Feeling Very Young

Monday, January 14, 2008

On average, I am 58 years old. My knees feel considerably older, while my spirit feels younger. I’m feeling even younger this evening after reading an article by David D. Kirkpatrick in the New York Times: Huckabee Splits Young Evangelicals and Old Guard. Guess what? I’m a young guy!

I must admit, I have even a little more bounce in my step now than I had just a few months ago. Then, the media and the Old Guard leadership (even a few I’ve previously respected) were telling me I was either going to vote for Mayor Giuliani or Gov. Romney. James Dobson (whom I do respect) was publicly writing off all the GOP candidates and talking about a third party. To myself (as I scratched my head) I was mumbling, “Wait a minute, what about Huckabee? I’ve even made my peace with John McCain. I might be able to get behind Fred Thompson. For crying out loud, we haven’t even had a primary yet!”

I’ve been aware for many years that there are corners of the Republican Party where I don’t belong. My economic outlook is fairly populist, though we do have a responsibility not to spend the next generation into bankruptcy. I put a high value on social justice. On immigration and bilingualism . . . well, I’ll just point out that each of my three oldest children chose a spouse born overseas, from a non-English-speaking family, and I'm richer for it.

My ties to the Republican Party are rooted in two basic issues. The first is abortion. Even ignoring that I find it morally inexcusable, abortion is not pragmatically feasible. No nation can survive by killing its children. That is especially evident in the African-American community, where abortion ends more lives than all other causes combined. As a result, too few babies are born to even replenish the existing population. Unfortunately, where the African-American community is leading, the rest of the nation is following.

The second issue is a little more nebulous. In my perception, the Democratic Party assumes that I—as a parent—should function as an agent of the State in raising children who belong to the State. In contrast, at least my wing of the GOP believes that as a parent, I am a steward working on behalf of God, to whom the children belong. A third possibility is that I should be a steward raising workers and consumers to maintain the capitalist system. That may animate some Republicans, but not this one.

So when Huckabee exposes fault lines in the Republican party by saying Christianity requires social justice, and the kingmakers say that makes him ‘socially liberal,’ well, then so am I. And if they accuse him (and McCain) of being soft on immigration, well, so am I. And if they’re concerned that he wasn’t born into a political dynasty, or into money, or might not protect the interests of those who were, or that he brings a decidedly Christian outlook to things, well, last year I made under $30,000, teaching at a Christian elementary school, because I thought that’s what God wanted me doing.

And because I find Huckabee appealing, Kirkpatrick says that places me in a category with the young. I’ll take that assessment, no matter what age my knees feel.

Posted by Brian at 7:41 PM  

2 comments:

You are SUCH a radical! =)

V said...
January 15, 2008 at 6:01 PM  

Christianity does indeed require social justice, but government does NOT. Making government the custodian of "social justice" means that everyone pays for the current government's idea of what that social justice is. That in itself is a scary thought and replaces democracy with socialism which is the ultimate aim of liberalism.

Nicole said...
January 16, 2008 at 11:47 AM  

Post a Comment