Why I’m voting in the beer primary

(Originally published in Greater Democracy)

It rained today, and I thought about my life,

Of late, there have been a lot of personal attacks in the U.S. Presidential race. First Kerry’s record in Vietnam was attacked. Then the attackers were attacked. The Bush’s record in the Texas Air National Guard was attacked. Then those attackers were attacked. Many people have complained asking why we can’t focus on the issues.

Yet I think the whole issue of the beer primary and of character is very important. By this, I don’t mean so much, who slept with whom or who abused which drugs or drinks, but what is a candidate’s real connection with people.

about how many years its been since I laughed like I laughed the way I laughed when I was eight years old.

We can talk about the difficulties with the economy, Bush’s war in Iraq, health care, or a raft of other issues, but what they all really come down to is people, ‘demos’. Who really seems like they have all the people’s best interest in mind.

Yesterday, I saw an ad for the United Methodist Church on the Weather Channel. It is a powerful ad. Some people might look askance at the Methodists these days. George W. Bush is a Methodist. Yet if you go to the United Methodist Church website, you will see their current profile in faith is WW II veteran, former presidential candidate, and son of a Methodist minister, George McGovern.

About how all the choices we make in life add up to define how we live

I’m and Episcopalian myself. Today at church, The Revd Canon John L Peterson, Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council spoke. The church I go to is fairly conservative politically, so I was very pleased to hear words about economic and social justice as well as the importance of the Anglican Observer at the U.N.

how our children will live

After church, we stopped at a neighbor association meeting. It is for the neighborhood we live in, and my wife, as candidate, spoke with various people there. We talked with people about the difficult issues they face in their daily life; retired people struggling under the burden of heavy regressive property taxes, people that may not be able to afford to continue living in the homes they raised their families in. We talked about carrying for loved ones struggling with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

and what our lives will mean to others.

Afterwards, we went to a funeral for a former coworker of my wife’s. My wife and I have known one another for just over five years. We’ve been to nearly a dozen funerals together, relatives dying of old age, friends and family dying of cancer, a tragic accident and a suicide.

I believe it is important to keep church and state separate. I believe that, as the scriptures warn us, we must beware of those who practice their piety on street corners. Yet I also believe that democracy, of the people, by the people, for the people, is based on those ideals that the Methodist ad, that the Anglican Observer, that the people at the funeral, as well as my tibetian friends of caring for all people, and not just ones friends or benefactors.

I’m not especially concerned about who served our country most nobly thirty-five years ago or who is trying to act the most religious. I’m more concerned about which candidate shows the most authentic concern for all people.

I’m 42 years old and it rained today and that’s why I came….