Declaring my Candidacy

“Do not be afraid, for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”  (Luke 2:10)

I, Michelle Lynn Dykhuizen Thieme, have decided today to declare my candidacy for President of the United States of America.

You’re pumped, right?

I have a loud voice.  Like, really loud.  What’s even better is, I only know this fact because everyone around me keeps telling me.  So, that means I also have poor self-awareness.  I’m (waaaay) over 35 and I have paperwork to prove I was born in Lafayette, Indiana.  I have zero political background.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I did serve as president of my HS class.  It seems to me right there is a great recipe for a presidential run. Who wants to be my campaign manager?  Anyone?

To be completely upfront, my candidacy might prove to be a tad tricky.

First of all, I try to always apologize when I’m wrong, and even though I’m loud, which I know the media loves, I really prefer to get along with people and maintain harmony whenever possible.  In fact, I like to write notes to people and remind them why they are awesome.  That feels like something I will need to fix to be a viable candidate.

Plus, let’s look at the issues.  Guns?  Nope.  Don’t like ’em.  I didn’t even like it when my sons tried to make their legos into gun shapes and play cowboys and “native americans” in pre-school.  I realize that might seem over the top.  So much for the NRA support.  Does this make me a democrat?  There are family members and friends in my life who make their living farming and some of them like to hunt.  They also really don’t like predators (you know, foxes, raccoons, opposums, coyotes) who come after their livestock.  OK, I REALLY don’t like guns but you guys can keep your hunting rifles.  Ditto for you and your FBI friends, Don, and you too, Gerry and all the other police officers out there who are trying hard to keep us safe.  I get it.  Some people rightly value their firearms.  We’ll just have to respect each others differences on that one and wade through together.

“Respect each other’s differences?”  What kind of poppycock is that?  Man the media are going to have a field day with me.  I’ll need a good PR staff.  Who’s in?

What else?  Well, I really feel in my heart that a big challenge in our country is a need to strengthen families.  I suppose that’s a republican thing to say.  The thing is, I respect and love people in my life who have families that look less traditional than mine.  Now, I’m sounding lost in a political Bermuda triangle.  I know.  Clearly, my positions make me insane.  Oh, and I think it’s utterly silly to bother those nuns on 86th St. who are super busy changing the sheets of Indy’s poorest seniors with some law about they need to provide contraceptives to the receptionist.  Actually, it downright bugs me.  I mean, she knew she was taking a job working for nuns, right?  I’d bet she’s probably cool with giving Sister a pass on those drugs– if she wasn’t– she probably would have just applied for another gig.  The nuns and I are on page and…so my hopes of democratic funding seem to be dwindling.

I love nuns, families, and I care about the poor.  I really hate guns, but I get that some people need them.  When a girl down the hall at Purdue called me a “fisheater”, I didn’t get bent out of shape.  Last week, someone called me fat.  Big damn deal.  I loathe sexism and racism and most the other “isms” as much as the next guy, but mostly people who don’t like other people because of who they are or what they look like are just idiots to me.  I wish I’d written “sad” and said I would pray for them.  I’m working on it.  Focusing on people who fail isn’t the centerpiece of my life.  The pervasive over-sensitivity and uber concern about political correctness revolution just isn’t working for me.  These moments always remind me how blessed I am to have a mom who constantly reminded me that I will never be sorry I was too kind.  I should also mention my eloquent Dad who didn’t have a problem reminding me from time to time when I lost my way that “your shit, Shelly does in fact stink.”  Thanks for keeping me straight, guys.

The scripture verse at the beginning of this declaration of candidacy came from the Christmas card I sent out this year.  That’s a pattern of behavior for me.  I’m kind of into Jesus.  In fact, I believe the fact checkers will uncover that I am a mass attending, sacrament loving Catholic.  If that’s not a candidacy killer, I don’t know what is.

So there you have it.  I might be the most un-electable possible candidate in this year’s election.  I’m a definitively pro-compromise, family (and nun) loving, anti-gun, police appreciating fish eater.  I love our underpaid teachers and think high-stakes standardized testing is killing education, and I’m willing to listen to why you might feel differently.  I believe in doing all we can to help the poor up.  I don’t think it’s a close call when it comes to crazy things like the taking of lives or the selling of baby parts, but hating others despite our differences isn’t a thing I believe in either.

I’m never going to be President.  Frankly, neither are any of you.  And that, my friends, is what’s wrong with America.  Let’s just set aside my obvious obstacles, such as I am not a millionaire and I have been a stay-at-home mom for 10 years.  My bet is, even if you can actually fit neatly into one of the 2 political parties calling the shots, when you unravel your belief system you will find you are really going to have some issues which inhibit your electability.  Mainly it’s about you just aren’t cranky enough.

In my opinion, what has made America great over the years is her capacity for compassion, for building one another up.  We’ve lost our way.  The venomous tone at present is surely NOT OF GOD.

Today, I felt called to speak up for the end to the rancor.

Do you want to know why I love the nuns?  They keep me honest.  The $40 they had to come to my parish begging to get from me seems like a lot as I toss it in the basketm but when I head out to shop, it seems like nothing.  I am definitely part of the problem.  However, I continue to pray and to try and do better.  I hope the same for my nation.

God gave us free will, it’s true.  When we are free to act without being under the influence of another, that is real freedom.  Consider the words of a great saint in whom even the vast number of non-Christians in India saw great virtue.  Reading her words always makes me feel as if I have inhaled a tiny breath of heaven.  As I finish my silly little entry today, I invite you to join me in a prayer for our great country and I offer you this bit of fresh air.  I hope you enjoy it.  Know that above all you belong to God, He delights in you, and you are loved.

“Spread love everywhere you go.  Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”  –Mother Teresacropped-shellybday2014.jpg