My Honest View of Faith vs. Trump

Every once in a while I have a discussion with my thirties-something son about politics. My intelligent and thoughtful son has observed that a divide has risen among evangelical Christians regarding Donald Trump as president. Generations below my own apparently do not understand why conservative Christians enthusiastically support Mr. Trump. He seems to repel many. They see straight through the person and see the purity issue failures in his past. And they see any evangelical support of him as blatant hypocrisy. My son (any many in his age group) are really curious (and somewhat appalled) why Christians would openly embrace or support such a person?

Right away in our discussion I made it known that I’ve never personally liked the individual holding the highest office in our land right now. The man doesn’t embody the type of person that I would ever admire, especially as a 3 times husband and father from multiple marriages. It’s an odd mix of liberal social thought coupled with seemingly solid family units. Perhaps the man closed the book on his playboy lifestyle some time ago and settled into being a committed husband and father? Maybe he lived his early and mid-life off the rails and somehow found his way back to the tracks?

The businessman turned president has traveled for years in circles with rich and famous globally. He’s rubbed elbows with elite and powerful folks all of his adult life. As a reality TV show host he displayed his brash and bold business style and made many of us cringe to think we would ever have such a boss who would fire people on a whim.

He is a mover and a shaker. He makes things happen in the business world that few could ever claim. And he brags about it. Most of us were taught to keep our bragging to ourselves. Yet he uses his infamous tweets to springboard his ideas into our media frenzied society. His bully pulpit is employed on a daily basis to stir the pot.  I’ve always said that he lights the firecracker and then enjoys watching his detractors run and squeal like wounded animals. I think he fuels current debate topics and then while everyone is all stirred up he moves on to make some other deal. He just messes with his critical audience and toys with them incessantly.

Yet Donald the businessman appeals to people with big money because he provides them places to visit and enjoy. From fabulous golf resorts to fancy hotels in exotic locations throughout the world he aims to please and is rewarded handsomely for his efforts. And the people who visit his properties aren’t the ones of society that are concerned with the cost. They are ones looking for the opulent choice. Such places might be a dream to mainstream America because they (we) will never have the chance to be one of his valued customers. Most of us are way out of his class and thought processes.

But Mr. Trump has found a friend in rural and much of urban America. And one reason I think he has gotten this support is that he is not afraid of poking people in the eye for what many of us see as injustices. He calls people out. He shoots from the hip and says what many were already thinking. He has a way of relating to people in the sphere of mainstream America. He appears to “get” how they are feeling and masterfully taps into that with his folksy off-script events. He energizes his crowds more than we’ve seen in generations. They are lock-step with him, flaws and all.

He is a capitalist in the truest sense. Capitalism is freedom in its truest form. One major greatness of America comes from our individualist freedom. If you can think up a product or service in America, which others might need or enjoy, you have the freedom to create such a business and make a nice profit, if you do it well. Birthing solid profitable businesses creates a positive ripple effects that spew profit and jobs to many in that downhill flow.

When we elect someone to public office it is natural for any prospective voter to review every aspect of a candidate’s life and background. We size them up to see if we like who they are as people. We also evaluate them (rightfully so) on the merits of what they might bring to the table in skills and expertise and based on the office that they will hold. But in the case of Donald Trump we find that his willingness to take on the status quo (in both parties) appeals to many who at just tired of the political gamesmanship that’s been part of our landscape WAY too long. If we truly embrace a capitalist way of life the office of the presidency does leads the charge for business, whether we like it or not.

Trump may not be my candidate of choice based on my social or personal view of him. But we elect someone to preside and command, not lead a Christian congregation as a pastor would. When he was elected, I rather doubted that he would embrace conservative values and programs at all. My greatest hope after his election was the possibility that he’d have the chance to re-balance the Supreme Court. He did follow that path and his choices so far have kept the court from straying too far left. In my humble opinion, the balance of the court was the most important aspect of the 2016 election. opinion.

It is my belief that evangelical believers have been watching closely to see if this president really supports conservative values by his actions, and not just his words. So far he’s done that bidding in big ways. Those same Christians would never exhibit such tactics as in their pursuit of change. But I think Trump’s personality seems to be viewed like Goliath facing and taking down a lot of the the Giants in the political arena (on both sides). Underdogs seem to find a strong friend in Donald Trump.

So we are left with a choice. Some say it’s the lesser of two evils. As I told my son, I just don’t see anyone on the left side of this equation that has plan or ability to take our country in a way that I can positively embrace. So for the time being this right-wing social conservative deplorable will stay in the basket with a flawed guy who seems oddly enough wanting to make America conservative and Christian again.

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Democratic Bickering Resolution – 101

I avoid political things nowadays (on social media and other places).

But everything political, governmental or social issues are now IN OUR FACE  – and controversial to the core. Current topics and issues in our country are dividing and conquering us. We are becoming bitter enemies by things we believe or state (either out loud verbally or by posting to some form of social media). We are in one continuous slug fest with family, friends and co-workers.

Considering the technology that we enjoy in 2017, have you ever wondered why we’ve not really heard much about solving our governmental and voting differences by doing so using the available technology and being able to vote electronically?

What if we could solve all of the bickering within a matter of days or hours by simply casting an electronic ballot on issues? The electorate could truly have a voice, and a quick one at that. From referendums or new proposals for laws WE could make real decisions on issues facing our country. Our representative form of government needs serious tweaking.

This could be our answer!

Such a plan could be done at every level of governing. Local, state and national elections would all be done this way.  I know there would be naysayers of every persuasion that say this is unfair and that poor people would not be able to cast a vote or it would be a burden on them to do so. Correct me if I am wrong, but most of the panhandlers on the street corners and even people living under the bridge are quick to whip out their smartphones when they need to. In 2017 you are going to be hard pressed to find someone who does not have some form of current electronic technology, usually in their pocket or purse. We know that because of government programs that have given away such phones to people “in need”.

So I propose that every level of government devise a way for people to be able to vote on issues electronically. It would be quick and sure. If handled with all of the security and safety precautions it would be an honest and precise process. And voting totals could be confirmed after a simple keyboard request to tally the results.

Of course the key to the success of such a plan would be in on the front end – the vetting process. Before you could get a login and password to vote as a bona fide and registered voter, you’d have to prove several things.

  1. Prove that you are a citizen of our country (electronic copies of birth certificates) 2. Prove that you are still alive (easy through social security number verification). 3. Prove your residency for your voting precinct. Getting all parties to agree on what is required to prove you are eligible to vote will be the biggest fight you’ve ever seen. But once this is resolved and set in stone the real decisions of democracy could be determined quickly and accurately.

I truly believe this would be a fair and equitable way to make up or down decisions. And one of the BIG benefits of such a plan would make it easier for many people who claim to be disenfranchised for whatever reason would be able to be heard. And that could happen easily. But as with everything, the devil will be in the details.

Voter apathy in the United States has been a sad thing to watch.  But with the advent of the internet and things like social media people are now engaged in current affairs like never before. I say that if you take a guy (or girl) who has never voted before in their life and show them a current hot button revision of our law that they could make their voice be heard by a simple electronic vote that would take less than 5 minutes of time from the comfort of a recliner, I’d say we could increase greatly the number of participating citizens. And they could be involved in every decision at every level of government.

I know that such a plan could be easily done AFTER some very heavy lifting required to get us out of the current mode of operation that we languish in. But the results could be realized in short order and implemented without months and years of red tape and delay. If only we would consider making this change.

We really need to stop all of the bickering and fighting and name calling. We are better people that what we see in the news (fake or not) and on social media. The truth is we are not a very social society currently.

We need real and lasting change from our elected representative government types. We (the people) need to be the ones deciding things in this country and not a bunch of loose cannons that vote their own consciences on every conceivable thing – that WE face.

I welcome comments and suggestion about such a proposal.

Pollsters, Pundits and Panderers

They all seem to know who is going to get the nomination. Their formulas use every form of math imaginable to man. The scenarios are wilder than remote Alaska. Everybody thinks they have it “figured out”. In the meantime good people from all over this land sit silently by and watch and listen, but just barely.

Then there’s the media. They always have their darlings. And sometimes those names change from month to month. There’s ALWAYS a slanted perspective, even for the network that claims to be “fair and balanced”. They have their favorites too.

But come election day (I early voted) the polls and the pundits don’t matter. They are all revealed for what they really are – panderers. For the truly serious voter what matters is substance, not sound bites. Experience and voting records are magnanimously more crucial than the pettiness of name calling or backbiting.

For the person running, just tell me who you are. Let others who know you also tell me who you are and what you REALLY stand for. Informed American voters vote their conscience. They look beyond the quips and the quirks. They look to the “soul” of the candidate to make their choice.

I was actually undecided before walking into the cubby to cast my vote last week. As I looked at all of the names on the list I felt a little sorry for the people who ran and then bailed. But for the names still left I voted for the one that best represents what I want America to be. My decision wasn’t based on emotion or how good the person appeared to be. I chose them to represent me and the values I embrace.

As this election cycle continues, I trust that others will also put aside what I avoided – the noise – and just do what feels right for you.

For those of who think they’ve got this all figured out with polls or whatever, please just shut it and let people vote.