Tuesday, September 28, 2004

A Homer's Odyssey

Saw a great bumper sticker in Portland last week: "Re-defeat George W. Bush." Now that's funny. Even if you were, like me, part of the victorious minority who voted for the President four years ago, you gotta admit that's clever. And it's certainly superior to "My child is an honor student at Ritalin Elementary."

I am an avowed homer. But I think I'm pretty good at keeping my allegiance to team/school/candidate from clouding my sense of reality. For example, two weeks ago against the University of Florida, my beloved Tennessee Volunteers were the grateful beneficiaries of not one, but two egregious blunders by the officiating crew, which the Big Orange resourcefully parlayed into a last-second victory. I shed no tears for Gator Nation. If UF (or do they prefer FU?) never wins another game, it'll be way too many for me. But my devotion doesn't supersede the reality that the refs helped my team win...and that the forces of evil are occasionally thwarted in this life.

I get the feeling this Chief Executive election - and maybe a bunch more before - is more about whether our guy wins than what really results from the outcome. It's so much easier that way, no? If we win, we gloat and all is Right (or Left) with the world. If we lose, we politely declare the imminent arrival of the gates of hell prevailing upon us. Neither outcome, if we're really honest, prevents us from nor encourages us toward that to which the prophet Micah called the people of God 3000 years ago: "to live justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly" with God. If we so choose, we can live that way regardless of how many chads are dangled.

Think of the worst that could happen if the guy you're not voting for wins. Elephants, even if a Kerry administration gives homosexuals the right to be contiguous with one another in the contiguous 48 states and beyond, that hardly impedes your ability to treat everyone in your circle of influence with dignity. Donkeys, the swashbuckling Bush could slash millionaires' taxes like Errol Flynn - who, it should be pointed out, would be allowed to marry in a Kerry administration - and it still wouldn't preclude you from seeing to it that those in need near you are accounted for.

I don't think America gets better from the top down. I'd say it's the other way around. So whoever graduates from this year's Electoral College with top honors, maybe we should all concede the truth of another popular bumper sticker, however scatological and septic its message may be. That way when "**it happens" to those around us as **it invariably does, we'll be more prepared to grab a mop than point a finger.

9 comments:

Joel Quile said...

Great Blog Boone! Brilliant, Comical, and Challenging. (Sounds like a movie review) I constantly struggle with casting blame on others, thus "justifying" (so I think) me of my lack of responsibility to do right to those left out. Today I will cast my vote to be light and salt. Your light look at this issue was seasoned with wisdom (sans the University of Florida comment) and was used by God to re-defeat my defeated sense of personal responsiblity to live justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hey I like blaming the politcal types for the woes of the world. You don't think that this moral depleted world has anything to do with me do you? It is not my fault. I have kept all Gods commandments like,
No mixed swimming.
No kitchens in the same building as the auditorium.
No remembering Christ on Christmas.
No communion with those who have not dunked in our fake metal pond up front.
No songs praising God be played on an instrument.
No females voices, thoughts, or brains allowed.
No clapping or lifting of hands, ever.
No wine at all ..the Bible ment grape juice I am sure.
And Finally
NO leather shoes, no designer shirt = No service.
Sincerely,
The one and only c of C.

JD said...

Great post, Grant. I always look forward to reading what your thoughts. I think you have made a very significant point here. Keep up the great posts!

Anonymous said...

Nice post and very timely. My wife was talking with her father this am about this very thing. He's difinitely in the religious right. My wife is struggling with who to vote for. Not sure why, Bush is my personal saviour. Anyway, she was talking to him about it and he said that when she was talking to God in the after life, she would have to justify why she voted for a liberal who supports abortion and "homo scum." Nice. Maybe I'll forward him this post.

SG said...

Last Friday at the Rangers game I was trying to get this same point across to my husband in another arena. 1 game up or down, the trash still goes out on Tuesday! Our lives don't change a bit no matter who wins... but for some reason our dispostions sure do! I'm not sure politics is all that different.

SG said...

PS I meant disposition. AND scatological, though repulsive in nature, is my new word for the day. Thanks...I think.

Grant said...

i'm about to get scatalogical - the rangers have just been eliminated from playoff contention...taking out the trash isn't nearly as fun when your team loses...

Greg Kendall-Ball said...

Nor when the Volunteers get thoroughly embarrassed by what is clearly an inferior team. Let's just see what Auburn thinks next year when our QBs have a little experience under their belts. Personally, I'm rooting for Ainge to get the job, and for them to convert Schaeffer to a wideout...

Anyway, there's always the SEC championship!

Val said...

I do agree with you on this one, actually. I have been thinking the same thing of late. However, it struck me that this view may be in and of itself, a conservative view. The notion that the power is in the people rather than in government itself is decidedly unpopular in certain circles.