So … What does it look like from your side?

A reader brought me up short yesterday with the observation that Oklahoma is not the center of the known universe and what I experience here doesn’t translate so well to her life as a Christian in Seattle.

She had a point, and a good one. In truth, I am an expert on what it means to be a female, pro-life, Catholic, Democratic wife, mother, member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. It’s kind of hard to top my knowledge of that itty bitty piece of the universe. But in other things, other places, other ways of living … not so much.

I hadn’t looked too closely at the election numbers until yesterday. I wanted to wait until all the votes everywhere were counted and on the tally sheet. When I did take a look, I saw that the only state that went harder for Governor Romney than Oklahoma was Utah. Interesting, but not surprising. What did surprise me was how razor-thin the popular vote turned out to be.

President Obama targeted his race and drove up his electoral vote count. He did it with carefully selected wedge issues designed to appeal to urban voters in the big population areas of the electoral bread basket states of the country. He also clearly let the rest of the country go. His goal was to win.

Now, he has to govern. The way he won will inevitably make governing far more difficult than if he had been elected by a wider swath of the electorate. It also spells trouble for Democratic Congressional candidates who have to run for re-election in two years in states that were left off the list by their president.

Make no mistake about it: The electoral vote will elect a president, but the popular vote affects his ability to govern.

How does this relate to the reader’s comments about my lack of understanding concerning the life of a pro-life Christian in a blue-state environment like Seattle? Just this: Obama won Washington State with a healthy 55.8% margin, but he didn’t landslide it. Romney came in at 41.8%, which leaves a little less than 3% of the voters who either voted for third-party candidates or didn’t vote in the presidential election at all.

Don’t misunderstand me; President Obama won Washington State, and he won it decisively. But 42% of the votes cast still went to the candidate nobody but his mother wanted. Why, with 42% of the voters demonstrating that they are in some sort of general agreement with her, would the commenter feel so isolated?

She said, “Here in Seattle I espouse conservative pro life ideas and get knocked over the head called names yelled at, etc. Forget the party elites, you are a fool to try to compete here with if you are a conservative.”

That’s isolation. It’s also outrageous behavior on the part of those who are treating her this way. However, even based on my almost total ignorance of what it’s like to live anywhere except what is called “flyover country” by those on the coasts, I can see the truth of what’s she’s saying. In my very brief visits to areas like San Francisco and Seattle, I’ve heard some of the same.

Based on the statistics I’ve looked at, the big vote totals for President Obama came, not just from the states he targeted, but from the parts of those states that he targeted. He went for the urban vote and he got it. One method he used to engage voters in those areas was to use things like abortion, same-sex marriage and an inaccurate representation of federal funding for contraceptives as wedge issues.

He didn’t have to do much to engage the Hispanic populations in those areas. The Republicans, with their attacks on Hispanics in the past, had done that for him. All of this was layered on top a base of passionate African American voters.

I can see how any traditional Christian living in one of these cities would feel isolated, beleaguered and totally outnumbered. The President not only won the commenter’s town, he won it by going in-your-face with traditional Christians like her. That says plenty about what the comfort level in the community would be for a  pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious freedom Christian.

I can also see that someone who is living through that would feel more than a little bit of exasperation with me for assumptions I make based on life in Oklahoma. I’m not trying to equate my experiences with hers, or to say I know what I don’t, but I have had some experience with being hazed for my faith.

Even though I live in the reddest of red states, I am still a Democratic elected office holder. I get my fair share of what traditional Christians who live in places like Seattle encounter. But the commenter is right when she says it comes from party activists and not the larger culture.

Actually, here in Oklahoma, most of the criticism I get from the larger culture is for my more Democratic opinions, such as my opposition to the attacks Republicans made on Hispanics. My feeling is that wherever you live, if you follow Jesus, you’re going catch flack.

One thing I’ve learned from doing this blog is that the blah, blah, blah of those who attack traditional Christians is virtually the same everywhere. I don’t just mean that it’s the same both in Seattle and Oklahoma. I mean it’s the same worldwide. The intensity may vary. The freedom these people feel to attack Christians surely varies. But the verbiage is identical to the point of boredom.

We can discuss what this identical messaging from these people means another time. For now, let’s focus on what life is like for a traditional Christian in an urban, blue-state environment. How can a Christian be effective for Christ in an environment like this?

Since I don’t live in that part of the country, I need to learn from those of you who do. Feel free to tell me these things. I really want to learn from you.

  • Bill S

    In some ways, Massachusetts is more like Seattle than Oklahoma. However, there is a large Catholic population that is made up of conservatives and liberals. The conservative Catholics recently joined forces with the Massachusetts Medical Society to overcome Question 2 Doctor Assisted Suicide. It was the combination of the two that mustered enough votes to edge out the proponents of the bill.

    Republican Senator Scott Brown (by no means a conservative) was defeated by Elizabeth Warren and the entire state is mostly liberal and Democrat. Gay marriage is legal and we have had a gay congressman (Barney Frank) for years. Other than that, people in Massachusetts deal with the same issues of unemployment and the bad economy as the rest of the country.

  • Rob Barkman

    The extent of the Obama victory was a surprise to many of us… May we all with renewed urgency pray for divine intevention in our country. Things are not looking good for the conservative Christian citizen. Lord bless you.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Actually, I was not surprised at all. I went over the polling in the key states a couple of weeks before the election and basically knew that, barring something really unusual, he would sweep the electoral college. I have no idea why all these big-name political consultants were so flummoxed, except perhaps, wishful thinking. It was there, in black and white, for anyone to see.

      Traditional Christians are in for a fight. What I’m trying to do right now is talk about all this together and work out our game plan before we go at it in the New Year. (Good to see you here, btw. I love your blog and read it all the time.)

    • Ted Seeber

      Obama’s result was no surprise.

      Nor is this map- where all the cities are blue and all the farms are red, and the vote follows population density like it has for my entire life.

      What was an utter shock to my system was the low number (2%) of third party voters among Catholics. Until somebody over on Shea’s blog pointed out to me that it looks like 6 million white and Catholic voters stayed home entirely and did not vote.

  • ds

    I am a fairly liberal catholic and I have been called a liar by a patheos blogger and much worse in the comboxes. This and stuff like the register and relevant radio can be pretty disconcerting. Makes me think that I just shouldn’t bother with the church rather than try to resolve these struggles while being a part of it.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      ds, I think it’s a pretty big leap from the Patheos com boxes and what you hear on the radio to the whole universal Church. You should see some of the things I’ve been called in the comboxes. Of course, I just delete … but I can tell you that, by that standard, “liar” is too mild to count.

      • ds

        Yeah I know that in my head, but in my heart I feel like I am not welcome among the people who (at least consider themselves to be) serious defenders of the church. The churches themselves in my area are not rude or off-putting, but they are pretty much indifferent and unwelcoming. Combine that with being pretty lax and half a$$ myself, I feel like I shouldn’t even bother or am not really worthy to show up for communion.

        • Ted Seeber

          Did it ever occur to you that *perhaps* liberal and “pretty lax and half a$$” are related?
          I must admit, that pretty much described me and morality in college. Thank goodness I grew up and actually got serious.
          And thanks, it never occurred to me that I could use l33t$p34k to defeat the spam filter.

    • Ted Seeber

      “I am a fairly liberal catholic and I have been called a liar”

      I really don’t get anybody who claims to be either a liberal or a conservative Catholic. The positions one needs to take to do so are not consistent with living a truthful life.

  • Megan England

    Well according to those i live amongst im a baby killer, and have fallen to the guiles of listening to false spirits. :) I grew up and live in East Tennessee, am a Christian, but have never quite fit with the Christians here. I believe firmly in the separation of church and state and to me though I believe the gay lifestyle is a sin, they have a right for the government to acknowledge civil unions with the same legal strength as marriage. Just shouldn’t make churches perform them. I do consider myself pro life in that I believe abortion should be made obsolete, but not illigal. One requires making sure women and children are educated, protected and provided for, the other to me doesnt address the reason women get abortions so i question its real ability to stop them. I also think there is. More than one way to be prolife. Many people die of curable illnesses for lack of health insurance and medical care, this is a travesty in such a wealthy country as this. Obama is making strides to address this, may not be perfected yet, but we have to start somewhere. Stating any of these things would at least get me a good tongue lashing, ive had family stop speaking to me, just having an Obama sticker on your car might get you fired. people so far seem to be in shock post election, if you don’t bring it up they won’t. I think they are really shaken, I know some tea baggers and they are probably quietly busying themselfs making fallout shelter plans for the “civil war” they claimed would come if Obama won….. Or also if he lost, cause I heard them say both.

    • Ted Seeber

      “Many people die of curable illnesses for lack of health insurance and medical care, this is a travesty in such a wealthy country as this.”

      Why? Why is death from natural causes considered a travesty?

    • Ted Seeber

      I missed the “I believe firmly in the separation of church and state and to me though I believe the gay lifestyle is a sin, they have a right for the government to acknowledge civil unions with the same legal strength as marriage.”

      In my area of the country that makes you a homophobic bigot who wants to kill gays. Congratulations on being the center of the road, run over by trucks going both ways.

  • Biltrix

    Great post, Rebecca, and :

    “But the verbiage is identical to the point of boredom.” Everywhere.

    Well stated.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks James.

  • Ted Seeber

    I’m in Washington County- part of the tri-county Metro area of Portland, which is that deep blue swath in Northwestern Oregon. I was born in Lynn County and raised in very rural Marion County, and have also lived in Klamath County- all of which show up as red on that map.

    When I look at that map, what I see isn’t Republican vs Democrat. It’s Urban vs Rural. Take a good look and tell me I’m wrong.

    Those who work close with those who work in agriculture, are overwhelmingly pro-life, because we UNDERSTAND THE CYCLE OF LIFE. Those who are in a city apartment, buying or receiving services from others, paid for with other people’s labor and other people’s taxes- are overwhelmingly pro-choice, because they see people as just more cost.

    Once again, what people said in exit interviews, is utterly destroyed by a precinct level map of how the vote *actually* went. And it gets worse every year, as more people move away from life and into death.

    • Reluctant Liberal

      Yeah! City people use up services others paid for. It’s not like agriculture is subsidized in this country!

      Wait a minute.

      • Ted Seeber

        Agriculture is subsidized in this country to provide cheap food to the cities.

        That is the ONLY real purpose of subsidized agriculture, to keep the production of food below cost.

        Nobody gets rich off of subsidized agriculture the way people get rich off of subsidized banks.

  • vickie

    Thank you for the pointer about the popular vote even in Blue States. Obama did not get a mandate, considering the fact that if you consider all the non-voters, he received around 25%. I live in the very blue state of Maryland. The local March for Life and ralleys to preserve Marriage were very well attended. I wonder how many people are confused by the elected officials, proported Catholics who defy church teaching? The other problem may be conflation of Christian social conservativsm with movement conservatism. I find myself appalled by the latter but some social liberals, maybe assume if you are one you are both? I will say I get on okay with my neighbors who socially on the left.

    • Ted Seeber

      20% if you include children and ex-convicts who have given up their right to vote, along with undocumented aliens and other residents who choose not to be registered. 61 million out of 300 million is no mandate at all.

      • vickie

        Thanks for pointing that out!

        • marya

          Hi Vickie, I’m glad to hear that the right-to-life marches, and the marches to preserve marriage, were well-attended in your area of Maryland. That’s heartening. Maybe because I work in DC, and most of my coworkers, and a fair number of family members and friends are liberal Democrats, I get a skewed perspective. I get on fine, but I don’t find much willingness to discuss abortion or gay marriage, beyond name-calling and condemnation. At my parish, that’s different, of course, and that helps to sustain me.

          • vickie

            There are definite hostiles. But any one can be made to think. At one polling station during the primaries, I was canvassing for my GOP contender of choice. A liberal democrat canvasser was there also. She said about how can you support his guy who wants to cut everything. I brought up to her do you think a president that thinks it is okay to assassinate American’s is a good thing – Got her to think. Maybe if prolifers were more consistent, we could defy the stereotypes….

            • marya

              Interestingly, I find it easier to have thoughtful conversations with strangers than with most of my friends and family. However, while I don’t characterize myself as politically conservative, I am right-of-center, which in my area makes me a veritable wild-eyed right-winger. So many of our positions are gauged by our context.

              • Rebecca Hamilton

                Absolutely Marya.

                “So many of our positions are gauged by our context.”

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              Good point. Thanks Vickie.

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              Thanks Vickie.

          • Rebecca Hamilton

            I think most of us have people we avoid discussing these things with in order to also avoid the nasty fight that will follow. I wonder how we should handle this? It’s probably going to get worse.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      To me, a mandate would be at least 60% of the popular vote. The electoral college can’t give a mandate in my opinion. This race was almost a tie in the popular vote. Ergo, no mandate. In fact, I think all this mandate talk by newscasters is frivolous and fanciful.

      • marya

        I agree, about 60% of the popular vote is a reasonable benchmark for a mandate. The winner-take-all system at the heart of the electoral college results in a distorted picture which shows much stronger support for the winner than actually exists. When I last checked the vote tally yesterday, the difference between President Obama and Mitt Romney was a bit over 2 1/2 %. And exits polls indicated that roughly 11% of voters made their final decision within a week and a half before the election, which means they were wavering up to that point. (Exit polls can be imprecise, but they at least give a hazy snapshot of voters’ interests and intentions.). Putting those two figures together, I don’t see a solid basis for claiming that the president has an established mandate. Instead, I see signs of a divided electorate, along with some voters who are just plain confused and uncertain.

      • WCLPeter

        No United States President since Richard Nixon’s second term in 1972 has gotten more than 60% of the popular vote. The only one since then who even came close, with 58.7%, was Ronald Regan’s second term in 1984.

        Under your 60% rule the United States hasn’t had a president with a clear mandate to govern in the 36 years since Nixon’s second term ended in 1976. Now I can certainly understand that you’re upset about the outcome of the election, but retroactively applying standards to Barak Obama’s Presidency that not one single President has been able to do in nearly four decades? Really? When the guy he replaced only got 47.87% his first time out and was handed the presidency through legal fiat?

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Actually, I think that’s pretty much true. Reagan’s high popular vote total was reflected in the people’s reaction to his governance, btw.

          “Under your 60% rule the United States hasn’t had a president with a clear mandate to govern in the 36 years since Nixon’s second term ended in 1976.”

          Are you seriously maintaining that a popular vote of 50.01% is a mandate?

          • WCLPeter

            Are you seriously maintaining that a popular vote of 50.01% is a mandate?

            I’m maintaining that elections run on a “First Past the Post – Winner Take All” system, since only 50%+1 vote is needed to win, will often see candidates elected without having an overwhelming majority.

            Since 1824, when popular vote statistics started being collected, only four Presidents have ever achieved a Popular Vote of 60% or higher, and even they were only slightly above the 60% margin you’ve indicated.

            Are you seriously maintaining, based solely on the Popular Vote, that since 1824 all but four of the Presidents of the United States were illegitimate Presidents with no mandate to govern?

        • Ted Seeber

          “Under your 60% rule the United States hasn’t had a president with a clear mandate to govern in the 36 years since Nixon’s second term ended in 1976. ”

          Yep. I would completely agree with that statement. And I’d point out that Nixon’s 2nd term was served out by Gerald Ford.

  • marya

    So far, only a couple of commentators seem to be traditional Christians living in blue states. I am one–I live in Maryland. Maryland’s Catholic roots go back to its very earliest days, when Father Andrew White landed on St. Clement’s Island. There are certainly pockets of deep Catholicism throughout the state, but liberal-progressive Democrats are the rule rather than the exception, particularly in the urban centers, and the surrounding suburbs–the very people who were targeted by Obama’s campaign, as you note. As a result, those areas are dominated by liberal concerns and politics, and since those areas also dominate public discourse, traditional Christians have at best a muted public voice. There’s not open hostility to Christians, maybe because many people assume that most devout (i.e., “backwards”) Christians live in the South and the Midwest. As far as Catholics, there seem to be more lapsed Catholics, and “I-was-raised-Catholic” types, than practicing Catholics. The strongest Christian presence is made by African-American churches, and those run the gamut from conservative to progressive Christianity. But the overall mood of the area is that we are all, of course, sophisticated people, not toothless yokels, and so we all must necessarily support abortion, gay marriage, and other progressive concerns. Those who oppose those concerns are looked at as kind of “freaks,” and so they tend to express their beliefs privately. There is also a lot of middle-of-the-road politics, and Christian congregations with a middle-0f-the-road outlook but not much of a true conservative voice, until you get out of the DC-Baltimore corridor to western and southern Maryland, and the Eastern shore, all of which still have some rural areas. For the time being . . . Certainly, there are some Republicans, but fiscal Republicans with a more liberal social outlook are the only ones who make a noticeable presnce. Curiously, to hear many liberal-progressive Democrats talk, THEY are the underdogs, even though they are now a dominant voice in these parts. (And often a loud, strident voice at that.) But I suppose that is part of their self-mythology.

    • marya

      Ted, you were writing at about the same time as I was, so I didn’t read your post first. But I feel you’re right about the differences between urban and rural areas. Even in the outer suburbs of Maryland, one begins to find a more conservative attitude. But the closer to the cities one gets, the ” statist” attitude begins to dominate, especially in my area, where many people are federal and state employees whose salaries are paid by taxes. Now, there is a lot of money in this area, but so much of it is based on the federal government that I think maybe we are in La-La land. Unless the sequester comes to pass, and the defense sector undergoes major layoffs.

  • Serena

    here in Oregon, it varies by county. overall, it’s urban vs. rural, but with exceptions; some rural stretches are very left-wing, too, because of the influx of back-to-the-land New leftist homesteaders in the 1965-1980 period, and they clash sharply with fishing and logging communities, who tend to see them as rude freeloaders. In turn, the hippies see the rednecks (redneck is just an expression here; we’re all pasty eight months of the year here) as rude nature-wreckers.

    • Ted Seeber

      True enough, but most of those live in gated enclaves like Sun River. The hippies really don’t mix well with the sixth-generation family farms that I grew up around, or even with the “Cowboys and Indians” Friday Night bar brawls that were common in Klamath Falls (what a misnamed town- due to the cowboys, er ranchers, damning up the river for agriculture, the Indians (mainly Modocs and Klammat) lost their battle ground AND the falls over 100 years ago).

      Grants Pass had a lot of them thanks to mountains between them and any major airport or military base. Bonanza was a similar enclave of right wing survivalists; I knew a man there who collected art by Adolf Hitler (and who I am absolutely certain voted for Romney).

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        Good analysis Ted. Thank you.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      It sounds as if what we are looking at is to an urban/rural split, both nationally and at least in most places, locally as well.

  • neenergyobserver

    I think Ted’s point on urban/rural is well taken, we are very much like Oklahoma except for Omaha and Lincoln. The one I look at and really see the dichotomy is Illinois. As always Chicago control no matter the rest of the state. And yes, your experience, Rebecca, and mine is not typical, especially on the coasts.

  • Justine

    Well. This comment is not on this article, though I appreciate your social concerns. This is just a one more get well soon wish, next to my earlier one!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Justine. I’m healing well … but it seems like it’s taking forever. I am impatient to kick my wheelchair to the curb and stride out on my new, healed leg.

  • Ben Alexander

    As a Democrat in South Carolina — I feel your pain :). I have a little different take on the whole wedge issue thing, though. I don’t think Obama was all that effective in using wedge issues. Rather, I think the wedge issues that Republicans have used so effectively for years, have now turned against them — a result of changing cultural mores and demographics. They lived for many years by the sword. This year, the sword turned against them.

    On a different note, I enjoy your blog and appreciate your public service. Fight on!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Ben. I think you have a good point, especially where it pertains to Hispanics.

  • Irksome1

    For reasons I no longer think prudent to discuss online, I have had jeers directed at me from both the secular realm as well as the orthodox. They all have their reasons, of course. They always do. Perhaps the lesson in this is that sometimes Christ means for us to fast from things like society, solidarity and communion.

  • Bill S

    Here’s what it looked like in Arizona.

    PHOENIX – An Arizona woman, in despair at the re-election of Democratic President Barack Obama, ran down her husband with the family car in suburban Phoenix on Saturday because he failed to vote in the election, police said on Monday.

    Holly Solomon, 28, was arrested after running over husband Daniel Solomon following a wild chase that left him pinned underneath the vehicle.

    Daniel Solomon, 36, was in critical condition at a local hospital, but is expected to survive, Gilbert police spokesman Sergeant Jesse Sanger said.

    Police said Daniel Solomon told them his wife became angry over his “lack of voter participation” in last Tuesday’s presidential election and believed her family would face hardship as a result of Obama winning another term.

    Witnesses reported the argument broke out on Saturday morning in a parking lot and escalated. Mrs Solomon then chased her husband around the lot with the car, yelling at him as he tried to hide behind a light pole, police said. He was struck after attempting to flee to a nearby street.

    Obama won the national election with 332 electoral votes compared with 206 for Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Arizona’s 11 electoral votes were won by Romney.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Somehow, I think there was more wrong with this marriage and with this woman than the election.

      • Ted Seeber

        Yeah. Especially mathematically. Romney won Arizona by more than 200,000 votes- he certainly didn’t need her husband’s.

  • bill bannon

    Think of doing an essay someday on how democrat Catholics in blue Catholic states like New Jersey drifted left post Humanae Vitae and how did this converge with other forces, non sexual, that were occurring simultaneously.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Interesting idea Bill. I’ll think about it.

    • Ted Seeber

      Rejection of Humanae Vitae has a non-sexual component? Hmmm…perhaps Malthusian Environmentalist?

  • Rev. Katherine Marple

    I’m still trying to figure out how O*** elected and re-elected Republicans to keep our House & Senate right leaning but opted for Obama as president? Now, for my home state of Missouri, it was the opposite. Go figure.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      This happens every election, going both ways of the philosophical spectrum. I think the reason is that people choose how they are going to cast their votes for a variety of reasons and not just ideology.

  • http://Devotions4Him Jennifer

    I’m from the great state of Texas. Mr. Romney won our state. I grew up in the Houston area. I’ve watched the changes through the years. Our mayor is homosexual. We have the largest abortion clinic on this hemisphere. It makes me sick to my stomach each time I drive by it. Harris County voters went with the President. Things even in Texas are changing.
    “The intensity may vary. The freedom these people feel to attack Christians surely varies. But the verbiage is identical to the point of boredom.” That is SO true!

    • Ted Seeber

      The mayor of my hometown a few years back got breast implants and started wearing short skirts to city council meetings. Surprisingly, both he and his girlfriend still claim that he’s heterosexual.

  • JennE

    I also live in Maryland, my voting block over 1,300 to o and 132 for Romney. I probably have met or been waved to by all 132 people. I even think I was in line with one! my two closest neighbors are conservative! I got here by the grace of God just recently and I think it is actually going to be easier to live fully now. When O won, I woke up happy not to be living a dream anymore. That finally we can all see what it’s like out there and what work we have before us. The work begins in ourselves. And there is plenty of it to do. First is find persons that live fully the faith, in reality not just doing the right thing. These people surprise you how they act in front of situations and are not afraid to befriend their son’s classmates lesbian moms that put stickers on their son while going in to vote. These “mom”s were not interested but the door must always be open to Christ. The only way is if we know his great mercy in our lives and stay close to those who also live it. The rest can’t really be planned out I don’t think, nor do I have time to be implementing action plans. Just LIVE. I tell my husband how amazed I am to love where I am now. HARD but yet not – “My Yoke is sweet, my burden light” His words are true for all places he has you or are preparing you for.
    Not that I don’t like to see how we can hash this out. I just think there is only one way to live in a blue state . . with your eyes on Christ and not be afraid where he will take you, then go!

  • Ted Seeber

    A comment based on my above remarks, combined with another discussion I had in the last 24 hours:

    The best thing you can do for the pro-life movement, is buy your local fifth grade teacher a $100 automated chicken incubator and some fertilized eggs.

    Knowledge is power- so let’s make sure the kids get some knowledge, ok?

  • http://www, Patty

    What stuck with me was what you wrote: “Make no mistake about it: The electoral vote will elect a president, but the popular vote affects his ability to govern.” so it doesn’t matter who voted in what state or why, or agrees or disagrees, the numbers are there and the people have spoken but is he ready to listen? I wonder just how many popular votes Mitt Romney would have received without all the voter fraud? I am sure he would have won the popular vote and probably lost the election by a much smaller margin. The country is divided and it saddens me to think Mr. O doesn’t have it in him to reunite us, but I guess first he has to admit it.