I feel the need to share my thoughts about the current political environment in the country that I love.
This is as dangerous thing to do. And that is my greatest concern. We have lost the ability to disagree without becoming enemies.
I want to be honest in my assessment. But I have friends who will disagree with me. I don’t want to lost them as friends. I want us to learn how to listen to each other respectfully and not consider a difference of opinion as the death knell of our friendship.
I am not a supporter of Donald Trump. I voted against him in spite of the fact that I had some serious doubts about Hillary. To me, character and integrity are important considerations when it comes to the person who will lead our nation. I agreed with the impeachment of Bill Clinton for that reason.
From my way of looking at things, Donald Trump is a person of poor character. He is a womanizer, a liar, a mean-spirited, immature bully. He makes fun of a handicapped man. He demeans anyone who criticizes him. He distorts the facts. His ego does not even allow him to listen to experts and generals concerning policies and crucial decisions. He breaks the law with no remorse and demonizes those who want to hold him accountable. He foments anger and division with his immature name calling. He sides with dictators while alienating allies. He is a danger to the well-being of our country. He caters to the Evangelical community while demonstrating very few Christian qualities. (Something that still baffles and concerns me.) His policies have helped big business and the wealthy at the cost of polluting our planet at an increased and alarming rate while denying the warnings of solid science.
Now some will say that I should look at the economy. It is great if you are the kind of person who has a stock portfolio. Unemployment is down. Part of that is the great number of people working at two or even three minimum wage jobs just to make ends meet.
I have friends who will read this and disagree strongly. That should be OK. But is it still OK? Do we have to be enemies who cannot listen to one another just because we disagree?
My greatest concern is not Donald Trump. It is not the impeachment trial. It is not even the election this November. My greatest concern is about what happens AFTER Donald Trump. How will be ever feel like one nation again? Our country has not been this divided since the Civil War. That division was sectional. This one is ideological. We had to fight a bloody war to resolve the war between the states. What will it take to resolve this divide?
I think there are several things we can do to promote healing.
We can resolve to not hate. My faith forbids me from hating anyone.
We can re-learn the art of listening to those who disagree with us thoughtfully and respectfully. We can engage people with whom we disagree to really try to understand where they are in their thinking.
We can move away from putting party above country, This goes for members of both political parties.
We can move away from the radical elements of both parties, I think it is crucial to elect a president who is moderate with a willingness to compromise and reach across the aisle. As Isaiah says, “Come, let us reason together.” Compromise is not a bad word. Nobody gets everything they want. But the country gets what it needs.
If you are a friend, it is my sincere hope that you will not stop being my friend because we disagree. I hope that you will express your take on these matters. I promise to listen thoughtfully and respectfully. It is my hope that as a nation we will work to overcome our differences and perhaps in doing that, we will do no less than save our great country.