Tales from the Great Adventure

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul

stock-vector-donkey-and-elephant-symbols-political-parties-america-usa-elections-democrats-against-republicans-397735318Today’s post is a “Think Piece” on politics, and I’m hoping and praying for the opportunity to get inside the heads of as many people as possible and – maybe – influence their/your thinking.

The way my brain is ticking this morning I’m likely to get in trouble – both with my left-leaning and my right-leaning friends. But that’s okay.

Back when we lived in Tampa I was approached by “exploratory committees” representing both major parties, asking me to consider running for office. The Republicans wanted me on the school board; the Democrats wanted me in Tallahassee.

Both parties were convinced that I represented their fundamental viewpoints; in a way I did… and I still do.

Both parties were convinced that I represented their fundamental viewpoints; in a way I did… and I still do. Because it’s my conviction that each side of the aisle wants essentially the same thing, and that’s an America where everyone is valued and encouraged, where hard work and imagination are rewarded with opportunity, where we go out of our way to work together to facilitate progress, and where getting something accomplished is actually more important than being right.

So my remarks today are designed to encourage all of us to remember exactly what is important; and let’s be clear that what’s important is not the party, not the candidate, not Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump; what’s important in the context of politics is America, and our life together – in community – as citizens of this great land – and The World.

THE CANDIDATES: Now before I talk about the people running for POTUS, I need to make a quick reference to God. You see it’s my belief that God doesn’t care two hoots about our politics. But what our Creator does care about is justice, and mercy, and people walking humbly with God.

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
    and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
    and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8

God loves Donald Trump – just as much as God loves me; and God loves Hillary Clinton – with the same passion that God loves you. And God is crazy about America – just like God loves Palestine, and Iraq, and China, and Brazil, and England. Do you want to know who is on God’s “most highly favored nation” checklist? Fact is it’s all nations, every last one of them! God loves this world so much that God gave absolutely everything to make reconciliation possible.

Do you want to know who is on God’s “most highly favored nation” checklist? Fact is it’s all nations, every last one of them!

God is not partisan! And preachers who deliver rabidly partisan prayers and speeches, preachers who suggest that God lines up on the side of one political party in opposition to another, are so far out of line they do real harm to the gospel.

about_landing_2

Hillary Clinton with her family

DONALD AND HILLARY: So here’s an important point. People who do not want Trump to be President have gone far and away overboard, over the top in the exclusively negative way he is portrayed, his character, his credibility, and his views. Likewise those who are committed to seeing Clinton defeated are blustering, exaggerating, twisting, fabricating, misrepresenting, and passing on a largely contrived narrative.

I admit I am not a fan of Donald Trump; and it’s true that I can’t get excited about Hillary Clinton either. But this I do know; both candidates obviously love this country, and I believe they would do all in their power to uphold the oath of office.

I’ll bet I’d probably like Donald Trump if I got to sit down and share some coffee with him, and I’m sure a similar visit with Hillary Clinton would be a treat (my wife, Rebekah, spent three hours one morning working in close quarters with George Bush on a Habitat build when he was president – everything looks different when you relate to someone as another human being…).

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Donald Trump has a very real family

But we forget – accidentally, and willfully sometimes, and with a lot of help from media – that Donald and Hillary are two human beings, loved by their families, and treasured by God.

HOW TO VOTE? Make any decision you feel is the right one when it comes to voting. Do some objective research, approach the task humbly and prayerfully,  don’t be tied to “the party line,” and then vote your conscience. I can guarantee that good people who walk closely with God, and who do their best to be conscientious and fair, will still not necessarily agree.

But for goodness sake; for the sake of this country; for the sake of other people who love you (and happen to read your social media posts occasionally); for the sake of all we value and hold dear… enough already with the barrage of invective – and especially the hateful memes! We often wonder how disaffected young men are so easily “radicalized” – but have we ever considered how readily we tend walk along that path ourselves in these contentious times…?

IMG_3973MY JOB: I’ve written commentary, opinion, and news editorials for a decade now, and I have never said, “This is how you should vote,” or “This is how I’m going to vote.” But I have said, and I will say in the future, that I want each one of us to exercise our franchise in a manner that shows respect for the freedoms so many have sacrificed to secure, and that means showing respect for the process, and that means – yes it does! – a little more respect for those who disagree with us.

In the words of Jesus, “Peace, not as the world gives” – DEREK

 

10 thoughts on “Please consider this about Trump/Clinton…

  1. chris47 says:

    Well. I will.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. faithtofigs says:

    Thanks. I don’t know the long-term history of hateful rhetoric during presidential races but can remember it going back to Bush’ second run. I am thinking that such ugly negativity impacts the ability of the new president to function in his/her role, no matter which side “wins.” It seems that we are so divided that we have lost the ability to rally around the new leader with respect and a true desire to see government function for the good of the people it serves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim says:

    “Hateful” rhetoric (opinions differ greatly on that definition) have been around as long as political races have existed. We’ve allowed the balance of powers built on limited government to morph into a largely unelected and unaccountable cadre of technocrats who are all too willing to moralize and control our lives. Add to that mix one party whose current political power is based on convincing a large and ever growing swath of our citizens that they are “victims.” The results are not only very sad but are the polar opposite of our founding principles. This is not to suggest that a “strong man” or “strong woman” is the answer. It is not. This may well be the one election when simply voting one’s conscience isn’t an option.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Charles Willard says:

    Dear Derek,

    Yours is an attractive, even compelling invitation. It is difficult to resist and terribly difficult to undertake. One of the problems is that the two alternatives are not only just different; they are different in different ways. And it is hard, if not impossible to discern whether the observed differences are perceived as they are because of our own filters rather than reality … whatever “reality” is. Your friend, Charles

    Like

    1. derekmaul says:

      You’re right about the reality vacuum. It really is tough to be discerning in the face of so much manipulation. Peace to you and yours – DEREK

      Like

  5. Margie says:

    I easily agree with your comments. But, I find it very difficult to vote for a woman who had the title and ability to protect and secure these United States and tossed it all in the trash with her inability to protect our servicemen when their lives were in peril. Leaving them to die alone in a very foreign country. How can any American vote for a woman who is not honest, thinks more of self than country and from all accounts is difficult and untrustworthy to boot. I cannot sit back and be quiet about such negligence and stupidity….

    Like

    1. derekmaul says:

      Your thoughts on this are certainly noted. But I think you’ve missed the point about the problem with character assassination grounded in misinformation. My connections in the Pentagon (generals with multiple stars) confirm that the “leaving them to die” narrative and the vitriolic accusations turn out to be false. It’s evident that the Benghazi attack stories circulating on the Internet are largely contrived and not based in fact. That said, there are many reasons to find Clinton’s candidacy troubling, and I believe we’re better served referencing any number of those red flags.
      Thanks for your contribution to the conversation – DEREK

      Like

  6. akboogy says:

    It is important, like you said, to remember these two candidates are fellow human beings, flawed just like the rest of us. Thank you for reminding people of this in a compassionate and thoughtful way. In doing so, you’re faith truly surfaces, revealing the teachings your religion professes…so thank you.

    Like

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