The Election From Hell

electoralcollege2000-large-bushred-goreblueI thought it was bad when Florida was re-counting their votes for President back in 2000. For days we saw video on the news of election officials holding up ballots and trying to determine if an indentation or a puncture with a hanging chad was sufficient to indicate a vote. The networks all inappropriately called Florida for Vice President Gore while their polls were still open. There were accusations of voting rights violations and of biased state supreme court action, of “butterfly ballots” that caused confused voters to mark their ballots incorrectly, and assertions that attempts had been made to suppress military mail in ballots.

That’s the tip of the iceberg, but all of it pales in comparison to this year’s election. Not because the voting was so close but because the results were so unpalatable to many on the losing side. As time passes, things have become worse, not better. Yes, the protest marches seem to have died away, but the legal wrangling may have just begun. First the Green Party candidate demanded a recount in Wisconsin, then in two other states. Next Sec. Clinton joined in—just to make sure the process was up and up.

Mr. Trump responded—which he seems sure to do whenever he feels attacked—by accusing three states of wide voter fraud that denied him “millions” of votes. He has given no details. But others have—suggesting illegal immigrants may have voted and that people who have died also (miraculously) voted.

Some have once again taken up the call to do away with the Electoral College and go with a straight popular vote. Others say that some states voting electronically were hacked.

Above—or more accurately, below—it all are supporters of Hillary Clinton who have unfriended people on Facebook, and worse, broken relationship with actual friends and even family members. This after thousands of students (including high schoolers too young to vote) took to the streets, blocking traffic and vandalizing businesses. Sandwiched in between marches were attacks on individuals and on mosques by those using racial or religious slurs.

The point is, people don’t seem to be calming down. They seem to be intent on making the transition from President Obama’s administration to the Trump-Pence administration as rocky as it can be.

I don’t know what the answer is, but I’m pretty sure breaking relationship isn’t a solution.

Christians above all should work toward reconciliation, not division. Christians should openly and loudly decry verbal or physical attacks on others—which this election has seemed to unleash. We should be at the mosques and synagogues helping to paint over the slurs. We should be telling those involved in racist behavior that there is no place in America for that kind of treatment of anyone.

When I grew up, we were taught that America, imperfect though it was, was a melting pot, benefiting from the people all over the world who came here at great risk because they wanted freedom and a chance to work hard and become more.

That “American Dream” is really the reality of the Christian Church. We are believers from all over the world who are part of a family. We have freedom in Christ, and all we want is to work for His kingdom. We are rich and poor, persecuted and free, of African descent and Asian.

Christianity Today recently had an article about the flourishing of Christianity in India, for example:

Christianity Today circled India from north to south and back again for two weeks in order to witness the innovative and successful mission efforts of Indian evangelicals—this, despite rising persecution from Hindu nationalists. In fact, evangelical leaders across India agree that their biggest challenge is not restrictions on religious freedom, but training enough pastors to disciple the surge of new believers from non-Christian backgrounds. (“Incredible Indian Christianity”)

Christians here in the US most certainly can play a part in breaking the divide between the two political extremes here in our country. Ideas might be harder to overcome than ethnicity, but if we are to live as Christ did, I don’t think we have any choice but to love your “enemies”—those who persecute or abuse or disagree with us. It’s the Jesus way.

Published in: on November 29, 2016 at 6:27 pm  Comments (2)  
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Who Doesn’t Want To Vote

When I was growing up, voting, like getting your driver’s license, was a right of passage into adulthood. It was something we all wanted to do.

Long before I was old enough to go to the polls, I wore campaign buttons, debated propositions, and voted in meaningless elections during history class. How I wanted the right to vote in the real thing. I could hardly wait. It was part right, part responsibility, and definitely a signal that I’d arrived into the world as an adult.

I’m not sure what’s happened, but voting seems to be something more and more people take for granted, and don’t bother to do. I know the system here in California has been broken for a long, long time. There have been few competitive races and consequently no sense of urgency.

As a matter of fact, I saw my first political ad for President last week. I’m not kidding. There’s no need to run ads when you know you have the state won, or when you know you haven’t got a chance to break the opposing party’s stranglehold on the electorate.

What a sad state of affairs. Once voters chose who they thought would be the best person for the office, regardless of office. Now, the first question seems to be, what party is he in?

Once a true leader was the person who could compromise with those holding differing views and reach an agreeable solution for all sides. Now someone who compromises is considered a flip-flopper and not someone a voter can rely on.

How odd it seemed to me to hear Mr. Obama during the debates try to pin Mr. Romney to a specific agenda of tax loopholes he would close if elected President. Mr. Romney had the gall to say he’d work with Congress and find the loopholes in a bi-partisan way. Horrors! That was considered a plan without a plan.

All this line-drawing and party-over-country politics is chasing away voters, I believe.

So my cry is, DON’T LET IT. If you live in a democracy, stand up for your right to vote by voting. See you at the polls.

Published in: on November 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm  Comments (8)  
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