Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Thoughts on Last Night

Like many, I am shocked by the results last night.  I’m still trying to process my thoughts on where we are in the country.  I’m hoping by talking through some of my thoughts, I can figure it out.

I’m sure most of you reading this know me to be a conservative Christian.  As a result, I was in the Never Clinton camp since day one.  She is the most corrupt candidate we’ve ever had run for President.  Oh, I know she has never been convicted of anything.  That’s how much power she has.  You only need to pay attention to what has been coming out in the last few months to realize that.

Of course, that presumes that you’ve been watching any news media that would report it.  The news media has proved their bias so blatantly this election cycle it would be funny if there still weren’t people out there who refuse to see it.

But as a conservative Christian, I was also firmly in the Never Trump camp.  That man has made my skin crawl long before he ran for President.  The revelations about him in the last few months were as shocking to me as the revelations about Clinton.  In other words, I expected them.  It is sad that any human being would treat any other human being that way at all ever.  There is no excuse for it.  There is no defense for much of what he has said and done in the past and during this campaign, and I will not try to offer any.

For the first time in my life, I actually voted for a third party candidate.  I could not in good conscious vote for either of them.

Yet I am happy with the results today.  I am happy because voters seem to have seen through the lies that Secretary Clinton has been telling for years and the way that much of the media tried to cover it up for her.

On the other, I am scared.  I don’t trust Trump.  I don’t trust him to be a responsible adult.  Considering he was a Democrat until not too long before he decided to run, I don’t trust him to actually do any of the things he says he will do, and I worry he will do the opposite.  And I’m very upset by the racist incidents that I’m already hearing about.  It is very wrong, and there is no excuse for it ever.

If there is anything good that can come from this, it’s that once again we will have a news media that looks closely at what the President does.  We had that from 2000 to 2008, but we haven’t had that for the last 8 years.  Heck, I’m looking forward to descent and questioning the President being patriotic again as it was at the turn of the century instead of racist as it was for the last 8 years.

Which brings me to the biggest point from all of this.  There have been calls for healing and moving forward.  I’m all for that.  BUT IT MUST COME FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE!!!!!!  No, I don’t mean lie down and let President Trump do whatever he wants.  Believe me, I will oppose him when he says or does something I don’t like.  And I expect there to be plenty of that.

However, I have seen lots of hate coming from the liberals on my Facebook and Twitter feeds.  And I do mean hate.  Name calling and devise language will not help anyone or anything right now.  If we are going to move forward as a country, we have to stop looking at each other as baskets of deplorable and actually sit down and listen to each other and get to know each other.  Yes, Trump has said racist and sexist things.  But that doesn’t mean his supporters are racist or sexist.  It might just mean that they looked hard at Clinton and didn’t like what they saw.  It might be a vote against her as much as or more than a vote for him.  But how will you know that if you scream, shout, and threaten to leave the country instead of trying to find out why your friends voted for him?

It’s actually been very interesting.  I have seen very few gloating messages from my conservative friends.  Yes, I’ve seen some, but compared to the shock, horror, and anger coming from my liberal friends, it has been mild.  Of course, the mature comments I have seen from other liberal friends have given me hope that we can sit down and discuss our difference like rational adults.

Because we need to have many adult conversations about things that are happening in our country and in our world.  Trump is not going to have them or start them.  The news media certainly isn’t going to allow them to happen.  Those who aren’t invested in one side and invested enough in conflict to keep things going.  That means it is up to us.  And that starts with listening to your friends who disagree with you instead of labeling, name calling, and stalking away.

Earlier this year, I listened to the audio version of The Silencing by Kristen Powers.  Yes, she is a Fox News contributor.  However, she is a liberal.  She is a liberal I respect because she is willing to call out liberals when they are wrong, but she has logical reasons for her liberal beliefs.  I don’t always agree with her (in fact I rarely do), but I respect her because I can tell she has thought through what she is saying.  All that to introduce this book, which talks about how the illiberal left is trying to shut down those who disagree with them in our country.  Honestly, I think a lot of what is in this book might be why we saw the results we did last night.  And I’m already seeing it play out anew in the last 24 hours.  If you are interested, here is my review.  I challenge you to read the book (or listen to it like I did) and think about it.  It is possible that someone disagrees with you, has good reasons for it, and isn’t a racist or sexist or any other ist or phobe.  And until we are willing to realize that about each other, we are not going to move forward as a country.

At this point, I am rambling.  We are in for an interesting next four years.  But I do hope that we stop and listen to each other instead of just writing each other off because we disagree.  If that happens, there will be no healing and the divides in our country will only be worse the next time we go through this.

One last thought before I go.  As a people, we need to be praying for our leaders, even and especially when we disagree with them.  But when we agree with them, too.  Our hope is ultimately in God, not in who the President is or isn’t.  And He can change hearts and minds more than anything we say on the internet or face to face can.


Anonymous said...

Well expressed thoughts Mr. Baker!

Anonymous said...

Well said old friend. As a former Californian, now living happily in a mid-western state, I experienced my first election in a true swing state. I know many people who voted for trump that are wonderful, caring, honest and hardworking neighbors, colleagues and friends. I also know many people who voted for Clinton, and are being very hopeful and gracious in their defeat. Leading up to the election I have heard SO MANY amazing conversations between people on firmly opposite sides of this political spectrum. They were conversations that looked for understanding and information, rather than arguments and ammunition. This is what tolerance, caring and respect looks like, and I am proud of my community for modeling this for each other and our children. Cori LaChapelle

BonnieH said...

I agree with most of what you said, although not all, and as always, you are very well spoken. You're the kind of person we need in politics (even though that very idea may make your skin crawl). I am neither liberal nor conservative completely. I have voted for both Republican and Democratic candidates. I admit I lean more liberal and the main reason is for basic human rights and decency, which Trump is walking all over. That said, I do have a very different experience, or perhaps just viewpoint, on reaction from my liberal friends. One or two have been mean and hateful, but most of them? They are upset and angry yes, but they not out of hate. They are sad, depressed, and very, very afraid. My conservative friends, on the other other hand, with the exception of you and one other, have been nasty. Get over it. Stop your whining. America has spoken. They totally miss the fact that the *majority* voted for Hillary Clinton and that it is only through the imperfect electoral college system that Trump won. I pray for our country and I will pray for President Trump as well. Nobody, but nobody, is beyond the reach of Christ's salvation. And God knows how much Trump needs it. He is a horrible, horrible human being and I am embarrassed and ashamed that we elected him.

Heather said...

I have to say, my reactions on my feed, and those of others who voted Trump have been exactly the opposite of Bonnie's. Very little gloating from the right; much hatred from the left. I don't feel "being told to get over it" is nearly as hateful as being called a "racist, homophobic, misogynistic uneducated person" is, personally. I think she hits upon one central problem that no one on either side is willing to address. What seems a basic human right to one, is not to another. And on that, how ever will two people agree. If the fundamental belief of one about marriage, abortion, voter ID, education, etc. To one person means one thing, and to another, a completely opposite thing... is there a middle ground both sides will or could be happy with? I'm to the point of feeling more, as long as the inclination is to call me homophobic, against women, racist, or elitist. And that's all I ever see nowadays from the left. Refusal to see we have just as good reasons for our beliefs as they do. I can understand totally the liberal position, whether I agree or not. But I no longer feel anyone wants to do more than name call when they disagree with mine. As for Trump, again, how can two different sides 180 degrees apart, ever move forward like this? Is he my favorite person? No. Do I think he's a "horrible, horrible" human being? No. Id actually place that label on her. I think he at least has some redeeming qualities. The best things he does no one will ever know about. Her? I find nothing redeeming in her. 20 years ago, maybe I could enthusiastically agree. But at the moment... I feel like it's 1859.