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My Take: Hard truths matter; I知 Mormon, and I知 voting for Obama
From: CNN          Published On: October 19, 2012, 08:24 GMT
 
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 My Take: Hard truths matter; I知 Mormon, and I知 voting for Obama
Joanna Brooks is a senior correspondent for ReligionDispatches.org and author of "The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith."

By Joanna Brooks, Special to CNN


There are two moments and two moments only that made my soul sit upright during Tuesday night痴 presidential debate:

President Obama, speaking about the loss of manufacturing jobs to low-wage economies like China: 典here are some jobs that are not coming back.

Obama, speaking about four lives lost in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya: 的 am the one who has to meet those coffins when they come home.

Morbid? Not at all. I知 just a believer in the gospel of hard truths.

And as I am the mother of two school-age children, a teacher at an underfunded public university and a progressive Mormon, hard truths about the challenges our nation faces are all that makes sense to me.

As a mother, I am acutely aware that right now, our nation invests a smaller and smaller share of its resources in our children, the generation that will assume the debts my generation and our parents generation have incurred.

As an educator, I have witnessed firsthand how failure to generate responsible levels of public revenue has significantly compromised generations worth of investment in our public schools and universities.

And as a Mormon, I grew up with a healthy sense of respect for worst-case scenarios. I was raised, after all, with a religious aversion to debt and a year痴 supply of canned wheat, beans and powdered milk in the garage, as instructed by LDS Church leaders. The Mormon food storage tradition isn稚 about end-times-paranoia: It痴 a lesson passed down from our pioneer ancestors, who knew the importance of being prepared for difficult seasons so you can do right by your family and community.

This nation is in a difficult season, and I listened carefully Tuesday night for a proper sense of respect for worst-case scenarios. What I heard instead were the usual rhetorical swerves.

Mitt Romney offered personal anecdotes about 澱inders full of women that have nothing to do with economic security for American families. He promised allegedly revenue-neutral $5 trillion tax cuts but refused to provide solid details on how he壇 balance the books. And he made throwaway references to all people being the 田hildren of the same God without substantial reflection on how that should translate in terms of budget and policy.

What I really wanted from the debate was more of the hard truths that Obama seemed to be on the verge of saying:

典his recession is fundamentally different than other recessions, and there are no short-term fixes.

徹ur old strategies for managing Middle Eastern conflict through military intervention or propped-up dictators don稚 work. And there is no easy way forward.

典he only thing the $3 trillion Iraq war produced for the United States was a mountain of debt and a legion of disabled Americans.

展e need to have a serious discussion about Social Security.

泥ebts don稚 get paid down without adjustments in revenues.

These are the kind of hard truths that speak to the same part of me that took notice when Obama at his inauguration quoted the Scripture: 的t is time to put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13: 11).

And given the challenges we face in bringing down deficits while investing sensibly in the nation痴 future, here are some other Scriptures I壇 like to hear:

典urn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come to smite the earth with a curse (Malachi 4: 6).

鉄et your house in order, for you shall die (2 Kings 20: 1)

Morbid? Not at all. But I do feel a sense of responsibility for keeping an eye on the worst-case scenarios. And a few months worth of rice and beans in the garage, like Mormon leaders teach me. And an ear out for the gospel of hard truths.

I have seen Obama work steadily, patiently through a difficult season. I have seen him face some hard truths and accept that there are no easy fixes. And I will vote to give him a second term.


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