Friday, December 19, 2008

" The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said." ~ Peter F. Drucker

Alright, I can't keep quiet about this. I've just been sitting back, waiting, watching, scratching my chin.

Now, President-Elect Obama has selected Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, an evangelical Christian church in California, to give the inaugural invocation. President-Elect Obama says he made this selection because he wanted a "wide range of viewpoints" to be be presented during the inaugural ceremonies.

Many Democrats who supported the President-Elect are furious with his choice and with good reason. Warren's beliefs are the antithesis of progressive Democrats. He refuses to renounce torture, he's anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-stem cell research and is unapologetic for his positions.

Apparently those supporters weren't really listening to Obama when he spoke of unity. What exactly did they think he meant? That he wanted everyone to unite, but behind his positions and values? That he would reach across the aisle and convince everyone on "the other side" to make a turn to the left? Did those Democrats really believe that would happen? If they did, they were very naive indeed.

So, what will be the inauguration message? More hope and unity? How can Obama provide a positive vision for the country and engage the American people to work toward improving the country for everybody, while giving validity to the views that undermine and contradict his message.

This is why Barack Obama was not my Democratic choice, but he was the Democratic choice of the majority who voted to put him in the White House. Now, our country wants and needs strong decisive leadership...Democratic leadership. Shouldn't President-Elect Obama be taking this opportunity to showcase Democratic viewpoints and values as a signal to the country and world of the change he'll bring to his administration as opposed to those we've endured for the last eight years?

Republicans and evangelicals have dominated the political and social discourse during the entire Bush administration; particularly on issues of sexual orientation and reproductive freedom. Eight years of Bush and right wing domination is enough.

Obama's choice is not a good sign and he doesn't appear to be the committed Democrat we were all hoping for. Obama promoted his "post-partisanship" as the Change We Can Believe In. Apparently, I, like many others wanted something real substantive ideological change. This isn't it.

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