You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Politics’ tag.

(c) 2009 Christiana Lambert

(c) 2009 Christiana Lambert

Before all this current brouhaha in a neighboring school district got national attention, I didn’t like what I’d heard—not from that district and not from another neighboring district.

Schools belong to our communities, but there is nothing to say that everyone in a particular community will get along or will share the same vision. That’s a fact of life we just have to deal with—even when the majority makes choices that go against those we would make.

In fact, when I finally took my kids out of the local district for their high school years, it was because I was tired of teachers and community members resisting change at the high school level because “we know our community’s kids” and “these new ways aren’t right for our kids” and so on. Based on my volunteer accountability experience at the district level, I knew their current ways weren’t right for my kids.

I still believe our family made the right choice for our kids, but I was sorry to have to bow out of supporting the schools in our own neighborhood. I was a visitor in that other community, not a decision-maker from a voting standpoint.

But the thing is, I believe our communities have the right to make educational decisions based on what feels right for the people who live there. And whoever wins the school board elections earns the right to continue making decisions for the community—as long as they understand that they serve the whole community and are held accountable by the statutes, legal framework, and community within which they work.

What I really, really don’t like is this trend of political parties and PACs getting into our local school board elections and of people running for the board as a slate. Sure, there has always been the possibility of graft and bias within many of these organizations, but that graft and bias should at least be reflective of what people in our communities believe matters most. It shouldn’t be influenced by what someone sitting in another state wants us to do. There is a platform for national concerns and it shouldn’t be our local institutions.

Yes, our schools have to work within state and national restrictions—and for good reason in many situations. What we don’t need is more outsiders telling us exactly how to educate our kids.

I want individuals in our school boardrooms making individual decisions for kids within the framework of the board. I want pressure on the school board to come from our own stakeholders: the local parents, teachers, students, business people, and residents. We’re still going to have to struggle to make decisions together that reflect our community’s values and needs and some of us may still decide our kids’ needs might be met better elsewhere, but at least our decisions will be ours.

(c) 2011 Christiana Lambert

This long, divisive election season is over. Now what? And what have we learned?

Well, I think Facebook and other social media have revealed more about our friends than we knew before. Guess what? Turns out a lot of the people whom we like don’t think as we do. Go figure, right?

But, you see, that’s the beauty of what has been revealed—we live in a world of gray yet we want to put everything and everyone into little boxes. You’re with us or you’re not. You’re on our team or you’re not. The truth is a little closer to you and I are on the same team about certain aspects of life, but we’re not on other aspects.

And, yet, so far we have remained friends.

Seriously it’s too simplistic to believe that our friends will always believe exactly as we do. Beyond that, wouldn’t that be boring? And, would we ever be challenged to see beyond what we already think we know?

I think the real crime is when we treat each others’ causes/teams/beliefs as some sort of (trivial) sports competition. “Face! Our (insert person/ballot issue/party/etc.) won and yours lost!” Or worse, as some sort of winner take all life or death battle.

If we like someone as a person, doesn’t it behoove us to treat his/her different opinions with some respect—or at least treat that person with some respect even as we tell him/her we do not agree.

Maybe if we extrapolate what we learned about our friends this season to what we expect of elected representatives of other parties, we might stop demonizing the other side(s) and see that there might be some merit in getting along and trying to work for the common good. If I don’t start by believing you are inherently evil for what you believe, might I be able to listen to what you have to say and consider your words more carefully?

Because, for as much as I have hated the divisive nature of this election period, I have hated more the divisive nature of our political realities over the past decade or so. In the end, our founders intended to create a nation “by the people and for the people”—which meant the nation would be governed for the greater good, not for those with the loudest voices, the most power, or the most anything.

Which means we the people need to start listening and working with all the people, not just with those with whom we agree.

I pledge allegiance to this great country but not to how we have been treating one another. We are better than this, people, and once we remember that, we’ll get back on track. Indivisible doesn’t mean agreeing with everything, but it does mean we can’t let our differences keep us from providing liberty and justice . . . for all.

(c) 2011 Sherman Lambert

Reporting to you live from Denver, Colorado, home of the first presidential debate for the 2012 election. In order to avoid the predicted major traffic snafus caused by closing I-25, the major artery through central Denver, my son was sent home early from work and my husband pedaled home, as planned—well, until he got a flat tire and called me to go pick him up. I know this is an exciting event but I’m rather glad I still have choir practice tonight.

In a 24/7 electronic world, I’m sure I can still hear what is said during the debate without listening to it as it happens. I’m already ready to cast my presidential vote but still have decisions to make on the local fronts.

I am so over politics as usual. These are difficult times, but if you listen to all the advertisements, the way to solve our problems is to put down anyone who isn’t on your side, whatever that side may be.

No! The way to solve our problems is to start working together and to stop thinking that compromise is a dirty word.

I am not sure why anyone would want to run for office in these divisive days. I’m especially disgusted by the attack advertisements promoted not by the candidates, but by Political Action Committees (PACs) and other faceless, nameless groups.

If I were a candidate, I’d be pretty upset that these people were slandering my opponent—supposedly in my name. We seem to be Ground Zero here because we have two young voters registered in two parties. Most of the literature comes addressed to them, not my husband or me. (Does that mean we’re committing mail fraud if we read those postcards before they do? Yikes!)

But according to those flyers, for example, we have a choice between voting for a “deadbeat” or an “ATM” for the legislature. (If I had no soul and wanted to make good money writing, then I’d write that sort of thing!) Really? And we wonder why kids are having trouble with bullies in school.

And don’t even get me started about all the money being spent on these elections. Wouldn’t it be nice if people with that kind of money just wanted to use it to take care of the problems we have?

Don’t mind me—I’m still looking for that kinder, gentler nation someone once said we could create. I know it can still happen, but it’s going to take the voters of this nation telling the attackers that we’ll never get there if we can’t even make it to Election Day without assaulting everyone who runs for office.

How can we expect our elected officials to be good at playing nice, if they first have to go through full-out battle—from all sides—to make it into those elected positions?

(c) 2010 Christiana Lambert

Why did the chicken stop in the middle of the road? Because after analyzing Points A and C, it felt Point B was a more reasonable destination choice, albeit one that involved dodging traffic non-stop.

Although living in the middle of the road is often mocked as “fuzzy-headed thinking” or somehow as not taking a stand, sometimes I believe the real way to rebel is to choose to stand in the middle of the road. It seems that many people with extreme views simply cannot understand that seeing both sides of a topic can also be taking a stand.

I’ve probably been in this part of the road most of my life—lucky I haven’t gotten hit! Of course, I think I haven’t gotten hit because I don’t often make a point of setting myself up to get hit. Well, today’s Friday the 13th—who knows what will happen, right? How about I talk about politics, religion, and family values?

Just yesterday I read an article in the Denver Post about a legislative race for a seat in a “purple” district. The article quoted both the incumbent Republican and the challenger, a Democrat. Read the whole darn article twice because neither candidate said anything that angered me. In fact, the incumbent stated that that district tended to prefer moderate votes and his record shows that he did not always vote along the party line. Shoot, I’d vote for both of them!

Now, I’ve always thought the way to anger just about everyone along the religious spectrum would be to have both a Christian fish and a Darwin symbol on my car—not that I’ve done that, of course. I like to keep all my tires slash-free. I love Jesus, but I really, really don’t like all the hatred done in his name. If we’re honest, almost all faithful Christians focus on certain verses in the Bible more than others but we don’t all agree on where to put the focus. I prefer to stick with the “love your neighbor as yourself” and the Golden Rule (“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) angles for my focus, but boy is that hard in practice.

On another divisive topic, today my exclusively-breastfed baby (exclusively until she began eating solids) will be facing a nurse-in protest at her workplace. All I can say is I nursed twins—at parks, restaurants, parties, malls, swim beaches, rest areas, etc. when necessary—day-in and day-out. Thankfully no one ever asked me to stop nursing just because I was nursing. But on the other hand, I did feel I had some responsibility to keep some level of privacy to this very natural event. Of course, I had a right to feed my family as they needed to be fed without being relegated to a dingy bathroom or being hidden away from those who think breastfeeding is unnatural. However, that’s not the same thing as feeding my child in a kiddy pool and assuming that other people’s family members and children just need to get over their own unnatural response to seeing a woman’s breasts being used for what they are designed. See, I believe public breastfeeding should be about finding a middle ground, not one group’s rights trumping another group’s rights.

The chicken that doesn’t cross the road but stops in the middle of the road is liable to be a target for everyone else who crossed to either side. Nonetheless, every day citizens of democratic societies must dance with compromise— I still think it’s a dance worth joining even if most think compromise=weakness. Call it a “Stupid Chicken Dance” if you want, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that choosing to stand in the middle is chickening out of conflict.

Recent Comments

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 304 other followers

Blogging AtoZ Challenge 2012