Caribou Barbie

Caribou Barbie is the nickname a friend of mine suggested for Sarah Palin. Given the liberal environment in which he works and from which the nickname came I don’t think it was meant affectionately, but I still like it.

Peggy Noonan’s Saturday columns in the Wall Street Journal are consistently insightful. She talks today about the impact Sarah Palin had this week on both the Republican Convention and the presidential campaign. “The speech was, in its way, a call so tender it made grown-ups weep on the floor. The things she spoke of were the beating heart of the old America.” She closes with this wonderful addendum: “John McCain also made a speech. It was flat.”

Politically, I am for the goals of Palin that Noonan cites in her column: low taxes, small business, private sector, less regulation, and governing with a servant’s heart. I was at a doctor’s office yesterday and one of the forms I had to fill out was the HIPAA form. It’s useless to both my doctor and me. Why then don’t we get rid of it rather than spend billions on compliance with futility? You want to kill an economy? This and Sarbanes-Oxley are good ways to do it.

My blogging time has been limited this week because I’m taking a Harley Davidson “Riders’ Edge” course here in Milwaukee, where Harley’s 105th anniversary celebration just ended. On Friday Wisconsin Avenue downtown was lined with Harley black and chrome: it was a beautiful thing. My brother and I have wanted to ride motorcycles together forever. We had wanted to do this with my Dad, but he passed away two years ago. My brother Chris has cancer and has already lived longer than anticipated. All of this puts a new sharpness into Harley Davidson’s theme: Live to Ride. For both of us, there is also a powerful personal connection. We’re related to the Davidsons. The ‘G’ in Willie G Davidson, HD’s current standard-bearer, is short for our last name, Godfrey. More than that, we grew up next to the former President of Harley Davidson, Bill Davidson. When we were kids, he used to stop in our driveway upon his return from his daily walks to McDonalds for lunch and play basketball with us. He was a good and admirable man: corporate America, while tinged by greed, is not defined by it.

Where am I going with all of this? Here: life doesn’t need to be fractured and harried. All of life comes together when we consecrate ourselves to living out Christ’s calling day by day. Connecting with this is like the cool breeze that flows through the screen of an early fall morning. I follow this calling imperfectly, but I’m doing it, and I rejoice in it. Join me, won’t you?

John McCain, albeit delivering a flat speech, ended well: “fight for your country”. Fellow Christians, even beyond fighting for our country, let’s also fight for God’s redemptive purpose in the world. God is going to reconcile the whole creation to himself and has deigned to give us a role in the process: praise be to His name.

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