Thursday, April 30, 2009

Conservative Complacency

Shame on me! During this last election cycle, I got very complacent for a variety of factors. I will attempt to discuss what was going on in the political part of my heart and mind in this posting. Confession should precede redemption.

I think it really got started after 2006 dismisal of the U.S. Attorneys. At first I thought the media was not getting to the root of the issue as usual, but then it hit home...kinda sorta.

My husband made a variety of mission trips during his bachelor days. One of those experiences was working with the Kuna Indians of Panama. He told me wonderful stories about working with Claudio Iglesias and his wife Margaret and the Kuna people. He also told me about their son, David. My husband got to know David because David was working with American church groups from the U.S. doing short-term mission work with the Kunas. My husband was actually asked by David to come back to Panama to help another church group. This was because David had to go to Washington, D.C. when the group was scheduled to come and David felt my husband could fill in for him. Prior to the U.S. Attorneys dismissal, the only other thing I knew about David was he had something to do with the real story of the play and movie, A Few Good Men.

When the dismissal became public, I had a hunch what the "rest of the story" was. I read David's book In Justice and tried to consider all of the sides. To say the least, I was troubled, but to be honest, I still don't know what really happened. Maybe we "...can't handle the truth". Ultimately, I wanted David to be a Conservative...but even in his book, he admits he is not all that Conservative anyway...

Concurrent with this was that my family started attending a mission church of our regular congregation. Both of these are part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) synod. The ELCA is the most liberal of all Lutheran churches. However, our home church was still remaining true to fundamental Biblical teachings, allowing room to let God judge and us to extend grace. However, I soon learned that in my fairly conservative community, the liberals all gravitated to this congregation, so I kept my political mouth shut.

The incident which really shut me down happened during a conversation at a staff dinner about a year ago. I overheard a couple of my colleagues talking about President Bush. These women were colleagues withwhom I shared a mutual respect. One said to the other, "The only people who voted for Bush in 2004 were uneducated and ignorant." I knew they didn't like the president, but hearing such a statement from these colleagues was just...well...I just stayed away from them for a while and stuffed my opinions way down deep. I wanted to scream, but I just got up and walked away and have since tried to let it go...

Fast forward to Fall 2008: I was not thrilled with John McCain and I'm not sure about Sarah Palin either. I admired her when I read about her in the "Weekly Standard" a few years back, but let us just say the jury is out on her. I knew I would vote for McCain because it was the only hope to not let the other candidate win. The funny part was that while all the a political people were voting for Obama because of the war, my husband became an evangelist for voting Republican to keep us safe.

My husband had never been politically active before 2008. He had recently retired from a Teasmter Union job and we are primarily living off of that pension today. However, he felt so strongly about the simple fact that Bush had kept us safe from another attack since 9/11, he had to vote for John McCain and tell everyone to do the same for that simple reason. So, just in time to vote in the General Election of 2008, my 52 year-old husband registered to vote for the first time. On Election Day 2008, the first votes he cast in his life were for Republican candidates!

In addition, my husband and I started attending a new church. We started attending just before the election and during my first prayer meeting, I knew that I found some people who shared some of my political leanings at the very least. It was a start. We continue to pray for President Obama...that his heart will be changed and he will stop un-doing our Conservative Foundations!

I was not surprised in Obama's victory and at first I really didn't think it would have such an immediate impact...I had the attitude of "Oh well, you ask for this stuff..are you happy...I told you so..." After all, in Michigan, Jennifer Grandholm won a second term in spite of totally ruining our state...all because people hate Bush!!"

Now my feelings are very different...I need to get out there and write and do all I can to help this country survive, return to its Conservative foundation...and thrive again.

I don't have a lot of time for blogging and I'm sorry if this is not a well written and proofed posting, but I must post it anyway. There will be time for pretty prose later.

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Blogger DC Iglesias said...

Hello Susan:

Thank you for your kind comments about my father--he was a real hero to me. I always spoke of him at naturalization ceremonies since he came to America through Ellis Island in 1936 and was blessed tremendously by this wonderful country of ours. I don't think you've heard, but he passed on to glory in December of last year. Here's the link to the obituary that ran in the Albuquerque paper: They ran a half page story after the obituary ran.

Thank you for reading my book, "In Justice". I'm sorry I didn't make clear the reason for the firings--my colleagues and I resisted improper and illegal interference. No one, not even a member of Congress, can interfere with or improperly influence an on-going criminal investigation without running afoul of obstruction of justice charges. In my case, there was a failed attempt to get me to file non-provable voter fraud cases and also to rush an indictment that wasn't ready against an corrupt Democrat and former office holder I was investigating. A special prosecutor is currently investigating the matter to see whether anyone will be prosecuted for obstruction of justice.

The Justice Department's official report into the firings can be found at: It finds most of our firings to be problematic and calls mine the most "troublesome". It also calls the reasons given as "disingenous after the fact rationalizations."

As to being a conservative, why don't you tell me your definition of what one is. Despite running for New Mexico Attorney General as a Republican in 1998, I am not politically active. The experience I went through left a sour taste in my mouth for politics of any variety. I found the hard way that being a liberal or conservative was not a good indicator of whether an public official would do the right thing or not.

I'm currently back on active duty with the Navy as a terrorism prosecutor; I work on Guantanamo detainee cases. As such these views are personal and should not be considered an official position by any component of the US Government.

I look forward to hearing back from you. Who's your husband by the way, your posting kind of rang a bell.


David Iglesias

10:03 PM  
Blogger Soapbox Jill said...

Susan, It is good to hear your voice again. Wow. You've had a lot going on. I know what it's like to feel "surrounded" by people insensitive to conservatives. We changed churches, too, away from the ELCA, though it was difficult. You are right about complacency being easier. But if we can make necessary changes to be able to express what we believe, it will make our lives better in the long run. Keep writing!

6:56 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Thank you for reading and commenting on my posting.

If you read my post of May 4, you will see exactly how much it means to me. I hope you will read my words and know what is in my heard regarding your case and book, etc.

Thank you for telling us about your father. He certainly had an all-American story (North and Central)! I'm sure you miss him, but we know he is enjoying the blessings of being "Home". I only regret that I was not part of my husband's life when he was going to Panama and I didn't go as well.

I'm so sorry for how I wrote about your story. The whole story is in my post of May 4th. It was very clear in your book and my heart and my head knew it was exactly the way it happened. Part of me hated that people with "R"s next to their name were behind it. A person's political identity is not the way to discern the truth. Forgive me.

As for your work at Guantanamo, it comforts my heart that a person who puts Christian values and justice ahead of all else is there. God knows what He is doing, of that I am certain!

I don't want to write our last name on my blog posting, but I will tell you some things about my husband Tom that might jog your memory. I will have to ask him for some better details and I'll leave another comment.

He has evangelized so much by sharing his experiences in Panama with others. He worked in the building trades and it is an easy thing to talk about construction and segue to mission work and Christ.

Our prayers and thoughts have been and are with your family.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

My comment should have been addressed to David Iglesias.

3:51 PM  

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