We’re only a few days away from this nation’s Election Day and most eyes in the nation are focused on the Presidential race. Sadly, that race is between a populist and a criminal. The decision on whom to vote for, this year more than most, is focused less on who you support and more on who you oppose least. What is one to do?
Reagan famously said, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem”. Unfortunately, most on both sides of the political aisle see their candidate as the reluctant solution, not to our political problems, but the problem of the ‘other candidate’. Today I want to take Reagan’s quote one step further and add “…and we are the government”.
We’re casting a lot of stones at the two candidates currently running for president, but we fail to adequately admit that these individuals were put into these positions by us. We put them there to represent us and, to a degree, they reflect who we are. If they did not, then we wouldn’t have accepted them and propped them up as our representatives.
So, to some degree, republicans have become the democrats of the 90’s; completely segregating politics from morality. They, not unlike those who supported Bill Clinton, are willing to turn a blind eye to the disgusting nature of an individual for the purpose of power. Willing to overlook constant shifts in policies and rhetoric simply because he is not Hillary Clinton.
On the other side, democrats have suddenly become moralists for the purpose of power – but only in areas that they refused to delve into 20 years ago. Murdering unborn babies, covering up gigantic fraudulent actions, selling government access, cheating in elections, etc. are all acceptable because, after all, she is not Donald Trump.
Trump and Hillary supporters alike have attempted to distance the candidates from any moral litmus test while concurrently using every possible piece of dirt they can to apply a separate standard to the opponent. We Americans have become a body of hypocrites. We’re quick to offer judgment on the opposition, but stand behind the shield of moral relativism should the same arrows fly our way. And that’s not exactly a secret – we all know that their rap music degrades women, but your country music is wholesome; that the guy who buys Penthouse is a pervert, but that Game of Thrones marathon is simple entertainment.
We’ve too long blamed our government for our sins and failed to acknowledge our own. How does an unrighteous people gain righteous leaders within an elective government? Why are many of us surprised that a reality television, playboy billionaire is on one side, and a crooked, career politician is on the other? What are we if not that? Are we really upset that Trump is hyper-sexual and degrading at a time when we walk down the mall halls among giant posters displaying everything but the thinly veiled secret of Victoria? Are we actually put off at the notion that a woman who has produced nothing has become a multi-millionaire through a federal government position that we continue to expand and use for personal advantages?
Many weeks ago I mistakenly said that these presidential candidates were the worst of us, but perhaps they’re just….us. We’ve created them. We’ve worshiped the “lifestyles of the rich and famous” bullies who don’t require the undignified realm of civility. Likewise, we’ve constantly fed the machine of government for the purpose of having a potential ally in our fight to succeed, making politicians all-powerful and above the law. Both live in both worlds and mean to take advantage of each for the purpose of power. We will give it to them. We have Bruce Wayne without Batman and Two-Face without Harvey Dent because, after all, what does morality matter?
Well it does matter because character dictates judgement; principle roots practice and our presidents are required to put their judgement to practice countless times a day on our behalf. Now we’ve set before us two amoral people who have both displayed incredible acts of unprincipled judgement. On one hand, a man who has ripped off numerous people, vulgarly insulted anyone who dare disagree with him, and go so far as to accuse opponents of being adulterers and part of a murderous family. On the other hand, a woman whose decisions led to the death of Americans with the same flippant disregard she had for keeping our nation’s sensitive information safe.
So this season I will vote for someone who will lose. I will do so with absolutely no hesitation. I will do so knowing that I can one day show the relatively small number next to the “other” block and tell my children, one of those few was me. I can meet my maker and say that I refused to stand with Ahab or Jezebel. I will do so with the knowledge that I will have few standing with me, many who will blame me for whatever the outcome, and many who will hate me for my action. So be it. May this wake us up so that we can become a people who deserve better – who choose better.
“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” –Thomas Jefferson
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