Saturday, March 01, 2008

Speak, Barack, Speak

I don’t often get weepy listening to political commentary. Actually, I haven’t cried watching TV or a movie since Dances with Wolves. Imagine my shock when I began to weep this morning when my husband played a segment of “Morning Joe” talking with noted conservative and Wall Street Journal columnist, Peggy Noonan.

Discussing the tone of civil conversation and the depths to which it has fallen, Noonan cast a vision. If Obama can maintain his demeanor, there stands the possibility for a new day in civil discourse.

Noonan’s remarks are reminiscent of the David Brooks New York Times column last spring,
“Run, Barack, Run” in which Brooks asserted, “The next Democratic nominee should either be Barack Obama or should have the stature that would come from defeating Barack Obama.” Brooks continued, “This style is surely the antidote to the politics of the past several years.”

Noonan said she thinks the manner of our public conversation came about during the Vietnam War and took deep root during the busing and abortion clashes of the 70s. I agree. I would add, the arrival of the 80s, the end of the fairness doctrine and the emergence of talk radio cemented divisive, mean-spirited, small political talk. Thus, the span of my adult life.

Noonan sees the rhetoric of the Republicans and the Democrats on par with the "Jets and the Sharks. Both sides killing each other, not to make things better, but to gain power."

Can't we all rise above the swiftboating, above the lapel pin harangue?

Admit it--no grown up believes that discourse alone will keep us secure, prosperous, and just.

Yet, on the way to security, prosperity, and justice-keep your cool, Barack Obama.
Stay above the fray. Fight the real battles. Parry the silly.

Keep raising the level of discourse.

Make a path for peace.

I've been waiting for this for a long, long time.

"The wisdom that comes from God is first utterly pure, then peace-loving, gentle, approachable, full of tolerant thoughts and kindly actions, with no breath of favouritism or hint of hypocrisy. And the wise are peace-makers who go on quietly sowing for a harvest of righteousness - in other people and in themselves." James 3:17-18


Anonymous said...

I don't like Barack because it seems as if he doesn't offer any substance. I will vote for a third party over John McCain and Barack Obama if they are the nominees. But I might vote for Hillary in the general primary

David W.

Beverly Choate Dowdy said...
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Anonymous said...

I meant general election, not general primary. I voted for Hillary in the Primary.

David W.

Ann said...
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Ann said...

Nice post Beverly. It's exciting to see the political apathy lifting from our generation's mentality. To be honest, the way politicians have acted since I was 18 has been an embarrassment. I'm looking forward to the results of this election...and I don't think I've ever felt that way in my adult life.

Has Ken returned?

Anonymous said...

It is nice to read your comments. I look foward to reading them. I agree with your comments, and you are rare in our church. You remind me that not everyone in the church of christ is an extreme conservative, and I have trouble with the fact that the church of christ has become the church of the Republican Party.--------------- The history of our church disturbs me. I am in my early 50's and I am a 5th generation member. I have a lot of material from the past(handed down) that makes the church look like it was usually on the wrong side of history and goodness. If the church's views had prevailed, women could not vote, and African-Americans would still be segregated. In the 1920's, Henry Ford's book the International Jew was passed around in many churches of christ. At the same time the church supported laws that put teachers in prison for saying the earth was more than 6000 years old.----------------- I admire Martin Luther King, and I find it hard to admire the church and MLK at the same time, because they were on opposite sides. I remember hearing sermons form church of christ preachers during the 1960's when African-Americans were being beaten and killed, because they wanted equality. The sermons usually condemned Martin Luther King, and concentrated on how sinful it was for women to wear pants. The preachers were much more upset over women wearing pants, than they were over the assassinations of civil rights leaders. ------------My youngest child has type 1 diabetes, and I know that my church has done everything it can to prevent the research that can save my child's life. The church says that if we have to use a discarded blastocyst, from a fertility clinic, to save a litte girls life, then we should just let the little girl die. The Juvenile Diabetes Association estimates that 500,000 Americans will die from just diabetes each year that a cure is delayed, and that is not counting blindness, stokes, kidney failure, and so on.------- I come from a white southern moderate political family, and at least 20 members of my family no longer go to the church of christ, because they see it as a Rush Limbaugh-Ann Coulter institution. -----------I was starting to lose complete faith im my church when I found your site. You are a breath of fresh air. ------Like you, I have been married to the same person for almost 30 years. I am grateful to the church for instilling in me the belief that marriage is forever. -P.S. I know that John McCain meets the church's definition of living in Adultery. He left his first wife for the younger Cindy Hensley, his current wife. I believe that church leaders will support McCain, because they are Republicans first and Christians secondly. They will support McCain while condemning Bill Clinton for adultery. Clinton did not leave a disabled wife, and three children. If I hear church of christ preachers telling McCain to go back to his first wife, and quit living in Adultery, then I will have some of my faith in the church's leaders restored.

Beverly Choate Dowdy said...

Great to hear from you. Thankfully, Ken is back. He experienced South Africa and Swaziland with joy and returned inspired about the work of World Vision. Are you familiar with World Vision?

Hope to see you at East Cobb sometime soon!

To Anonymous
I sense your passion and know that at times one can feel desparately alone when considering some of these topics. I must say that through the last thirty years Ken and I have found so many refreshing, prophetic voices. We have known so many folks who have a sense of grace, joy, and social justice.

I hope as time goes by you will be encouraged in your assembly of believers.

You might get a kick out of some of my older posts--I have a few about growing up in the church of "the acapella stage; screen memories of a Campbellite dreamer."

By the way--did you hear Barack today???