2016 Election

At least once a year our family travels from Nashville, TN to Mansfield, OH. We take I-65screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-2-59-38-pm to Louisville and then pick up I-71 which we take the rest of the way to Mansfield. When we get to Cincinnati I-71 joins I-75 south of the city (in KY) and then north of the city (in OH) the two interstates separate. For that brief time, the two roads converge into one.
I see a striking similarity to the Christian’s relationship to politics. For a time, we travel through this world and we are on the same road as, well, others who believe quite differently.
What I want to do in this blog is speak to some of my perspectives on politics, voting, and the 2016 presidential election. I want to do it from the perspective of someone who is, for a while, walking on the same road as many others who are ultimately headed in a different direction.
When this presidential season began, Ben Carson was the man I thought was best suited for the office of the president. I liked to hear him talk, he was an outsider, he demonstrated wisdom as opposed to mere knowledge and smarts. As a Christian his moral clarity on a few issues resonated with me. He was soon out of the race, I then more or less thought Marco Rubio was the better guy. Why Rubio? He too was a Christian who demonstrated moral clarity on issues while also demonstrating what I thought was a high degree of competency in his knowledge of how things worked. Well, he was soon out. Then it was Trump and Cruz. I preferred Cruz. Trump’s comments against the physical features of other people, his reckless approach to décor, and the steady barrage of insults turned me off. However, he prevailed. He was the nominee.
I was perplexed.
I’ve always voted Republican. I realize to some this may sound odd, to others this may sound wrong-headed. The Republican party has been changing, or so it seems. Perhaps it is not and only I am changing. Maybe both, I don’t know. I couldn’t believe that well-known prominent Christian leaders were coming out and “endorsing” Trump. What are you endorsing? I’m content to place this question along with thousands of other questions I have into the box entitled, “things I don’t understand.”
So now it comes down to Hillary and Trump. Hillary struck me as an insider, a professional, a person intimately familiar with the system. She is definitely more suave and sophisticated then Donald Trump. I do like her fierce independence, her ability to fight for women, her competence in life. She has done a lot for her country. However, she is pro abortion, she is behind same-sex marriage, and in my estimation has a busload of corruption behind her. I’m pretty sure I know what kind of supreme court nominees she would put forward if given the opportunity. This issue matters a lot to me because the court decides on many of the moral issues of the day.
As I compared the two, to me it seemed bad, all the way around. I really didn’t like either candidate. It was funny. What now America? At this point I felt the system pushing me to choose, defend, and fully support a candidate. Isn’t that what we do? Doesn’t it work that way? I declined. As some have said, “both these candidates are deeply flawed.”
Now what? I get the third party way of thinking but I think its fundamentally naive. To vote third party is to vote for someone else indirectly. Intentions do not matter. That is why it seems to me that the wiser course of action is to pick the lesser of the two undesirable actions. Someone might object on purist grounds. Many of my friends did vote third party for reasons of conscience. I have trouble seeing it this way but I do understand having to vote your conscience. I do it too and it doesn’t surprise me that different people have different perspectives.
To recuse oneself from the process and not even vote, to me, is unwise or at worse, cowardly. To protest by, leaving the room and declining to do some good because “I don’t like the options” seems like a sad, uninformed, regrettable way of behaving. But, what do I know? Unto the Lord we render everything we do and if offered in faith, he will receive it.
I walked in for early voting and reluctantly voted for “Donald J Trump.” This may sound strange but in the voting booth I really sensed that God does love Donald Trump. Ok. I walked out and literally said out loud, “what have I just done?”
The evening of the election night I stayed up and watched, thinking, “there is NO way Trump wins this, as in, NO WAY.” He did. I couldn’t believe it! Now, he is the president-elect of the United States of America.
We will see where this goes. I can see how he might do some good with his business skills.
“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding,” says the prophet Daniel (2:21).
God works in mysterious ways. While he does, let’s hold things loosely and not tie ourselves to political machines or movements. I think we have in America. We are walking through this world and while here, we participate by faith and do the good that we can. However, let’s stay free. Jesus is the only King who can truly rule rightly. As his disciples we reflect well upon our Lord by having him hold that sacred place in our hearts labeled “hope”.

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