We are days away from the November 3rd, 2020 Presidential election. One thing is certain, come November 4th, given the polarized state of the political atmosphere, it will be a day of hooray for some and dismay for others. Equal shouts of celebratory cheers and mournful jeers will no doubt fill the air.
One can hope that the post-election period will find a lessening of the vicious political dialogue, but I doubt it. At worst, I fear riots, at best an endless media analysis of why some voter in Utah cast his ballot for Biden, while one in Massachusetts cast her vote for Trump. Feelings are never more raw than that first day after a hoped-for victory or a punch-in-the-gut defeat.
Having voted in 14 Presidential elections, you would think I’d be used to the never-ending, exaggerated, all-too-often vicious attacks witnessed each election cycle. Yet the 2020 Presidential campaign is far beyond anything I have ever experienced. But then, what else would you expect in a year known for its wanton use of hand sanitizer and the wearing of masks.
One candidate calls himself a devout Catholic but supports the most pro-abortion platform in the history of Presidential politics. The other candidate is a pompous, arrogant boor, whose abrasive personality seems incongruent with his strong positions in favor of religious liberty and pro-life legislation.
I think I just realized what that feeling is in the pit of my stomach — Nausea.
Are these the best America has to offer? God help us!
I am reminded of a quote I read in the opening paragraph of the October 21, 2016, First Things Magazine article titled Dirty Hands and Political Despair by Brandon McGinley. “John Adams famously wrote, ‘Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.’ We seem to be hell-bent on testing his prescience.”
I sighed heavily in 2016 at reading that statement. Today, in light of the current political climate, I sigh even more. The increasing sense of frustration and disappointment is overwhelming.
Living in an era of social media hasn’t helped. Platforms like Facebook offer the hopeful promise of exposing us to more ideas and increasing communication between people across the globe. The reality is that such platforms are not set up to build trust and relationships. Rather, they have proven to be megaphones through which to shout forth one’s view — or call peoples hateful names from a safe distance. In an October 19, 2020 article in the Wall Street Journal, writer Christopher Mims suggests that social media may amplify “extreme opinions.” And given America’s right of free speech, he observes that “Technology only magnifies this natural effect of democracy.”
Having engaged in a few Facebook political dialogues, I fully understand the polarizing effect that social media can promote.
One such Facebook discussion revealed a young activist who insists that all the negative, angry, and violent protests only come from the far right. According to her, no such problems exist on the Left. I would chuckle at her naïveté, except that she really believes it. No such thing as Antifa, she claims.
I confess to having a few hot button issues myself and have, for the most part, resisted the temptation to point out the obvious incongruities in the arguments made by my liberal friends. Honesty compels me to admit that I too am guilty of throwing a few barbs toward those who are too short-sighted to see the tragic consequences of their progressive agenda.
Still, I must admit that, as a Christian, it is becoming increasingly challenging to know for whom to vote.
In full disclosure, I have always considered myself a Conservative, as opposed to a Republican or Democrat. Since I often find aspects of both party platforms I could support, I usually narrow my focus to a few key issues.
Since neither candidate inspires me, I have shifted my attention away from the candidates’ behavior to their stated positions on the issues I care about the most. And for me, those issues include the right to life, marriage, and religious liberty. And this year is no different, as I believe a candidate’s views on these issues tend to influence their views on everything else.
While the Donkey and Elephant Parties disagree on a number of issues, there is no greater contrast than their views on abortion.
The Elephant Party’s platform on abortion has been described as the most pro-life platform in its party’s history and calls for the de-funding of Planned Parenthood and the appointment of pro-life judges.
The Donkey Party’s platform on abortion is widely recognized as the most progressive abortion policy in its history and, if implemented, would give the US the most liberal abortion policies in the world, except for maybe China. (Let that sink in.) This party and their candidate believe abortion should be legal for any reason during the nine months of pregnancy and are committed to a litmus test of appointing only judges who support that view.
That policy alone makes my choice an easy one.
But, as my liberal friends remind me, neither party is without sin. They prefer to define pro-life in broader terms, such that abortion is seen as morally equivalent to other social injustices — thus sedating their conscience and justifying a vote for the Donkey Party candidate as they close their eyes, ears, and minds to that nasty abortion issue.
I cannot support in any way this ongoing American Holocaust. A vote for the Donkey Party is a death sentence for an estimated 700,000 unborn babies a year. How can God bless a nation that allows this to continue?
While I consider the issues in this election crucial to the survival of the American Republic, I am also concerned how we Americans will handle the post-election results.
No matter who wins this election, there will be a significant number of Americans who will be filled with hope and an equal number who will be overwhelmed with despair. Thankfully, a friend reminded me recently that as Christians, we must keep perspective. No matter who wins or loses, our joy, our salvation, our contentment is not dependent on whether a Donkey or Elephant flies in Air Force One. She posted the following note recently.
“During the next 28 days, don’t let the elephants and the donkeys make you forget that you belong to the Lamb.”
And whoever is elected, may we be gracious in victory or defeat, and let us fervently pray for the healing of our land and that our political leaders, be they Donkeys or Elephants, follow the path of righteousness in the laws they pass and the decisions they make.
If John Adams is correct — that “our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people and is wholly inadequate to the government of any other” — then the future of our Republic may depend more on those who follow the Lamb.
Maybe it’s time to stop and ask ourselves — is our primary allegiance to an Elephant, a Donkey…or the Lamb?
“May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:5-7 (NRSV)
Note: Picture from ThoughtsandDesigns.com