Category Archives: Political Musings

International Women’s Day

Are protests really the answer? 

Today in France, protesting women left the workplace twenty minutes early to bring awareness to gender wage gaps. In Rome and other places, protesters blocked traffic and shut down public transportation. In the United States, women called for a “day without women,” resulting in closed schools and empty jobs. All of this was in the name of “equality and empowerment.”

But do protests really bring that about? 

Today I was in Madison for work. Around lunch, a small group of women began marching around the capital, waving signs and declaring their desire for change. I am sure they had a variety of motives for being out there, many positive and genuine. However, while they were protesting and waving signs with words like “This pussy fights back,” my co-workers (mostly females!) and I were working hard to bring about actual change. 

This really hit home for me during a meeting we had with political and social thought leaders this afternoon. Outside, we could still hear the women chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, the patriarchy has got to go!” Inside, my group gathered to talk about the heavy tax burden and over-regulation that make life harder for men and women. The meeting was definitely gender-skewed; there were about 5 women and 20 men present. Was this representative of the patriarchy keeping us down? Hardly! We had an equal voice at the table. 

What would have happened if we decided to take a day off of work and protest the fact that there were fewer females than males represented? The meeting definitely still would have happened, but without our voices. 

Protests play a role in democracy, but they won’t solve the world’s problems. If you want to make a difference, you have to work for it. Change takes drudgery; it takes showing up day after day, even when you are in the minority. The only thing a #daywithoutwomen accomplishes is another day when women’s voices – and true solutions for equality and empowerment – are absent from the table. 

Image may contain: 4 people, tree, basketball court, sky and outdoor

A few of my fabulous, female co-workers. These ladies inspire me to keep fighting. 


Voting!

Okay, I know you are all inundated by election stuff, but I have had so much build up for today I decided to make one last post. In spite of my frustration with the top of the ballot, voting was really fun today. There were a lot of fantastic people represented on my ballot who I know are a good leaders and who strive to make a difference. It was a pleasure voting for them and it reminded me that no matter how bleak the national level might be, we can’t give up on our local representatives. Happy voting day everyone!


TOMORROW IS ELECTION DAY!

In case you hadn’t noticed. 

The election is tomorrow! Make sure you vote!


Hillary’s America

The other day I went and saw Dinesh D’Souza’s Hillary’s America with a friend. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Hillary’s America is a documentary about the history of the Democrat Party and Hillary Clinton. I was a little skeptical going in but ended up pleasantly surprised.

The movie does a beautiful job with presentation and storytelling. It is interesting to watch and educating. Of course, it is going to be very politically polarizing. This isn’t a documentary designed to win friends on the other side of the aisle. However, I think it will make a much needed difference in firming up the Republican base and inspiring people going into November. 

I particularly enjoyed the focus on Ida B. Wells, an African American civil rights activist and journalist from the late 1800s. I want to learn more about her! 


#Brexit

I don’t know a lot about Great Britain leaving the EU or what that action will mean for the future. I am certain this is a monumental decision that will have a long reaching impact. Overall, I am inclined to approve Brexit and the Heritage Foundation sums up why pretty well…

However, this is a nuanced situation, and I acknowledge I am no expert. What amazes me, though, is how Americans (or at least my Facebook newsfeed…) have responded to this vote. I have seen 50+ memes or Facebook statuses today that basically say:

I’m all for patriotism and America first, but guys, how have we made Brexit all about U.S.??? It is funny but seems to be the only way we know how to respond! Welcome to ‘Merica, we brexited first. 


Destiny of the Republic

Today I finished reading Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard.  In it, Millard weaves together the brief presidency of James A. Garfield, the egotistic insanity of Garfield’s killer, and the ineptitude of the doctors who surrounded him. Alexander Graham Bell played a role in this drama, as did the ideas Joseph Lister, whose warnings about germs were unfortunately ignored.
I knew very little about President Garfield going in to this book and was pleasantly surprised by how readable and informative it turned out to be. I have a greater understanding of him as a president and era he lived in. Highly recommended. 

However, what stood out to me most from this read wasn’t Garfield’s assassination, but the political machinations that surrounded him during his presidency. The political world he lived in was remarkably like our own. I think it is easy to assume that mud-slinging and politicking are a recent phenomenon, maybe something introduced after WW2. However, humanity hasn’t changed that much over the past few hundred years. Political parties were divided and divisive. Ambitions reigned and many men fought tooth and nail for the prestige of becoming president. Corruption was rampant and positions were appointed based on political connections and favors rather than merit.  

It has often been noted that President Obama entered the White House with very little experience. However, Chester A. Arthur, who followed President Garfield, arguably wins that competition. Prior to becoming Vice President (and then President) of the United States, his only public position was Collector of the New York Customs House, a job he was later fired from! 

I really appreciate reading Destiny of the Republic. It reminded me that as dreary and depressing as this political season has been, America has weathered worse. As a country, we’ve dealt with corruption, assassinations, and Civil War. We’ve had great and lousy presidents. No matter how bad a single election might look, it isn’t the end of the story. It is only another chapter. 


New Books

It is hard not to write about politics tonight. I’m tired and frustrated and disappointed with how things have turned out.
However, I also realize I’m tired and frustrated and disappointed. I’m not seeing the world clearly tonight. It is easy to despair when you are overtired. There is enough despair on Facebook to last a lifetime. So tonight I am going to write about something happy.

My new books arrived in the mail. I recently discovered Christian Book Distributors; it has been a wonderful and horrible discovery. They have some really excellent deals but it ruins my budget. Yet how can I say no when I see such good books under $12? 

Today I got: Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers, Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton, and the one I have been drooling over for months, 7 Women and the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas. I also got an ESV Study Bible for $30. Fantastic deal. 

I’m excited to read these books. I’ve been counting the hours till they arrived. These are the books I’ve wanted forever. I have read deeply of C.S. Lewis over the past few months and now I look forward to enjoying his contemporaries. I can’t wait to read all of them, but I am also hesitant. It is like something too good to be true that all 4 of them are in front of me. 

The books surrounding me remind me that some things don’t change. Hope never changes; dreams stay true. I find joy in my books, in these authors, in the opportunity to learn more. I’m grateful they arrived today. I needed this little reminder of joy.