Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Is Facebook an Accurate Representation of Young America's Political Views?

According to's Election '08 Application in which 263,911 people have voted on who they want to be president:
Barack Obama (Democrat) is in the lead with 24% and 64,670 votes
Ron Paul (Republican) is a far off second with 9% and 24,422 votes
Rudy Guiliani (Republican) is third with a slightly lower 9% and 23,961 votes
Hillary Clinton (Democrat) is fourth with a barely lower 8% and 23,331 votes
Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney (Republicans) each have 4% with 12,873 and 10,638 votes respectively
John Edwards (Democrat) ranks #6 with 3% and 9,201 votes
And Al Gore, who has not proposed any interest in the candidacy since the 2004 election, has 2% and 6,692 votes.

The reason I gave you all of that information is because I'm curious about the implications that these numbers make.

First off let me say that these questions are based on the assumption that people who have used the Election '08 application are people who are interested in politics and therefore who, if eligible, will vote when the time comes. also started as an exclusively collegiate connective tool.
In using the application, people are allowed to vote for more than one candidate.

Now, my questions are these:

Are these numbers an even vaguely accurate representation of Young America?

If yes, will this interest be translated to action on polling day?

If Hillary Clinton does not have a following in young, collegiate America - arguably a non-traditional crowd, where is her following?

Does she stand a chance in the eyes of conservatives? Traditionalists?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Not a Joiner

There are a lot of things that I believe in and will stand for and will support, but I tend to not join anything. I tend to not want to advertise anything. This is consistent with my desire not to be labeled.

I love Jesus and spend a considerable amount of time doing things because of that love, but in general, you don't see me wearing a cross around my neck or wearing a Christian t-shirt.
Unless something changes over the next year, I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States of America. But it was a struggle for me to add the Election '08 application to my Facebook. You probably won't see me wearing Obama For America t-shirts. I won't buy a bumper sticker.
I have to lay my pride down everytime I put on Alpha Chi Omega letters even though I adore my sisters and everything that our fraternity stands for.
A lot of the men on campus that are friends of mine are in the Kappa Sigma fraternity, but I had a big dramatic episode earlier in the year because I can't wear their letters. I don't want to be a Kappa Sig Sweetheart. I don't want to advertise for them.

I point all of this out to make the point that I am just not a joiner. I love music and singing but ever since I graduated high school, I have lost the desire to be in choirs. I love expressions of individuality and anything that's different than the mainstream, but that doesn't mean I can devote half of my weeks to OCURhythms.
I have to find a way to support the things I approve of without losing my identity in them.

If you ever run across Dave Chapelle's documentary on krumping called "Rize", give it the 2 hours it asks for. It's the most interesting thing I've ever watched.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What Will People Think...?

some of you know and likely resent the next lines of this song.

What will people think if they hear that I'm a Jesus Freak?
What will people do when they find that it's true?
I don't really care if they label me a Jesus Freak.
There ain't no disguising the truth.

And let me start off by saying that I can understand and relate to your resistance. I have the same problem with being labeled as anything. I don't like to be labeled as a Christian or as a Jesus Freak for the same reasons I don't want to be labeled as black or as woman or as young or as nerd or as sorority girl. I just don't like labels, because they leave nothing to be imagined. Even the person with the best intentions, when they think of me as Christian there are bound to be some thoughts that come along with that label that are not pleasant. Christians persecute and exploit people just as badly as others.

But I realized tonight while I was at the Thousand Foot Krutch, Barlow Girl, Toby Mac concert that I miss the days when I could sing that song and know it's true. And there's a reason why "I don't want gain the whole world and lose my soul" makes me cry almost every time I hear it.

It's not because I don't want to do and be the right thing. It's because standing for the things I'm inclined to stand for will elicit that undesirable label. Of all the things to be labeled as 'Jesus Freak' is the thing that I can tolerate. But it kind of scares me that I am so against being labeled that I do things outside of character in order to make sure that people are always wondering about me. I "go ghetto" on the white kids so they always remember I'm not just like them. I stand out among the black people so they'll remember that I'm different than most. I'll drink because I'm not a stick in the mud, but I won't get drunk because I'm responsible. I won't tell you premarital sex is wrong but I won't do it either. I won't touch narcotics, but I laugh with you when you talk about getting high.

I realized tonight that my fear of being misidentified is stealing my identity.
Just like I told Christian last year over Spring Break: I've been trying to "educate myself" by trying everything and doing whatever I want, but I'm kind of running from the fact that I'm a good girl, a Christian girl, at heart.

To renege just a little on what I said in the last post...
I think it was really important, and with some things still is important, for me as an intellectual person who was born to be a leader in a pluralistic society to question everything. Because unfortunately for me I really only learn by action. So it wasn't until I questioned everything - God and His power and authority and capacity of love included - that I came to understand the hearts of people who question everything. It wasn't until I lived a lukewarm, hypocritical lifestyle that I was able to understand why people do it. It wasn't until I experienced the immoral that I realized the safety and peace and prosperity that come when you stand for the moral and just.
Yesterday, my advice to the world was to question everything.
Today, my advice is to figure out what works for you. How do you learn? By hearing, by experiencing, by observing? However it is that you learn, you need to seek that out until it brings you to the foot of the cross.

Now it's time for me to take my stand and truly say "I don't really care if they label me a Jesus Freak. There ain't no disguisin' the truth."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Formulating Ideas

My friend Liz once told me to question everything.

I realized this theory early in my life, but I never thought to put it into words that way until she said it. I come from a background extremely driven by faith, as the substance of things hoped for, and because of this I felt like my world was telling not to ask questions, to accept things as they are and will be. But I don't think faith, the evidence of things unseen, is the same as blind faith. As Talib Kweli said, "Just because the Lord is our Shepherd doesn't mean we have to be sheep." Blind faith has no more depth, no more efficacy, than blind disbelief. People who don't believe in and try to discredit things they have never heard or experienced are ignorant (they choose to ignore the information that is available for observation). People who follow blindly behind anyone's teachings (once they are of age to think for themselves responsibly) are just as ignorant.

I believe in 95% of the things that "conservatives" or "traditionalists" or "religious people" believe in, but A) my reasoning for believing those things and B) the way I came to believe those things differ from the people on whom those labels are placed.

I don't believe anything just because someone said it. I believe what I see and what I experience. Don't tell me that isn't faith. Because the faith came, not when I saw it the first time, but when I continued to believe in once I couldn't see anymore.

I don't base my actions on anyone's mandates. For the most part, I make my own decisions based on my analysis of the situation. And I live with whatever consequences and rewards may arise from my actions.

I don't try to force people into a way of thinking that they aren't inclined toward. I drop hints, I make my opinions and beliefs known, and I truly believe there are many "religious" principles that it would behoove mankind to abide by. But abiding by those principles is their decision. I don't need to shove someone to their knees. When Life has had it's way with them, they'll end up on their knees of their own accord. Better to help and love and protect them while they work their way toward the breaking point than to spawn animosity by trying to break the unbending.

I'm also not a movement-joiner/cause-supporter. I believe one should experience anything and everything that they can, but it is possibly a limitation of yourself to align yourself solely with any one thing. Attend a peace rally and a march on Washington. Hear a political activist speak live. Go on a mission trip. Volunteer with the homeless. Attend a revival. But to become the champion of one cause is the calling of the very very few, not the many. John Wesley said, "Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can."