A stolen election

(No not Mugabe/Tsvangirai or Kibaki/Odinga or even Bush/Gore)

american-presidents.jpgAs I’ve mentioned before, Christi cannot read a good book in moderation; it’s pretty much an all or nothing affair. Since she still likes to read before bed but doesn’t want to get caught up in a page turner, she’s started reading Whitney’s The American Presidents before bed. (She skipped US history in high school.) Each president gets a fifteen-page chapter, which tries to be fairly objective. A couple of her thoughts:

  • Too bad some of African national fathers didn’t feel the same way as the American founding fathers. “Two terms is plenty. Time for me to move on.” They could have been remembered as heroes rather than dictators.
  • Some real strange men were elected US president. Frequently their most outstanding (popular) characteristic was how many Indians they killed (e.g. Andrew Jackson) or how likely they were to preserve slavery or the systems that oppressed blacks.

She just read about old “Rutherfraud” – Rutherford B. Hayes and his election, which appears to fit the latter category. (Read here – the stolen election – for details of good ole American corruption.)I think “proud” Americans (those who tend to look down their noses at other countries) need to remind themselves that this happened after 100 years of democratic “maturation.” We have a pretty mixed history and need to be balanced and honest about BOTH the good AND the bad. That applies to the present too.

Why does our rhetoric always tend towards the extremes of demonization or over glorification? Why can’t we be satisfied with the raw, messy truth?

Holding our breath for Zimbabwe

During our service at church this Sunday, we took time out to pray for Zimbabwe. “. . . that Kenya would be the last country in Africa to have this kind of post-election violence.” With each day delaying the result announcement, my stomach knots up more and more for them. The closest I’ve ever been to Zimbabwe is Malawi, and I don’t actually know (well) anyone from Zimbabwe, but this situation feels very close to home. Opposition leading early results, delayed results . . . Even when the “big man” himself is willing to step down, sometimes those around them can’t fathom giving up power. I suppose one advantage they seem have over Kenya is that their politics aren’t as tied up with ethnicity as they were here (at least with what little I know). Still, a lot of lives are at stake.

Let’s keep praying for Zimbabwe.

The anxious wait
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