Since we last rendezvoused, America went to the polls & stunned a great many political pundits by reelecting Barack Obama, just as my nausea was beginning to improve. Setting aside a long list of his first term failures, the voting public, as Rush Limbaugh explained, voted for Santa Claus. Like children who rise early & rush to raid the loot beneath the tree on Christmas morning, many voters have no understanding of the origins of the loot. They aren't one of Santa's elves tirelessly working to polish & perfect the goodies, so they remain happily ignorant of the efforts of the elves, as long as the goodies arrive. The children's glee is multiplied when Santa promises to take more & more from the greedy elves who shamelessly want to keep some of the loot they produce. What Santa isn't telling the children is that no matter how hard the elves work, & how much Santa demands of them, there aren't enough elves to continue supplying the goodies, & ironically, due to Santa's policies, elves are dropping out of the workforce daily. The elf to children ratio is not sustainable, but children aren't interested in math.
When I saw the early Ohio numbers Tuesday night, I had a bad feeling; I didn't think it would come down to Florida, & it's a good thing because I think they're still counting. So, when it became official, I was prepared & climbed into bed, emotionally drained. I fell asleep with my hand on my stomach, praying to God that my two children will live long & happy lives in a land where elves are plentiful & their hard work is valued, & childhood is temporary, as it should be, rather than some permanent state of blissful ignorance & total dependence.
Ron Paul attributes Mitt Romney's loss, at least in part, to Romney's disapproval of the auto bailouts, explaining that:
People do not want anything cut. They want all the bailouts to come. They want the Fed to keep printing the money. And they don't believe that we've gone off the cliff or are close to going off the cliff. They think that we can patch it over, that we can somehow come up with some magic solution. But you can't have a budgetary solution if you don't change what the role of government should be. As long as you think we have to police the world and run this welfare state, all we are going to argue about is who will get the loot.
Ron Paul knows the feds have no business playing Santa Claus, & until we elect leaders who understand this & are willing to not only make drastic spending cuts, but to fundamentally change the role of government, the children will continue electing Santa while the elf population dwindles & dwindles, the value of the dollar falls & falls, & our debt rises & rises.
Here's a thought: there are reasons why children are not allowed to vote. Sadly, many well past the age of eighteen are mired in a permanent state of childish dependence, which is, in my opinion, exactly where Santa wants them. He's simultaneously destroying the economy & creating a voting bloc, & I don't think it's a coincidence. The elves work for Santa, so let the elves vote. That right there would be an incentive for children to move into the elf category, & some of them are in desperate need of incentive to shed their childish ways. It would also incentivize Santa to craft economic policies that grow the elf population. Wasn't the cry that sparked the revolution, "No taxation without representation!" How about, "No representation without taxation!"
In addition to the wailing & gnashing of teeth by fellow elves, my Facebook newsfeed is currently dominated by posts from people expressing their thanks for their various blessings. I've been on Facebook for over five years now, & each November a great many people decide to participate in "Thirty Days of Thankfulness," posting daily throughout November about one specific blessing in their life. The answers range from Godly parents to coffee, but constantly I am bombarded with the things for which my cyber friends are thankful.
The timing of this year's Thirty Days of Thankfulness couldn't be better. I see these posts daily, & I am reminded of my own blessings, which are innumerable. As the election returns trickled in Tuesday night, I was determined not to wallow in misery. I composed a mental list of things for which I am thankful, things that no politician can take from me (at least not yet . . . I'm sure Santa's working on it). I resolved to be a happy elf, even in the face of another four years of a tyrannical Santa who holds his elves in contempt.
Here's my Thirty Days of Thankfulness, in no particular order:
1. I am thankful for freedom in Christ, the liberating knowledge that my many sins are forgiven; this is a liberty that cannot be legislated away.
2. I am thankful for my Christian parents, who taught me that nothing else matters if you're living a life outside of Christ, & who are both hardworking elves who made sacrifices to provide my sister & me with every last thing we ever wanted, whether big . . .
. . . or small:
4. I am thankful for Reagan, who blesses my life in new ways every day. I couldn't stay that upset Tuesday evening as she tugged on my shirt & entreated me to come watch Ariel with her (The Little Mermaid was playing in my bedroom for her while I held vigil in the den in front of FoxNews). I am thankful that she is oblivious to the economic troubles of our country, as children should be, & I pray they are rectified before she is an elf.
5. I am thankful for the baby growing inside me (we're both noticeably growing). I got another peek Wednesday:
6. I am thankful for my in-laws, who made my life exponentially more fabulous by raising a wonderful son. I reap the benefits of their hard work daily.
7. I am thankful for my sister, Jessica, for countless reasons I won't list now in order to avoid crying at my computer.
8. I am thankful for my job, which allows me to spend time teaching young people things that I think are important, like the difference in you're & your.
9. I am thankful the Republicans are in control of the House of Representatives, & am praying mightily for the 2014 mid-term elections.
10. I am thankful that very soon, I'll join several wonderful friends & sit in a darkened theater to watch the final Twilight film. You didn't think I'd make it through the list without a Twilight mention, did you?
11. I am thankful for my obstetrician, Dr. Tonya Sheppard, who makes the frequent trips to the doctor a pregnant woman makes quite pleasant. She should give seminars on bedside manner.
12. I am thankful for my brother-in-law, Heath Griffin, who makes my sister very happy & whose knowledge of computers & other technological gadgets is sorely needed in our family.
13. I am thankful for the Bob & Rita Huffstutter family, who have been a part of my life since I was a toddler & who are now a part of Reagan's life. They love each other, & the Lord, fiercely.
14. I am thankful for my Aunt Donna, a selfless, hardworking elf who is always busy doing things for other people.
15. I am thankful for the health of Reagan's four grandparents, & for their boundless enthusiasm for spending every possible moment they can with her.
16. I am thankful for our home, which I love & never want to leave (both because I love it, & because I am never again packing & moving all of our belongings).
17. I am thankful for my book club, which has been a blessing in my life this past year. I've read several books I'd have otherwise never picked up & spent quality time with Christian friends who are almost as obsessive over fictional characters as I am. Almost.
18. I am thankful that Paul Ryan was reelected to the House & will remain Chairman of the House Budget Committee. Perhaps that is the best place for him at the moment; he's one of the slivers of hope to which I am clinging.
19. I am thankful for my fellow elves across this nation who rise every morning & work hard to provide for themselves & their families, despite a government that at times expresses outright hostility for them while demanding an increasing share of their earnings.
20. I am thankful for my church & all the young families there that encourage me. Sunday mornings become quite a production when you have kids, & things get really tricky when the production's director is pregnant & gagging all morning.
21. I am thankful for the upcoming holidays & am greatly anticipating my turn at playing Santa. If I play my cards right, I bet I can get Reagan to vote for me, should that day ever come. If it does, I will, of course, have to eradicate all traces of this blog.
22. I am thankful for private schools where the Lord is welcome, increasingly so as Reagan ages & I realize a day will come when she won't be hanging out at home all day, influenced primarily by her parents, her grandmothers, Ariel, & the FoxNews anchors.
23. I am thankful for the freedom of speech that allows me to voice my concerns over the inefficacy of the current president, & which allows Rush Limbaugh & other elf advocates to do the same.
24. I am thankful for college football, which is, in my opinion, one of the greatest things about America, the yearly BCS mess notwithstanding.
25. I am thankful for the Twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution which sets a term limit to election of the office of President of the United States.
26. I am thankful for young adult book series & their imaginative authors who create intriguing worlds where I can go play when I need to get away.
27. I am thankful for our new preacher & his wife. They are young & full of love for the Lord & the Lord's people. After hearing both of them speak, the public speaking teacher gives them an A for content & delivery.
28. I am thankful for the works of Jane Austen. This month, the book club is reading Sense & Sensibility & then meeting at my house to watch Emma Thompson's adaptation, staring Thompson as Elinor Dashwood, Hugh Grant as Edward Ferras, Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon, & Kate Winslet as Marianne. Do you have any idea how long I've searched for a reason to have a group of women over to watch this movie? Whether you've read the book or not, this adaptation is superb. Watch it.
29. I am thankful for technology, which allows Reagan & I to see & talk with Jessica while she's in Denver finishing her law degree.
30. Finally, I am thankful that I depend on no one but the Lord; my faith is in no government of men, but in the Lord God Almighty.
Perk up, elves. If the big picture is too much to handle at present, focus on the small things, pray, & remember that as an elf, the work you do is important & it affords you freedom children waiting for Santa don't have.