On Tuesday America held a very contentious election, and today we honor current and former military personnel with Veteran’s Day. As the election results have been rolling in, people around the country have been expressing both hope and fear in loud, angry ways. Social media is practically unbearable right now as some gloat while others mourn. But tucked among those posts, I came across these thoughts from my very wise and well-spoken friend, Laura. Laura is a Godly woman, a former member of the Army National Guard, and one of the smartest people I know. She is a natural writer, and has put together her thoughts on the election with such eloquence that I asked her to let me share them with all of you. Please remember that if you chose to leave a comment on this page, it must be civil. You may disagree with certain points if you like, but any rude bashing of individuals will be removed. Thank you.
Today’s verse of the day struck a chord with me and I hope it resonates also with some of you. 1 Peter 2:15-16 “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.”
This election has polarized America, a country I love, a people I would gladly die to protect. There are a lot of problems with the way our government is run and many changes do need to happen. Whether right or wrong, THAT is the reason Donald Trump was elected. He was not elected based on his character (let’s face it, neither viable candidate would have been elected on character). He was not elected because Americans are filled with hatred for one another. On the contrary, the majority of Americans – even those who can’t see or don’t understand the plight of their fellow citizens – do not hate or fear their fellow Americans and residents.
My fellow Americans, we need to stop, take a step back, and breathe. Many of our fellow citizens and residents are scared of the future. They are afraid that the minority of hate-filled, bigoted Americans will send us 50 years (or more) back in time and they will lose the BASIC rights afforded to those who live here. Many are afraid that they will be unfairly and unjustly deported, many are afraid that their parents who aren’t here legally will be justly deported, still others believe they will again be judged by the color of their skin, their religion, or the lifestyle they live – and whether we agree with them or not, their fears are real. In some instances, their fears are justified. We have come a long way in America, and I would hate to see this country torn apart by hatred and fear.
I don’t know what the next four years holds. I don’t know if Trump is an answer to prayer, or a silver-tongued deceiver, but I do know that this is MY country. This is OUR country and “We the people” is more than just a line on a really old document. It cannot and will not fall apart unless we do. Is it possible for the next four years to be bleak, for it to take years after he leaves office to recover? Yes it is. But we’ve had bad leaders before who’ve made terrible mistakes – and we have recovered. Is it possible for us to be surprised by an unlikely leader who is both Republican and Democrat, who will actually try to work in the best interest of the country and its people? Yes it is. Is it possible for this to be just another four years of nothing amazingly good or bad – much like the last 2-3 years? Yes it is. Only time will tell what kind of leader he will evolve into, but “We the People” are what’s important here – regardless of what he or the government as a whole does.
So I call on my fellow believers, and fellow citizens who may not believe exactly as I do. Let’s silence the ignorant talk of foolish people, not by responding to hate with hate, but by doing good. Sometimes things get shaken up in our world to help us understand what is important. This country has lived through wars, through feast, through famine, through natural disaster, through politicians, and political movements because of its people. Because we are able to set aside our differences when it matters most and unite as brothers and sisters in one great American family.
So the next time you see someone voicing their fears, don’t attack their fears. You don’t know where they have been. Respond in love and let them know you are there for them and so are the majority of Americans. The next time you see someone acting out of hate, don’t react with more hate. Remind them how far we’ve come as a nation and that it doesn’t take hatred and violence to bring about the changes we need as a nation. Just like any family, it takes love, it takes respect, it takes compromise and understanding.