The world will not end if Donald Trump is re-elected. It will not end if Joe Biden is elected. In the big scheme of things, elections come and go. While I agree, there is a lot at stake, life will go on after November 3rd. Sometimes each side overstates the value of an election to get more votes.
Most who know me, know that I’m not a fan of Donald Trump. It is not political. I was not a fan of Trump when he was a Democrat. I would feel no different if he was a liberal. Although I don’t agree with all of his policies . . . some I do agree with. So, it is not about policy. For me personally, I can sum it up in the issue of truth. I am profoundly interested in truth and authenticity of character and in my view, Trump is a failure at these. I value truth as a person because all evil, all ills of society, starts with a lie. As a Christian, I believe that if God is there and the more you are involved with real truth (not talking about “religious truth”), the clearer you can see God. The more you are involved with deception, you start to see a distorted world and a god created in your own, distorted image. This is about all I will say negative about Trump in this post.
Before I’ve said that I make comments about Trump and etc. in public forums because I believe in dialog. I compared it to the debates on Mars Hill in Athens 2000 years ago. But maybe I was naive. I love to have conversations with people when we talk in a respectful way about facts. Believe it or not, I enjoy talking to people with different ideas than my own the most. I find it intriguing that another person holds such a view and I am very curious to find out why. Sometimes they are so convincing that I change my view to theirs.
But in my attempts to have discussions about Trump, it has not gone so well. The reason is, the discussion quickly deteriorates into the emotional rather than the logical. I admit that I’ve been guilty of this myself. But, from my perspective, as soon as I have challenged a Trumper on something that I think is untrue (Biden is a child molester was one of those) they immediately come back with, “You are a libtard. You’ve been brainwashed by the liberal media. Your head is in the sand.” At that juncture, dialog ends. The worst one, and I’ve mentioned this interaction before, was on another forum when I recommended, as has the WHO and CDC, mask wearing and a Trumper, who I have no personal relationship with, said he would love to put a bullet in my head because I wear a mask. How can you have a dialog around that?
But I will make it clear that this is not just happening on the Trump side. I have also mentioned before that I live in a Trump world. I am from the south. My entire family are Trumpers. I was an evangelical for 20 years and still have many friends from that world and almost all are Trumpers. I am from a small town in Appalachia. I still have some friends there and that is deeply Trump country. I also worked in a medical practice in Mount Vernon and was working there during the 2016 election and all of them were Trumpers (hearing about how great Trump was every day). So, for the sake of my own sanity, only knowing my wife and kids as non-Trumpers, I joined two Christian, anti-Trump groups online. While it did grant me some sanity, soon I started to hear lies and hatred from that group as well. Many of them too could not have a logical discussion without resorting to the emotional arguments. They were often posting disgusting photos of Trump with exaggerated bellies, butts, etc. What does that have to do with a logical debate? It is pure emotional hate and doesn’t help the discussion.
I honestly don’t understand when people don’t speak up against evil, such as the mishandling of the COVID pandemic or the slaughter of the 23 people in El Paso. When I do, they see it as political. But they have their reasons. But one of them could be the personal, social cost of speaking up. That is what I’ve found and I’ve have stopped talking in such forums about Trump. For one reason, minds are mostly made up. I have given up my dream that I could say something that would change their minds. The reasoning as become emotional, not logical. With logical reasoning, you can discuss, debate and reach conclusions. I think of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia who were diabolically opposed in legal views, but profoundly good friends in life. How? Because they did not let their reasoning deteriorate into the emotional but left it as logical, fact driven.
I have just finished my first draft of Retribution and it is in the hands of some readers (beta testing) so I am coming up for air after being consumed by the book for almost two months. I hope to write more. I was going make many arguments about why not to support Trump, but I will refrain. I’ve lost too many friends who are Trumpers including my family. I’ve had some hate mail here when I’ve said negative things about Trump. I do have an open letter to evangelicals about why not to vote for Trump. I may post it or may not. But America will go on after this election, despite the outcome. But my prayer for all people is that they pursue truth, real truth and at all cost.
3 responses to “Ramblings: Observations in the Season of Elections”
This writer captured my thoughts this week: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/10/the-evangelical-movements-bad-bargain/616760/?fbclid=IwAR1GVh-K9S-mAu1u2qJnT8lsp9lXvCBidvb2O1odb33e05UtHuOGLYRaHqs
Thanks. I saw that article and considered re-posting it here. I also saw that 76% of white evangelicals are stating that they will vote for Trump again in 2020, more so than any other group. Disturbing.
Excellent article. Always thoughtful , clear-thinking pieces by Peter Wehner. Less of me and more reflection of Him in all relationships.