Hard to imagine as it is, there are a few Americans very disappointed in last Tuesday's election results.
My father is one of them. And do you know why? Not because of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Not because of the economy. Because, he said, Obama said eight months ago that the first thing he's going to do when he gets into office is legalise late-term abortion (or third-semester as my father called it).
I missed that news item, my father said, because I don't live in the U.S. and I don't have access to the same information he does. I reminded him that there's an internet now that allows me access to all sorts of information.
I didn't call my father to gloat or to argue. I called to wish him a happy birthday. I then made the mistake of asking him what he thought of the election. I had little doubt in my mind that he had voted for McCain. My father is a Committed Christian who is going to Heaven because he has been forgiven by God for his sins. Pity his children haven't forgiven him yet, nor has he asked their forgiveness.
Like most people, I think, I try to avoid the emotional subject of abortion. I've never had one. I've never had to have one. I have had two pregnancies that ended in the births of my children. I know what it feels like to feel life growing inside me, and I could never have a late-term abortion myself unless there were strong medical grounds. Many babies born at 28 weeks survive.
For the record, I googled Obama's stand on abortion. He is in favour of abortion rights, but waffles a bit, like most politicians. McCain doesn't: he says life begins at conception. So if you take the morning-after pill within 72 hours of sexual intercourse (which is how long it takes for a fertilized egg to embed itself in the womb, I believe) then you are having an abortion, according to that famous biologist John McCain.
But back to my father. Abortion wasn't and isn't the most important issue facing Barack Obama today, as I told my father. I'm sure he's got a lot of other issues on his mind and will push abortion onto the proverbial back burner.
What I find most alarming about my father is not his stance on abortion or his support of McCain. It's his lack of respect for my opinion and feelings or indeed those of anyone else who doesn't agree with his narrow-minded, judgmental, moralistic point of view, and this is something that has not and will not change no matter who is in office. It's a shame that he is this way. Last night I hung the phone up and uttered not a few expletives under my breath and over my breath and into hubby's ears. I vowed not to phone my father again. I said he's treating me the same way he used to treat me when I was in my teens and 20s. Only I'm almost 50. But today I feel differently. I resolved to get on with my life, rejoice once more that Barack Obama is president-elect, and perhaps do something (though I don't know what) to help women so they don't have to be in the position of having to make what must be a very difficult decision.