The New Christians

The New Christians

“He Won It in the Suburbs”

Obamavictory.jpgSo said Chuck Todd this today on Morning Joe.  Consider my hometown Exhibit A.

I live in Edina, Minnesota, a quintessential suburb.  Southdale, the first-ever enclosed shopping mall was built here in 1956.  During that same era, when my mom was growing up here, Edina was a “Sundown Town — non-whites were required by law to be out of town by sundown kept out of town by real estate covenants and supposedly asked to leave town by sunset.


Edina is 94% White and 0.13% African American.  That means there are 752 Whites for every Black person in my town.

The median household income is $66,000, versus the Minnesota state average of $47,000.

Edina is represented by Republicans in the state legislature, state senate, and U.S. Congress.

Get the picture?  Edina is a rich, white, Republican suburb.

Barack Obama won Edina 55% – 43% (17,399 – 13,669).

And Obama won my polling place 52% – 46% (916 – 813).

And maybe the most noteworthy statistic is that 95% of the registered voters in my precinct voted yesterday.


What happened in Edina?  Was it a referendum on Bush 43?  An anti-war vote?  Fear of the economic downturn?

Probably all of the above, but I think it was primarily something else: Barack Obama ran the most effective, impressive political campaign in history.  His calm overwhelmed the Clinton machine; his embrace of Internet fundraising literally shifted the balance of power from big money donors to 3.5 million individuals giving an average of $83 each; and his caucus strategy (in Minnesota, for instance) will be studied for years.  Edina is simply indicative of Obama’s brilliance as a politician and, we can hope, as a leader.

As I write this, Cokie Roberts is talking on NPR about “the white vote,” which is the Republican stronghold, particularly white men.  But thankfully, that demographic (of which I am a part) is now a minority in our country.  And, even so, we voted for Obama.

It’s a new day in America.

Know Hope.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 10:50 am

My prayer is that we who voted for Obama will show grace and mercy to those who are and will be saying harsh things because their guy didn’t win. I already found some pretty crazy things this morning on facebook. One girl said that God didn’t chose Obama but allowed it to happen. So I said a quick prayer and said Goosfraba.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 11:19 am

Yesterday an overwhelming majority of minority and young voters cast their ballot for Barack Obama – and we all caught a glimpse of our nation’s future. By 2050 the “minorities will be the majority” in this country and those young “millennial” voters will be running it. For better or for worse our nation will never be the same, and the church had better pay attention.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 1:28 pm

I’m normally not this crabby, and won’t curse or swear, but I have an opposing view of why Obama is now the President elect.
His image was more important than his record and the millions of dollars in fundraising through clearly illegal means (untraceable credit cards, much if it allegedly foreign), were the difference. For a guy who wants to redistribute wealth, he sure knows how to amass his share! Do you think Keith Olberman will investigate?
His complete immunity from mainstream media scrutiny was the difference. Did he ever even attempt to reign in ACORN? Remind anyone of Chicago “vote early, vote often” business as usual? I guess not. Odd how folks needed photo ID to go to the big Grant Park coronation, but not to vote or donate credit card cash!
His rhetoric of being a uniter was more important than the eight years he distributed money to self-confessed communist Bill Ayer’s “education” initiatives and the 20 years in a class-warfare liberation theology church, where he apparently never listened to sermons or read the church’s newsletter. His rhetoric about reducing abortions was more important than the repeated votes to continue both partial birth and live birth abortion and his vow to Planned Parenthood to pass FOCA, which will forever wipe out 30 years of painstaking, incremental and sacrificial work by pro-life advocates. Any guesses as to how many “living constitution” revisionists he’ll get to appoint to the Supreme Court?
I won’t judge the motives of Christians who voted for this guy. I will be reminding them of their vote if we return to Carter-era double digit inflation, double digit interest rates, gas rationing, and the foreign policy incoherence of the 1970s. And when universal health care proposals (likely extended to illegal aliens, just like driver’s licenses) lead to Canadian style health-care rationing, and nuclear Iran has “the one” over a barrell, I’ll have Tony Jones, Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Brian McLaren, et al to thank.
I was an indepedent once, but this election has taught me one thing. I will never, ever, again vote for anyone who can stomach the party of Pelosi, Boxer, Schumer, Reid, Murtha, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Al Franken again under any circumstances. The “Messiah” (according to moderate uniter of races Louis Fahrakkan) has appeared. He’ll change the world. Welcome to “change we need”.
But what would I know? I’m just an uninformed, single issue voter in decieved by the black arts of Carl Rove, right!
Have a nice day. I’ll check back in about four years.

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Tony Arens

posted November 5, 2008 at 1:59 pm

John McCain revealed himself to the country. Obama did not. Obama was able to convince the masses that he is whatever an individual wants him to be.
If you ask 100 John McCain supporter why you voted for him, you will get a solid, consistent reflection of who the man is and what he stands for – an absolute. If you ask 100 Barack Obama supporters why, you’ll get 95 relativistic reflections. Obama is whoever you want him to be. If you’re a wealthy business owner, you GET a 3K tax credit for new employees. If you’re part of the 95% working class, you’ll get a big tax break. If you don’t pay taxes, you’ll get more welfare. If you’re ultra-rish, well, we’ll tax you just a little more – afterall, it’s your partiotic duty.
If you’re for the war, well then we’ll satisfy your craving for revenge by infultrating Afganistan. If you’re against, well, we’ll pull out of Iraq.
We live in a post-modern era where truth, character, and the moral compass is relative – Obama has successfully painted himself as such.

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posted November 6, 2008 at 12:34 am

Obama had the right strategy, message, temperament, ideas and policies, and ran a flawless campaign. McCain had a good record and background, but terrible strategy, tactics, temperament and ideas.
In the end I judge Obama, not by his Christian faith — I would support him even if he was a Muslim — but by the good faith effort he puts into achieving the goals we set during this campaign.
Now I’m just delirious and jubilant!

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posted November 6, 2008 at 9:00 am

My immigrant grandparents were outspoken bigots who, to my shame, rooted for the Axis side and its racist/anti-Semitic philosophy during World War II. A friend of mine, with roots in the South, related the story of her grandfather hitting her grandmother because she had politely stepped aside on a sidewalk to allow an African-American man to pass them by.
Both of us were choking back tears of happiness and pride the morning after the election. This nation, like our families, has come a long way. Thanks be to God.

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Bill Samuel

posted November 6, 2008 at 10:02 am

On the fundraising, The Washington Post reports that less than 20% of Obama’s campaign funds came from donors contributing less than $200. That’s a lower percentage than Bush had in the last campaign. That he’s funded by ordinary Americans is a myth, not fact. In fact, he bought the election with money from rich folks. And exit polling shows that he won with voters with an income greater than $200,000 a year, while losing among the middle class. He took this normally Republican demographic presumably because they saw him as representing their interests.
Anyone under any illusions that he would offer a different kind of politics should have had them dashed by the first announcement about the Obama presidency – that Rahm Emmanuel would be his Chief of Staff. Emmanuel could be the poster boy for all that’s wrong with politics in Washington. He’s nasty, crude, profane and highly partisan. Look for most of his top appointments to be the same old hands we’ve seen over and over again.
We should pray for Obama, but not be naive.

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Jason Woelm

posted November 7, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Speaking of presidents, just about any time Tony Jones speaks on anything, I am reminded of our greatest president’s poignant saying:
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

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