Your next President is a 74-year-old carpenter, film maker, and politician. He plans to raise your taxes, give you free universal healthcare, make college a free ride for all, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, force large banks to downsize, guarantee you 12 weeks of paid medical and family leave to go with at least two weeks paid vacation, and start a universal child care program for children 0-3.
Without changing the prices on the value menu at McDonalds.
He believes that “climate change ravages our planet and our people – all because the wealthiest industry in the history of our planet has bribed politicians into ignoring science.” He says that “today in America, if you are black, you can be killed for getting a pack of Skittles during a basketball game. Or murdered in your church while you are praying” – as if no white, red, or brown people have ever been murdered. As for working for the LGBT activists, as President he will “sign into law the Equality Act, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, and any other bill that prohibits discrimination against LGBT people.” He also promises to “veto any legislation that purports to “protect” religious liberty at the expense of others’ rights.”
Say hello to Bernie Sanders.
He wasn’t supposed to have a snowball’s chance, but Hillary’s past is catching up with her. Today’s youth aren’t as enamored with the Clintons as their parents were, so despite the media’s attempt to keep her campaign alive, young democrats are joining up with Bernie and leaving her to flounder in her own email. By convention time, she’ll be history. In the party that chides the rest of us for lacking diversity, the old white man will defeat the old white lady.
Think I’m joking? I wish. But before you laugh too hard, take a look at this. I’m not the only one talking about it.
But with all conservative Republicans, independents, and Christians clamoring for change, how in the world will Bernie be able to defeat a more conservative candidate?
I’m not sure I can answer that from every angle. But there is one thing that I do know that makes it a little easier for him.
Christians take themselves out of the game.
Christians make elections about themselves instead of what they are intended to be: deciding who will fill a particular office. Some Christians have decided that inside the voting booth is where their religious convictions must be demonstrated, regardless of what it will cost their country. They’ve determined that they will only vote for a candidate whose stance on a particular moral issue is identical to theirs. If no candidate agrees with them, then they stay home and refuse to vote.
I’m not sure why they choose to draw the line at this particular spot. Maybe it’s because it is a free and painless demonstration. They can beat their chests and speak their minds and, personally, it costs them nothing. Say they felt that they shouldn’t support gay rights, for example. If all the candidates supported a gay agenda, then they could just say “we aren’t voting.” But if they said they weren’t going to do business with companies that support gay rights, then they’d have to take back that Macbook Pro and their kids’ iPhones, and unhook that Apple TV. That’s bit more involved than simply not going to the trouble to vote.
I’m not sure if that is the reason or not, but I know very few Christians who make the commitment not to vote who have made similar decisions in other parts of their lives. I’ve not known them to set criteria for the bank they would use, or the lawyer they would choose, or the financial advisor they would trust, or the football team they prefer. I don’t see them drawing the line at who designs their suits and ties, sells their favorite car, or arranges the Valentine bouquet they buy for their wives. Or teaches their children at school. Or owns the big resort with the famous mouse and duck that they – you get the picture?
Why must the voting booth, where it is impossible for anyone to know what you do inside, be the one place where our convictions must be on display?
When did voting become a religious ritual?
If you figure it out, let me know.
I do not write this in the hope that millions of Christians will read it and change their minds, and decide to vote in this Presidential election even if it is, in their minds, for the lessor of two evils. Those who have made this their battleground will die here before they’ll change.
So, click on his website and look around. And remember that one vote cast in the favor of his opponent would require two votes to overcome. Then, pray that God will move on a bunch of heathens with no convictions to vote for his opponent so we Christians, including those whose convictions won’t let them vote, can enjoy a few more years of this fading liberty and, perhaps, reach a few more lost souls.
RockyJanuary 28, 2016 at 6:42 pm
What if I’m a Christian who supports Sanders? Shame on you for associated faith and politics into one.
Doug EllingsworthJanuary 28, 2016 at 10:48 pm
By all means, vote for who best represents your values. That’s the point. But many conservative Christians, to whom my blog is aimed, traditionally do not vote in presidential elections unless a candidate’s position agrees with their religious views. For these, the official Democrat party platform would prevent them from voting for the democrat nominee. But by not voting, they tilt the odds toward the democrat nominee.
Stephen StoutJanuary 31, 2016 at 7:03 am
If the election is between Hilary and Trump, I will not vote. That’s like voting for Satan or Satan. They’re one and the same. At least Sanders has conviction. I can respect that.
MattFebruary 24, 2016 at 11:29 pm
Hi, Doug –
I hope this message finds you, your family, and your flock well. I have to admit that I gave up Facebook and missed this post, but it was brought to my attention by a recent conversation with my wife when she said, “Did you see that your former pastor wrote a great endorsement of Bernie Sanders?!”
Of course, on reading your post it was clear that you intended nothing of the sort. But given the events of the past few weeks it seemed an excellent opportunity to ask, “Why not?”
Now that Donald Trump has virtually secured the Republican nomination for President it seems incumbent on us to confront the reality of the challenges faced by our country. Although you and I will likely never agree on the appropriate legal status of abortion or our LBGT fellow citizens, there are a number of things that I genuinely believe we can agree on. These are, in my opinion, matters of far more meaning for the members of your church and a community for which I continue to harbor a great deal of love.
First, I wholeheartedly agree with you that, “Some Christians have decided that inside the voting booth is where their religious convictions must be demonstrated, regardless of what it will cost their country.” It is a fundamental fallacy that government must align with our moral codes to be effective. Indeed, the function of government has and never will be to provide direction to the souls of our country – this is the reason for the church and I wholeheartedly believe the church has more to do to be the agent of good in this arena.
Which leaves us with Senator Sanders’ arguments, the most fundamental of which is that “the system is rigged.” As someone from the community you serve, I have witnessed firsthand the impact of the last thirty years of federal policy and I agree with this position. From Reagan to Clinton and Bush to Obama policies have been fundamentally similar in their purpose and effect: increase deregulation of corporations and minimize the political voice of working people. There are numerous policies to point out, but the end result is clear – the American worker is working harder for less.
The evidence of this is clear in our community. The number of incredibly skilled people of my parents’ age – many that were critical mentors to me – that are now working for less wages than they had when I was a young man (and we can’t even address what that means in terms of inflation) are…well, everyone. The expense of providing our community’s children the same opportunity to go to college that I had has become so astronomical as to not be worthy of consideration in many cases. And the number of families that cannot meet their basic needs has expanded to an extent that what was once within the ability of the church to provide has become an impossibility.
Bernie Sanders is nobody’s idea of a solution. But at a minimum he has begun a conversation in which both of us can get engaged. Certainly, Donald Trump’s brutal machismo or Hillary Clinton’s crony status-quo can’t answer the needs of the community that we both love.
If we are to save our country it will take people like you and I – people who have fundamental disagreements about the “right thing to do” on issues of morality – to come together and find the “best way forward” when it comes to governing ourselves and protecting our communities from the massive wealth that so skews our politics. So long as we allow “the powers that be” to dictate a narrative of winner-take-all politics we risk tipping our country into paralysis at best, and totalitarianism at worst.
There are far uglier ideas waiting in the wings of the world stage to take over should we fail to find compromise.
Doug EllingsworthFebruary 26, 2016 at 2:04 am
Thanks for reading my post – and thank your kind wife for pushing you to it!
While we might debate some of the whys and hows, the center of your analysis is dead on: our country is at a critical stage and we need to come together to seek solutions. Too many of our politicians run on a pledge to make a difference, but quickly seem to become more interested in preserving their position and perks than in working for meaningful change.
The point of my post was to (hopefully) cause some Christians to reconsider some positions they’ve taken regarding voting. Many have said they will not vote for a presidential candidate who supports abortion, for instance. Back in the 1970’s-80’s, these claims were easy to make because not many seeking national office would publicly support abortion. I was hoping to make these folks see that by not voting they were making it easier for someone whose platform they would not approve to be elected.
I believe we are stewards of what God has given us. For me, that includes this democratic republic government. To not vote is to shirk the responsibility we have to preserve our freedoms and respond to our changing world. To expect a candidate to surface who embraces all that I feel is right and good is simply wishful thinking. But my responsibility remains.
Thanks, again, for reading my “stuff.” I trust the move to the new city brings much contentment and fulfillment.
AndyJanuary 27, 2018 at 11:05 pm
As someone who WAS a never-Trumper, Cruz guy, I look back and find this article and comments hilarious. I’ve had to repeatedly apologize every time Trump supported a conservative policy that I agree with. I never thought in a million years that Hollywood billionaire Donald J Trump would govern as a conservative, Republican President that actually stood by 9/10 of his campaign promises(so far) and make it look like Obama was never in office for 8 years.