We live in turbulent times. The recent US Presidential Election has been a wild one. The media has projected a winner, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have made fancy speeches, celebrating with their supporters with shining faces.
However, the votes have not all been counted, nor have the issues of suspected voter fraud been sufficiently addressed. Legal challenges have been filed in many states. Evidence of significant fraud needs to be examined before declaring a winner. So creating this narrative of a victory by the candidate Joe Biden was premature in the view of millions of Americans. The mainstream media has treated President Trump with disdain from the day he first announced his run for this office over four years ago. So, many people don’t feel surprised that the media thinks they can declare a winner, though this is not how our democracy is structured. The media does not determine who is the next President of the US. We have a constitution. We have laws in this country governing elections. But this old adage comes to mind: “figures can lie and liars can figure.” Do you feel satisfied that this election has reached a valid conclusion and that the votes have been properly counted, ensuring the validity of this election? If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the Al Gore fiasco and how that election eventually played out.
Did you feel great joy as the speeches of the “new administration” were aired? Or did you feel troubled by what you perceive as an election that has not yet been fully carried out in a legal or legitimate way? When an election is this close, during a pandemic, do you think that our democratic system for election has been honored sufficiently?
Today we took our friend to get groceries with us. When we were getting back in the car, an older veteran near our car interacted with us. He looked very distressed as he expressed his frustrations and concerns about the election. As our friend said, he probably hasn’t had anyone else to visit with about how he’s feeling. The pandemic isolates so many of us. As my husband, who is a veteran reminded us, for some veterans hearing these acceptance speeches prematurely may trigger some trauma. After all, too many brave American soldiers paid the ultimate price, never returning home to resume life in the nation they were defending. Many lives were lost during the Obama era (and under other former Presidents as well). My husband reminded us that not every veteran trusts Joe Biden. (Some do, but this older gentleman clearly didn’t.) So, emotions arise and trauma sometimes gets triggered. This veteran, talking us in the grocery store parking lot on a cold November day, was clearly shaken by the way this election has been handled.
A friend of mine visited yesterday, and she voiced some strong views. Some of those views differ from ours, but we love her anyway. We share a faith in God and a love for one another. We’ve never allowed politics to divide us. Most healthy people share the desire for less polarization, more healing in this land, and all of us desire what is best for this country in the long run. I actually like talking to people I respect who have a different perspective. (Sadly, respectful dialogue sometimes feels like a lost art.) I can learn from them, and recognizing that many things shape the beliefs and views of each person helps me embrace healthy dialogue.
Genuine curiosity helps. Remember Mr. Rogers in his button up sweater? He had a calming presence and used his show to help children learn about the world they were born into. Be like Mr. Rogers. Look for the helpers. Be a peaceful, calm presence in a troubled world. The only way I can do this is to abide in Christ and rest in His sovereignty. Our hope is not in human beings. Our hope is in the LORD, Maker of heaven and earth.
I appreciated a conversation I had with my brother this morning. Tim has a balanced and helpful view of many things in the realm of politics. I found his views encouraging. Another friend today called and asked if I had any encouragement during this very sad week for those who support President Trump.
This election is on the hearts of so many Americans, and it’s being watched by people around the world. The election was extremely close in so many states. The future of this nation depends upon fair and honest elections. Let this election get sorted out properly before assuming the outcome is in one direction or another.
I read more than one article before the election results were being counted, and they tried to claim that President Trump would not peacefully leave his position if he lost. Many sensationalized narratives have been woven, seeking to discredit and harm public perception. That’s just not a reasonable concern. Of course President Trump will move on to the next adventure when the time comes. I can’t imagine having to focus on doing a complex, challenging job with so much static and distractions. He endured an impeachment process that many Americans saw as very contrived and unfair.
I am thankful that President Trump has been willing to serve our nation despite the intense opposition he’s faced. I don’t think he is perfect. He’s human. He has areas where he certainly could grow and improve, as we all do. But he’s endured abuse and endless criticism, and he’s still accomplished some important objectives. The unborn have had a president who stood for their right to live. Israel has been treated as a sovereign nation and a valued ally rather than brushed off and mistreated as they had been by the prior administration. Christians and other religions have seen their religious freedoms restored and protected, rather than diminished and attacked as they had been previously. Many good things have happened under his watch.
Regardless of all of that and various views people espouse, many of us just want to see this election resolved accurately and honestly. So many people just believe what the news broadcasters say, and if it agrees with the outcome they want, they perpetuate this story. I wonder how much cognitive dissonance is required to reconcile declaring and celebrating an outcome when people are aware of shenanigans that compromise integrity. I’ve listened to credible cyber security experts and voting software experts who have shared that this election looks to have been manipulated in significant ways which may impact the outcome, and we all deserve to have answers about whatever took place.
No matter what the outcome, as believers, we can find our stability in the LORD. Our citizenship is in heaven, and we can find peace in His Presence in spite of the troubled times we live in. However, we’re reminded not to be “so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good.”
Count those votes.
We have technology that can be used with integrity, but vulnerabilities exist.
Patiently work it through and reach an honest conclusion.
Then we can all adapt to the true outcome, not this rushed declaration.