For others, seeing Obama in person seemed to be enough.
"You know how close I was to him?" gushed one young woman as she showed off her digital photos to a friend. "I was, like, right there!"
Okay, you know what? I could see someone saying that if Paul McCartney was walking by them, or even if the Pope was walking by them. I could even see myself saying that if Bono was 20 feet from me. But a political candidate? A guy who talks for a living. A guy wants to have the job of lying to us for the next 4 years (I'm not commenting on Bush, for the record, but, rather, politicians in general), and this girl is freaking out?
See, people who get really into politics like this end up wasting 25% of their life (about one year out of every 4 years, right?) on making superstars out of deceptive, crooked politicians (that's right; I'm painting the whole lot of them) when they could be investing themselves into almost anything which will be more worthwhile (it only takes 2 minutes to vote, after all). Like amassing a record collection. Or learning to build a house of cards. Or writing a blog. Or teaching some needy child how to play the accordion on the street corner for tips (teach a child to fish, right?).
Because I have recused myself from the more recent political struggles, I have found it very interesting to see the actual amount of time those closer to me are spending debating each other, endorsing their candidate, comparing pros and cons, arguing on the radio, etc. Think about this: if this is only the primaries, just imagine how bad the actual Presidential election is going to be. All of my Christian friends are going to invest themselves into getting a particular candidate into office instead of focusing (primarily) upon the Gospel or upon their local church.
If we are going to vote, lets play it cool, folks. If you know who you're going to vote for, then on November 11th (or whatever) just cast your vote. Don't make an idol of these men (or women) and spend the next year waving their name in the air or tattooing their name on your right butt-cheek. They do not deserve your devotion or love.
Oh well, I can't change peoples' minds on this, but I will recuse myself, nonetheless, from the idol-worshipping that this poor girl in the Obama story was engaged in. At least we can all promise not to go that far.
For the record: I don't know if Josh agrees with me on this (I doubt it), but I want to make clear I am speaking for myself, not for the entire Bring the Books staff (all two of us).