Search This Blog

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Waking Up With A Hangover

By Silvia Uribe

For the purpose of this column, I would say that it doesn't matter who won or who lost the presidential race. It also doesn't matter for whom you or I voted, which propositions passed, or which didn't. Today, the anxiety, excitement, campaign ads, and anticipation are not distracting us anymore. Now we can be realistic. It is like waking up with a hangover; the night before was fun, but the next day we feel terrible and have a deep feeling of disappointment about ourselves. Yes, we have elected an African-American President, but other collective behaviors will doubtfully allow us to feel proud.

We know - whether we want to accept it or not - that the candidates and their campaigns repeatedly lied to us just to sway our vote. Their political statements were often gross exaggerations, if not plain lies. At best, they were twisting the truth to accomplish their goal, providing us with a "suspicious truth." The same can be said about those who funded propositions and measures.

The media is another example of non-anticipated shameful behavior. It showed its bias and sexism in the way TV personalities and comedians attacked Clinton and Palin.

We also saw shameful examples of oppressive behavior in our own communities. Some people's homes were vandalized and others received hate messages written on their property because of their position on controversial propositions. And let's not forget about the racial attacks and the recently busted plan of white supremacists to kill Barack Obama.

On Sunday I was looking for something to watch on TV while waiting for the rest of the family to wake up. In my channel surfing, I found a religious service with a preacher named Ed Young. He got my attention. The stage had a Democrat donkey and a Republican elephant in the background. The front of the stage was decorated with a striped red, white, and blue skirt. It looked as if one of the candidates would suddenly appear. Instead, the preacher was reading from the Bible and forcing all sorts of political ideas on the audience by attempting to connect these ideas to what he called "Jesus' message."

Although I was in complete disbelief, I continued to watch. He was vehemently trying to convince everyone that Obama's more progressive positions were against what the Bible says. He was not preaching, he was acting - walking vigorously from side to side of the stage with his hands in the air, putting up a scene that would be worthy of an Oscar. If only his script had been more credible! He reached my limit when he said, "As Christians, let's forget about McCain or Obama, and let's vote for Jesus Christ." Excuse me! As a Christian, I do not appreciate phony, manipulative preachers.

We shouldn't be proud of religious leaders who forget who they are, and what purpose they serve. They become one more piece in the political machinery, ready to manipulate their constituents to achieve a very non-spiritualistic goal.

As a country, we've done it all: lied, been sexist, showed a complete lack of tolerance, committed hate crimes, pronounced racial slurs, and manipulated Christians through their faith. Not that we were much better before, but it's hard to believe, in the 21st Century, that we still are so oppressive!

Coming from another country, I know that the U.S. is perceived as the most open and progressive society in the world. If, as American citizens, we think that we can be that society, we will need to work harder and faster to accomplish it.

Silvia Uribe is a freelance writer with a Latino perspective.

Cross-posted at

No comments: