Electing to Speak Out

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Four thoughts on the 2016 election:

1. The Silent Majority

The outcome of this presidential election was a huge shock to most of America, largely because everyone talking about the election seemed to be a Hillary supporter. Between the ever-present liberal media coverage and the most vocal of our friends and colleagues, everyone seemed to be voting blue, leading the nation to assume Trump had basically no shot at winning. The key mistake, I believe, was that we as a nation only listened to those who were talking. But so much more was going on in the undercurrents of our country’s populace.

Trump supporters made up a SILENT majority. Most people who voted for Trump did so half-heartedly. Few people think he is a moral, upstanding man worthy of our respect as a person. But many voters would rather have Trump in office than Hillary; even so, they felt shamed into silence. The first person who admitted to me that they voted for Trump did so by saying reluctantly, “I’m guilty. I’m one of the deplorables.” The general consensus among this group seems to be: “I’m disappointed Trump won, but I’m glad Hillary didn’t.”

Throughout the entire process, Trump voters remained a Silent Majority. Before the election, the American media led us all to believe Trump had no chance of victory. The night of the election, my social media feeds were full of Hillary supporters asking in shock, “Is this really happening?” And post-election, everyone around me keeps talking about how angry and upset they are that such a “racist, bullying bigot” is our President Elect. Every conversation around me seems to include the words: hurt, confused and scared. It’s still Hillary supporters doing most of the talking. Trump voters remain a Silent Majority. But the Silent Majority has spoken.

2. The Swing of the Pendulum 

All of the polls and logical rationale pointed to Hillary being named the first female president, but if we throw away all the analysis and use intuition instead, it’s actually not so surprising that Trump won.

After Bill Clinton’s escapades with Monica, the nation wanted the squeaky-clean and morally upright George W. Bush for president. After good ol’ boy “W”, the nation voted in the intellectual and well-spoken Barack Obama. We as a nation repeatedly seek out change, and the pendulum ever swings to the opposite extreme (many of us do this with significant others as well).

Trump is the antithesis of Obama and therefore – from this purely intuitive, psychological perspective – he fit the pattern and was the obvious choice of American voters as a whole.

3. Third Party Voters

I have been amazed by how many of my friends have admitted in the past 24 hours that they voted Third Party. When I’ve asked them if they believed Gary Johnson (or other third parties, for that matter) had any chance of winning, they all said “No.” When I asked if they had a preference between Trump and Clinton, most of them said “Yes.” None of them are indifferent to the outcome; they are all either outraged or relieved.

I understand from an ideological perspective why someone would vote Third Party. My inner child and idealist would have loved to vote for a Third Party rather than the two primary options afforded to us. But no one was under the illusion that a Third Party candidate had a chance at the win, so practicality insisted that a decision be made.

Every time I find out that yet another friend voted Third Party, I feel hurt, frustrated and (honestly) used. Again, I understand the decision, but it makes feel like – whether my friend’s preference was Trump over Hillary or vice versa – they opted to take the “moral high ground” and keep their own hands and consciences “clean”, all the while hoping the rest of us would dirty our hands and sell our souls to get the “win” for them. I wish they would have helped to share the burden.

4. Racism & Moving to Canada

The Canadian immigration website crashed on Tuesday night. That is amusing to me. What is not amusing are the hateful, racist comments being posted across social media in the wake of the election.

Most Americans – even Trump voters – acknowledge that Trump has made a number of horrible, racist comments. And I have heard stories that help me understand the fear and concern of minorities. But many of these same minorities have started to post horrible, racist comments themselves as a backlash against all caucasians.

One of my own Facebook friends wrote yesterday: “We see you, white people. We will always remember how we’ve been treated, and one day, you’ll pay. We are coming for you, f***ing white people. We see you.”

This is deeply disturbing to me. Do they not realize that, in making these comments, they are guilty of the very crime – racism! – of which they accuse caucasians in their broad, sweeping, embittered, racist generalizations? Not all white people voted for Trump, and not all Trump voters condone his racist comments. Hatred will only propagate more hatred. We need to stop this cycle.

On a lighter note:

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Just saying.

Authentically Aurora

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Clinton’s Incredible Health

incredible [inˈkredəb(ə)l]- (adj.) not credible; without credence; not to be believed

My office building has a Starbucks in the lobby, and yesterday while waiting for my coffee, I passively watched the morning news on a nearby TV screen. Representative Steny Hoyer was being interviewed on NBC, and because of the noise level in the coffee shop, subtitles were turned on.

clinton-healthAlthough uninterested at first, I soon read that Rep. Hoyer (D) was being questioned about the state of Hillary Clinton’s health. This again? What about the real issues? 

I do not wish ill on Hillary. As Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson said, “Look, I hope she gets well, and I hope this doesn’t linger. Pneumonia is a really serious thing, but you know what, running for president, that’ll do it to you.” If she really is sick, I hope she gets better. And if she’s not, I hope she stops fabricating fictional news to distract from the real issues.

Focusing my attention on the TV screen, I could not hear what Rep. Hoyer was saying, but I read the subtitles and laughed out loud when I saw these words: “…the results of a full physical examination by incredible medical professionals…”

He went on to say how strong and healthy Clinton is; that voters have no reason to be concerned. As a Democratic Representative, I have to wonder how carefully he chose his words. He wants the full medical report to be shared with voters – physical exam results from incredible medical professionals.

incredible [inˈkredəb(ə)l]- (adj.) not credible; without credence; not to be believed

Whether Hillary is facing serious health issues or not, I have no doubt that she is in the hands of some incredible medical professionals who can churn out whatever physical results best suit her campaign.

I love America. We really do have some incredible politicians.

Authentically Aurora

Love Didn’t Win

SCOTUS 2On Friday morning when I woke up, I was surrounded by hashtags of #loveislove and social media postings that “Love Won: In a historic ruling, the Supreme Court has decided in favor of marriage equality.”

I was supposed to be packing for my move, with a moving company showing up at 8:00 a.m. the next morning and only half of my apartment boxed up. I was supposed to be prepping for an interview I had just hours later on Friday afternoon. I was supposed to be showering and doing laundry because, you know, interviewers prefer that you don’t show up smelling like you haven’t showered in two days. But I was distracted by a heavy heart because, in this historic ruling, love didn’t win.

Love didn’t win. And what makes it all the more painful is the number of people who genuinely believe that love won. I can understand the mindset and the worldview of wanting “equality” for everyone. I am opposed to slavery and am grateful for the steps toward equal rights for African Americans in the United States. I am opposed to sexism and am so thankful to live in an era where women are allowed to vote, go to college and compete with men for jobs in engineering and medicine. And I believe that all human beings have dignity, value and worth. But I cannot support gay marriage.

I have homosexual friends, and I genuinely want them to be happy. But at my core, I do not believe that marrying someone of the same gender is ultimately for their good; I do not believe it will result in true and lasting joy. I believe that God created this earth and, as the Creator, He knows intimately the scientific laws of the universe, the psychology of the human mind, the tendencies of the human heart. When God speaks to Job, he says:

“Who is this that questions my wisdom
    with such ignorant words?
Brace yourself like a man,
    because I have some questions for you,
    and you must answer them.

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know so much.
Who determined its dimensions…?
What supports its foundations,
    and who laid its cornerstone…?

“Who kept the sea inside its boundaries
    as it burst from the womb,
and as I clothed it with clouds
    and wrapped it in thick darkness?
For I locked it behind barred gates,
    limiting its shores.
I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come.
    Here your proud waves must stop!’

“Have you ever commanded the morning to appear
    and caused the dawn to rise in the east?
Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth,
    to bring an end to the night’s wickedness…?

Do you know where the gates of death are located?
    Have you seen the gates of utter gloom?
Do you realize the extent of the earth?
    Tell me about it if you know!”

God knows the rules of the game because He created it! If we love ourselves and seek happiness, might it be prudent to seek wisdom from the One who knows all, sees all, and loves us unconditionally?

SCOTUSWe all have that friend who is dating someone who is wrong for them – that girlfriend of ours who is dating a guy who doesn’t treat her with respect, or that guy friend who is dating a girl who manipulates him constantly. Because we want our friends to be happy, we try to support them, but if we really loved them, perhaps we would have the courage to speak up and say, “I love you, and I want you to be happy, but I’m not sure he/she is right for you. I don’t think he/she will ultimately bring you joy.”

I tend to have Libertarian leanings. I am Pro-Life, opposed to gay marriage, and in support of keeping “under God” in the pledge. But I also acknowledge that I cannot ask people to subscribe to values that they do not believe in. If someone is not a Christian and does not believe that the Creator of the universe has declared homosexuality to be wayward behavior that will not result in lasting joy, how could I expect that person to understand my stance or, still further, to abide by it?

At the end of the day, this is what I would hope my friends, family, acquaintances and the world would hear: God loves us more than we could ever understand. And because of that love, He has given us guidelines that will lead to our joy if we receive His divine wisdom and live it out.

Some people think that God’s command not to engage in premarital sex is cruel and confining; they believe that somehow God is opposed to pleasure and happiness. But I say to you that God created sex! It was His idea! And He wants us to enjoy pleasure and experience happiness. But He knows what will lead to our ultimate joy, and that is to be patient and wait until marriage. How many married couples look back on their youth and think, “Man, I really wish I’d fooled around with more people before I got married!”?

Wives, how many of you have insecurities because your husbands made love to other women before he met you? Is he comparing me to her? Is he thinking of her when he’s with me? Premarital sex undermines the marriage, and – knowing that – God in His love and wisdom asks us to wait.

In the same way, God in His love asks us not to engage in homosexuality. And this is why, on a day when so many others are celebrating, I can only wonder at the atmosphere of heaven on this historic day – our loving God, reaching out to his wayward children, heart broken because He has given us the freedom to choose, and we did not choose Love.

But this I remember, and I have hope: God’s mercies are new every morning; great is His faithfulness. No authorities have power that God did not grant them (Rom. 13:1). God was not surprised by this ruling; He is sovereign and knew about this day before the beginning of time (Eph. 1). And although the prince of this world may have won this battle, we know that God already has the victory. The War is already won!

Authentically Aurora