By Julia Amting
*sigh* It’s over, guys. The grueling campaigning is finally finally finished.
Even on here you will find a piece about these 2016 elections. Even from me, someone who hates politics and political discussions with a passion. But I do love my country, and I do care about our future. Like so many people, I have not been able to get it off my mind for months. No, I am not ecstatic about this year’s’ election results. But most of America will agree with me when I say that an all around good outcome was impossible.
But what I have observed about this election is that we have made it a question of principle, more than of liberal and conservative platforms. If you support Donald Trump, that means you somehow justify his horrifying comments by some other benefit that comes from electing a Republican and pro-life president, and a person with a non-political history. Likewise, your vote or support for Hillary Clinton goes along with justifying her crazy political history, her lies, and her emails, by electing someone who appears more level headed or aligns with your own views.
Because this election has come down, for most people, to the question of principle, it has become extremely personal and divisive. Among Republicans and Democrats alike. It seems like no one has been, or even now is able to talk about anything besides politics. And fear. A huge amount of fear of what can and will happen in this country and the world as a result of this election. And that’s what scares me most. People who are afraid do crazy things, and nothing good can possibly come from that. Not to mention other countries taking advantage of a paralyzed America, especially with terrorism at it’s peak.
We all need to take a chill pill. And by chill pill, I mean not that we have to stop caring about what’s important to us. I mean that we have to be a people of prayer, a people of trust in the will of God. To look at the big picture. I don’t think the Founding Fathers intended politics to so utterly consume us, as it has in the last months. Yes, it is absolutely vital that we be thoroughly educated, and take an active part in our beautiful God-given system of democracy, and to talk about it. But to lose friends, to take part in horrible arguments, to ridicule the fellow Americans on the opposite side, to not let our thoughts and conversations and Facebook posts be about anything else? I think not.
As Americans, and especially as Christians, we can’t afford to be a people of fear. (Remember what I said about fear a couple weeks ago?) The deed is done, regardless of whether you personally view it as the better or worse result. All we can do now is try to restore what has been torn apart in this repulsive campaign. And that is our courage, and our respect and love for one another. Our American unity that has brought us through atrocities like World War II and 9/11, and consist of the values on which our country was founded. And here is how I believe we need to approach this restoration, this healing of the American spirit.
It must start in our households, in ourselves, and in our closest circles. Nothing will be fixed by our anger. Nothing can be fixed by our closed mindedness. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
We must try to understand how other people think. Liberals to conservatives, and conservatives to liberals. To respect people because they are people, created in the image and likeness of God, and not for their political beliefs. To do as St. Paul said, to “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient; bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2). To understand why people believe what they believe. Stop getting lost in being “offended”. We need to be a people of love.
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!