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Letter: The GOP — where did it go?

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It seems that since the evening of President Obama’s first inauguration this party has disappeared, or have I misinterpreted GOP as the Grand Old Party? I grew up a Democrat and have thought of it as the party for the common middle class people — the People’s Party. But I thought the two or three parties were good for each other, certainly not enemies. Surely they didn’t agree on everything, but it seems they were able to talk, negotiate and reason together and finally find common ground. I wasn’t too concerned which party was elected, no party was perfect or had all the right answers.

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But this election was different. We elected a black president for the first time. Could it be that one party has not been able to accept this man? Thinking it was our land? And maybe go as far as to think that surely God couldn’t have meant this to be, we’ll have to do something about that!

When rumors spread that on the night of the president’s inauguration a group from this party had gathered and made an agreement (pledge?) not to support this president, I realized that we were living in an historical time, and I began to collect articles and pictures from papers, wrote a few Letters to the Editor expressing my opinions and adding them to my scrapbook. I became more interested and observant of things “political.” The more I observed, the more I could see that this party was indeed not supporting anything that was initiated by the president and guessed that the rumor must have been true. I received letters from both parties simultaneously. The contrast and tone of the two agendas was obvious. One had a passion for making this a better place for all people: equality, justice, health care, creating more jobs and the thought, “I am my brother’s keeper. If my brother or sister hurts, I hurt.” In another letter the words, “… My friends and I have worked tirelessly to defeat Barack Obama …”

I have watched and prayed for the president as I see him going through many things which I suppose most presidents would expect, like criticism, fault-finding, blaming, etc., but I would think lack of trust, cooperation and the support of those who work closest to him and the continual probing and scrutinizing, desperately hoping to find someone for which to sue or impeach (as we see today) would be the hardest to bear. I can see where he might say, “I’m proud of what we have achieved together, but I’m far more mindful of my failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, ‘I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.’” And he added, “I’m not perfect, but I try to live by the Golden Rule.”

I have to wonder how things might have looked today had that group who met on inauguration night had rather met for a prayer meeting asking God’s blessings, wisdom and guidance for the new president, then making a commitment to support and encourage him through the many challenges of this high calling.

I am also wondering how the history books will record this era of the first African-American president when seen in perspective. (I’ll gladly loan them my scrapbook.) At age 93, I probably won’t get to see that. And the GOP — I hope will be renewed with a new heart, roll up their sleeves and get back to work, like the Grand Old Party I once knew.

For his 53rd birthday on Aug. 4, Michelle Obama sent out birthday cards on which we were asked to write a note and return. I found this a good opportunity to send him the verse from Jeremiah 29:11, which reads: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” — hoping he will claim this promise for himself and be encouraged by it. May God bless and use him according to his plan.

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