Running through my mind on the morning after one of the most interesting elections I’ve observed are three thoughts that are tied together by their controversial tendencies and a fairly simple — or is it? — question.
Obviously, the Red vs. Blue battle that we’ve been through as a nation is one of the three. It’s been a rough ride for the Republicans, particularly the Bush administration’s true believers, but the prospect of smooth sailing for the new Democratic leadership is unlikely.
So, as the 2008 race for the White House begins, and that’s already where we are today, I’ve been wondering about what it now means to be a Republican, what it means to be a Democrat? Is it that simple question of liberal or conservative?
And that takes me to the second thought running through my post-election mind, and it’s about the investiture of the first woman as Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, a place I call home, the weekend before Election Day 2006.
As anyone who follows mainstream media coverage knows, Episcopalians have a Red vs. Blue situation of our own.
Factions within the American church and throughout the larger Anglican Communion are trading blows over questions that tend to be categorized as having liberal or conservative answers. In a church where female priests still struggle for acceptance, choosing a woman as Presiding Bishop is one of those key issues that liberals and conservatives are quick to use as a line of demarcation: Are you for us or with them?
Not very Christian, is it? And again, is it really a simple matter of liberal or conservative?
Now to completely muddle the debate, I’ve been thinking about Mississippi State’s win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa, also the weekend before Election Day. As any long-suffering Bulldog fan will tell you, a win on the road in the Southeastern Conference is sweet. Right? Apparently not.
A friend of mine was annoyed by the game’s outcome because he thinks it gives Sylvester Croom, the head coach he and a number of other vocal fans want gone, more time. Unhappy and inpatient with where the program is, they want change now — the sooner the better for many of them.
Of course, how much does this rabid minority know about the situation? Wouldn’t the prudent approach involve patience, trust of the university leadership and setting realistic expectations?
Reasonable. Radical. Take your pick. But I suggest that in the coming days, when we’re discussing politics, religion or college football, we begin with that old simple question: What am I — liberal or conservative? Am I really?
So, are you?
Contact MBJ editor Jim Laird at firstname.lastname@example.org.