Is This Election Epic?…Maybe Not

Well it’s less than 24 hours away, the most epic election in our country’s history…  Ok, I can’t even make myself believe the hype.  I tell you what, I’ll meet you somewhere in the middle. It’s the most epic election in the last 4 years.  Is it important?  Of course it is, they all are. But that’s all it is, nothing more, nothing less. It’s an important choice for the next 4 years.  Why do I believe this?  Because we have a system designed to keep it that way.  Although aging and beat up, our system does still work for the most part, and I for one always look forward to doing my part to keep it working. Each election is the most important election for that moment in time, not for all of time.  This isn’t a decision of eternity.  Neither candidate can bring salvation or take it from us come Wednesday.  Can it change the course of History?  Sure it can.  But the great thing about our system is, we can alter the course again in 4 years if we realize as a people we screwed it up.  Deep down we all have to believe this. If not, half of the country would either be moving or starting a civil-war on November 9th.

Will Hillary or Donald destroy our country or make it great again single-handedly?  No, not even close.  Neither candidate is capable of such tasks on their own.  Maybe I forgot to put on my rose-colored glasses, but about two years ago, wasn’t it fair to say that the church viewed Trump as egotistical and greedy?  Today you’d swear the hope of Christianity is resting squarely on his shoulders. On my way to work this morning, I’m pretty sure I saw a nice blue-collared Christian family leading their “faith-in-humanity” to the edge of the village to prepare it for some sort of mercy-killing in the event that Hillary wins.  When one party wins, does goodness cease to exist for the other party immediately or is it drawn out mercilessly?

I know I’m young, but how is this election really different from previous ones?  In my short time I’ve seen the first Black President, father and son Presidents, an actor President, and a peanut farmer President.  Every one of them was looked upon as one party’s King and another’s Fool.  Not once during my 40 years, have I turned to any of these men for advice on love, religion, marriage, parenthood or any other topic of how to become a better man.  Why?, because I don’t ask such things of my President.  I simply ask them to play their role in the system that is our Government of the United States of America.  The system that “We the People” are responsible for, more so than the President.  So Mr. or Mrs. President, I’m not looking to you to be a superhero or a savior, just do the best you can for 4 years or 8 if we decide we really like you.  It’s not fair for us to put the responsibility of our hopes, our dreams, or our futures in your hands. We fought valiantly to keep the words “In God We Trust” on a wrinkled dollar bill.  Now how about we fight just as hard to actually believe those words, vote and live accordingly?

Now one last drum to beat, I have a problem with good people using fear as a tactic, verbalizing that our country has gone to hell in a hand basket.  We say that we need to bring our country back to its founding beliefs, to make it great again, as if things used to be peachy and have only gotten worse along the way. Has our recollection of events really become so selective?  Please do not pray for this country to return to what it once was.  Pray for it to be better.  It has never been perfect and there has always been Good and Evil.  Because of fear and greed, we have corralled Japanese Americans into concentration camps, killed people for their land, and spent a sizeable portion of our country’s history enslaving minorities and in one way or another women too.  Most of that is gone now. Call me crazy, but I don’t want to go back there.  Plus they didn’t even have air conditioning…really people we have it good.  We’ve overcome before and we can do it again.  Let’s stop the reminiscing, the romance of it clouds reality.  I’d love to see our vision cast forward towards other things…little things like hope for Love, Joy, and Peace.  Not because of a campaign, but because of our actions towards each other.

Is this country getting worse, better or staying the same?  How could we ever know?  As a people, our baseline for measuring it changes with the morning’s side of the bed or which news channel we turn on.  What we do know, however, is that 240 years into this thing, we are still here as a country and as a free people, and that’s pretty cool. We also know that tomorrow we can walk into a booth, regardless of race or religion, and push a button to play a significant role in the ways of governing our country.

Am I pleased with our choice of candidates?  Hell No, are you crazy?  These two aren’t the best choices we could have by a long shot, but they are WHAT we have and it is our responsibility to make a choice. That, my friend, is one thing that I am VERY PROUD OF, the fact that I live in a country where I have choices.  Even if they’re not great, I have them.  So I’ll reveal my pick.  Drum roll please…Tomorrow I’ll vote for Donald Trump (I know you really cared). Am I proud to call Trump my choice?  I wouldn’t say that, but I am proud to say I made my choice.  Because that’s what makes this country great…its Citizen’s choices, not its President.

(Cue the Chariots of Fire Soundtrack)

Now pretend it’s early Wednesday morning, and if fate has loosened its grip slightly more than the dangling chad of yester year, I will present the President of the United States to my children.  I will explain to them that I don’t agree with everything that He or She believes in.  I may not even like them, but as a family, we will honor the position of President.  Because the people have chosen.  I’ll teach them that our family does not accept the convenient idea that our President Directs the character of our country, but instead that the President Reflects the character of our country.  If we have bad Presidents, rather than complain, we start fixing our character.  I’ll kneel with them that morning and show them how a man prays for leadership after they’ve been elected.  And with God’s guidance, I’ll teach them that no matter who won, we don’t speak hatred of anyone, because the power of life and death is in our tongues.

One last thing, whether or not my choice wins this election, I will try my best as a father to cast into my children’s lives the vision that their decisions, more than any President’s, holds the power to make their country greater tomorrow than it has ever been.

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