Deplorable? Hmmm!

20 10 2020

It was an inappropriate comment! Hillary Clinton’s calling half of Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables” was so much more than a regrettable comment. That kind of language, particularly from a presidential candidate, must always be condemned. If we didn’t learn it in kindergarten, then surely the last four years have taught us that words matter, and that name-calling never enhances communication nor encourages understanding between segments of the population that are at odds with one another. Hillary’s justifiable attempt to call out the racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic portions of the “MAGA” community was lost, all because she did so in such an offensive way.

As a follower of Jesus I believe that no one is deplorable! In the eyes of God no PERSON is ‘deserving of condemnation,’ which is actually what ‘deplorable’ means! But actions? At times actions MUST be condemned. And today, four years after Hillary made that claim against Donald Trump’s supporters, their actions must declared to be nothing less than deplorable. And even that, is putting it mildly!

For almost four years now we have had a president who has done nothing but attempt to monopolize the news-cycle with anything and everything that would draw attention to himself. Fact-checkers of every ilk have revealed a pattern of daily lying, and leaders of both political parties have expressed concerns about his ineptitude. He continues to stoke the worst sides of American culture: White privilege, patriarchy, Islamophobia, homophobia, selfish consumerism and narcissistic consumptionism. And he reveals his lack of character and integrity whenever he opens his mouth! His attitude and behavior are far too often, nothing less than deplorable.

Needless to say, continuing to support this man, after four years of him revealing who many of us have known him to be, is also deplorable! Sacrificing the office of the Presidency by putting such a poor example of what it means to be an American in the White House, because of some na├»ve attempt to turn back the clock on Roe v. Wade, as if the will of the vast majority of Americans regarding a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body, is deplorable! Continuing to selfishly support a man simply because of a concern for one’s own stock portfolio, or individual IRA or 401K, is also deplorable. And lest anyone reading this might possibly be a subscriber to the nonsense called Qanon, the belief that Donald Trump might be about some kind of grand scheme that could bring about good for anyone but himself is not just ignorant, but it too is deplorable. But most tragically, for anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus, refusing to acknowledge the mockery he has made of the Christian faith, and believing that one can, or should, ever overlook a person’s unGodly character, simply because we think they might further our political agendas, is . . . yes, deplorable. It is like getting into bed with the devil, and such action must always be condemned.

Failing to hold Donald Trump accountable for his failure to defend the constitution – with regard to voting rights, freedom of speech, the right to peaceful protests, and standing up to enemies both foreign and domestic — including Russia and White Pseudo-Supremacy — is deplorable.

Refusing to acknowledge his ignorance on the world stage, his marring of America’s reputation in international settings, and his failure to renounce the world’s most abusive and oppressive dictators, is deplorable!

Accepting his manipulative ways when it comes to disingenuous support for the military and military families, for religious freedom, and for the BIPOC community, is both ignorant AND deplorable.

And accepting his inexperienced, inept, and ill-informed leadership, as well as that of so many of his appointees, in so many important areas of American governance, is deplorable.

Over the past four years I have worked hard to try and understand how anyone could have voted for this man. I’ve spoken to his supporters, read countless articles and books, and watched interview after interview with those eager to “make America great again.” Some simply disliked Hillary too much to cast a vote for her. Others rightly thought Trump was the only one who could advance the evangelical part of the conservative agenda. And, like many Democrats who only vote for Democrats, some Republicans were only willing to vote for another Republican. There are all kinds of reasons people voted as they did in 2016, and not all of those reasons were deplorable! Nor were all of the people who voted for Trump.

But if after witnessing this administration’s assault on American life over the past four years, people are still willing to declare an allegiance to Donald Trump, then deplorable is a more than appropriate way to describe the politics of such people. Further, regarding Donald Trump as God’s ambassador, or any kind of Divine gift to America and the world, is nothing short of sin. It is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; and like any sin, needs to be acknowledged and confessed.

No! No person is deplorable. But actions are. And this president and his administration have offered up a basket-full of a deplorable actions. As such, is there really any better way to describe any continual and on-going support of him, or his administration? I don’t think so. Deplorable actually sums it up quite well.

Court over Country?

6 10 2020

For four years I’ve listened to many Republicans tell me how much they dislike our current President; and I’ve listened to many Evangelicals make it clear that their support for Donald Trump was not based upon his character, integrity, or Christ-likeness. Many of these people have even embraced with me, as well as with the vast majority of Americans, the belief that Donald Trump was unfit for the presidency; and that his moral, ethical, and character flaws were nothing less than offensive. But these sentiments were always minimized when these people placed them alongside their concern for the future of SCOTUS – the Supreme Court of the United States.

Abortion and immigration laws, freedom of religion and particularly Christian exceptionalism, limited government and free markets – all of these issues are continually making their way to the highest court in our country, and they are issues that rise above any concerns these people may have had about the President’s ignorance and incompetence. Transforming America’s lower courts has been a goal of the Republican Party for years; but now, with a Republican in the White House and Republicans controlling the Senate, the opportunity to refashion the Supreme Court was about to become icing on the GOP’s legislative cake.

Well, it now seems as though the Right has succeeded! In a few weeks we will likely have the court they have longed for, and a conservative majority will be established for generations to come. So now, can we please think about something more? Can we now, please, focus on something deeper, something dare I say, even more important? Can we now, please, think about the very nature of our democracy, and the character of country? Please!

First off, we all know that this president is not the brightest bulb in the closet! He doesn’t read, knows little about our constitution or the history of our democracy, and half the time can’t even put together a complete sentence. And while these realities may sound trite to some, he is the President of the United States of America! And there is nothing ‘great’ about ignorance and incompetence.

Second, he has surrounded himself with lawbreakers! No president in our history has had more indictments against advisors and/or friends than Donald Trump. Further, no president in our history has had so many defectors from his ‘team’ than Donald Trump; nor so many defectors who were so quick to write and speak out against him upon their departure. Seeing what they saw, and knowing what they now, has frightened far too many of them . . . so much so that they are now supporting Joe Biden for president.

Third, he and his family are out for no one but themselves. Whether talking about inauguration crowd attendance, portraits of himself that have been purchased for his properties, his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or any of his own bloated accounts of his record as president, Donald Trump is only interested in Donald Trump. Surely you know this, right? And his failure to pay federal income tax, whether through legal means or not, only puts on display for all to see, his disdain for our nation’s goals and our nation’s people!

Fourth, don’t we all also know that the Russians have got to have something on him? There is no way he would continue to coddle Putin unless the threat of personal exposure was being hung over his head. “Golden showers” are likely the least of Donald’s concerns, and his behavior prior to becoming president has compromised his judgement and put American security at risk every single day.

Fifth, and for me most important of all, the character and integrity of this man must be shunned. AND, it forces us to call into question the character and integrity of his supporters. For while deplorable may not be the appropriate word to describe them as a group, it is a more than appropriate word to describe their actions. His vulgar language and misogynistic behavior (including his cheating on all three of his wives!), his blatant racism and refusal to acknowledge the historic racism of our country — they are all signs of a morally bankrupt old man. And the White House is no place for such an individual, and the Cabinet is no place for anyone who would chose to follow him.

Now please notice that I have not even raised any policy issues, for I am well aware that there will never be agreement in this country on so many of the issues that have always divided Republicans and Democrats. But in spite of those differences, we have always been able to come together on issues involving the character of our President and the honor due the office. And sadly, that has not been the case for the past four years because of GOP concerns about the court. And I get that. I even accept that.

But now you’ve got your court. So please, can we return our focus to our country? Can we agree that politics aside, this crude and narcissistic ‘reality TV’ star is in no way deserving of the office he has held for the past four years? Can we at least agree that he certainly not worthy of holding it for another four? Can we put someone in office who will not intentionally stoke division and incivility among the American people, but who will rather work to serve ALL Americans and seek to find common ground upon which we might ALL stand? Can we elect a president who will restore our shattered image around the world, and who can speak and behave in ways that make us proud to call ourselves Americans? Can we please work to ensure that the occupant of the White House knows the difference between strength and arrogance, between compassion and weakness, between convictions and . . . bluster?

You’ve got your court. So please, can we now focus on our country? Because the three-ring circus that has gone on for the past four years has got to end! We’re all tired. And the time has come for all of us, to come together, to build, back, better!