and that means God doesn't get to make hard calls on things like abortion, marriage, work ethic, etc. If people think that will make them happy, fine. The older I get, the more I realize people are just going to do what they are going to do, and there's not much use worrying about it or trying to change them. I can, likewise, do what I am going to do.
It's just a waste, and I'm still mourning that waste.
Mitt, my family loves you. I feel indescribably grateful that you stepped up to serve, and I will always admire you.
My hope for the next 4 years is that those I love will thrive even under these dismal circumstances.
And if you're still reading this blog post, wow.