The following are my first (and probably only) statements about the upcoming United States presidential election. I have learned from past experience that interesting discussions with Husband are about the only positive outcomes of expressing my opinions, so I prefer to stick to sharing brownie recipes and party ideas. If you, like the overwhelming majority, are way too exhausted to have another election thought, please skip this post and redirect to some guided relaxation here or check out “100 Best Cat Photos” here. I’ll be back with foodie goodness on Friday.
If you’re still here…
I’ve heard the one word that describes how millennials feel about this year’s presidential election is “disappointing” and I have to agree. But I’m disappointed in a lot of things: disappointed in my role models for choosing power over principle, disappointed in the media for the nonstop circus, disappointed in myself for continuing to soak up the nonstop circus, and disappointed in the polarizing culture of politics that has lost all room for middle ground and moderation. I think everyone has a role in the present extremism nature of election decisions and I hope many people are taking time for self-reflection and insight to think about the role they can play in creating teamwork, functionality, productivity, and peace among our nation’s leaders because change begins with us, not the voting booth.
I’m not a Republican by any means, but since I do live in Indiana, I have found them pretty impossible to escape, especially since I’m related to most of them. Since frustration usually blocks my ability to clearly share my thoughts, I have been leaning on others to provide clarity to all the ideas running around in my head. I really appreciated this article for going deeper into some of the issues that revolve around choosing a candidate based on being “pro-life” (looking at this topic holistically is very important to me). I also enjoyed this “just the facts” perspective about choosing a candidate based on Supreme Court nominations found here and here. But I mostly appreciated the words from my college mentor’s son that I came across on Facebook and I leave you with them now.
“When it comes to this election, some Christians are acting like atheists. I’ve heard a great many people advocate voting for Trump despite his total lack of moral character, and often the argument centers around the idea that the country is in trouble and the future of America or conservative ideals hangs in the balance. This is pure utilitarianism, the idea that the consequences of an action make it right or wrong, no matter what the action itself may be. If it is likely to produce the greatest good for the greatest number of people, then we should do it. This ethical stance can be used to justify any number of things that most moral people would reject. We could torture terrorists if it might get us information that could save lives. We could justify slavery if the economic benefit to many outweighed the economic oppression of few. The list goes on.
This thinking is thoroughly and forcefully rejected by the Bible. The Gospel doesn’t need our political pragmatism to change the world. The Good News radically reshaped the culture into which it was given, and that was in a world of kings and emperors. The Gospel didn’t need power politics and moral compromises to bring down kingdoms, raise up leaders, or change society. The Gospel only needed men and women passionately committed to living out the Truth and the Love without compromise, without excuse, and without pride.
Was Jericho conquered by spies, backstabbing, and the exploitation of moral grey areas? Did Gideon triumph with conventional military wisdom? Did the Apostles rush to install each other in the highest political posts with shady deals, lies, and demeaning language? But some Christians have decided that this time it’s different. This time it’s up to us to determine what happens to this country and what happens to the world. God won’t honor those who do what is right. God won’t intervene in human affairs. God needs our help to make this a moral nation again, and we have to do it by compromising the very morals we claim to protect.
People say that it doesn’t matter if Trump has bad morals because we’re electing him to be a political leader, not a pastor. What makes you think that someone with such poor character will lead a country with truth and justice? How can a man who doesn’t have character enough to respect others in conversation ever hope to pass fair and moral laws?
People say that the only chance the Republican Party has is if conservatives band together. Well then let it die. The Republican Party needs to learn that it has for too long tolerated irresponsible political rhetoric from its members and has for too long appealed to the baser instincts of its constituents. If this is the kind of candidate that we are to receive, then it is high time that the Republican party either admit that it is NOT the party of morality and values OR it is time for the Republican party to change how it talks and how it does politics.
People say the consequences of not voting for Trump are too great. Health care, the economy, judicial nominations, military–whatever the issue is that scares you the most–in these things we must trust in Trump….or we are doomed. It is Trump or nothing. God, apparently, does not enter the picture. If people are inclined to be pragmatic, they should ask themselves whether the long term consequences of voting FOR Trump might be too terrible to justify voting for him. Have they weighed the dangers of incompetence? Have they considered the risks of voting for a Head of State that no international leader takes seriously? Have they thought of the long-term damage to both the conservative political movement and the Christian message of having so many Christians openly align themselves with the most vulgar, demeaning major presidential candidate in recent memory?
Those God has chosen for leadership have always been of sterling moral character. Yes, God can use flawed people, as we all are flawed. But God does not desire the help or aid of someone who, like Trump, unapologetically revels in his flaws.
People say that if you don’t vote for Trump then it’s a vote for Clinton. While it might result in a Republican loss in this election, a huge defeat of Trump may teach the GOP that we will not tolerate candidates who are so antithetical to what we believe. We have to teach the party that they cannot count on our vote when it contradicts our principles and when they cater to our worst impulses. For the sake of our nation, we must vote against Trump and find or write in a moral candidate.
I have heard it said, though I can’t remember where: ‘Vote as though the only thing that your vote determined was the content of your own character.'”
While I understand this election makes many of my conservative friends feel they are without options, I encourage you to still make choices that are consistent with your character. They exist.
P.S. I will not be responding to arguments to this post. Reflections only. 🙂