Final Thoughts before the Election

Even though I haven’t written about the election before except to urge everyone to vote, I couldn’t keep silent today.

If you’re like me, you’re probably sick and tired of this year’s presidential election. Even though it’s only two days away, there’s no telling how much more political junk mail will show up in my Inbox between now and Tuesday. That may be true for you, too.

Unfortunately, we can’t bury our heads in the sand. This election is one of the most pivotal–probably the most pivotal–in America’s history. Our very future depends on the results.

Yet most of us look at our choices (feel free to disagree with my viewpoint) and cringe…

  • A woman who will possibly soon be facing serious criminal charges. A woman who would build upon the policies of the president who I believe will one day be remembered as one of America’s worst. A woman who claims to have accomplished great things, but has done little more than grow extremely wealthy.
  • A man whose mouth is as big as his hair and who does much of his speaking without thinking about the consequences. A man who seems to get angry easily. A man who bravely opposes everything that’s wrong in Washington but doesn’t have any experience in governing, even at the local level.

What will happen to this country when one of these individuals becomes POTUS (President of the United States)? That’s the big question. A mystery. A scary one.

I’m not afraid of the election, however. God can use either person to accomplish His purposes for America. There must be hundreds of examples throughout history of the good things even the most evil leaders have accomplished, but what comes to mind immediately is King Herod. Yes, the same one who had all the male babies killed in order to try to prevent Jesus from becoming his rival. A truly evil man. Yet he rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem. Even the worst of leaders isn’t always all bad.

We typically get caught up in what the candidates say or claim to believe about the issues each of us cares most about, whether it’s the sanctity of life, the protection of religious freedom, gun rights, ISIS, the economy…

The list seems endless.

I believe there’s only one important issue. Everything else will be affected by it one way or another–the Supreme Court.

If you look back at the Constitution–have you read it recently?–you’ll see that the Supreme Court was designed to have VERY limited powers. And Congress alone was given the power to make laws. Yet over the years, the Supreme Court has become the most powerful branch of the government rather than the weakest, and those appointed officials on the bench–we the people don’t get to vote on them–effectively use their own prejudices and beliefs rather than the Constitution to make decisions about things the Constitution never intended for them to have any say about. And those decisions effectively become law, even though technically each one applies only to a single case.

That kind of power is dangerous, and it’s leading America downhill. The ability to appoint new Justices will make the difference between America becoming a third world socialist state or remaining a model constitutional republic.

I can’t tell you who to vote for. I wouldn’t deny your freedom to vote for your choice of candidates, no matter how much I might disagree with your choice. It’s truly pathetic, however, that because of the biases of the media we depend on for truth, few Americans have the information they need in order to vote intelligently.

I believe I know enough to vote for Donald Trump, however. Not because I like the man. I don’t. Not because I think he has enough experience. He doesn’t. Not because I think he’s a model American or even a man I would want to be like. I have many doubts about him.

But I believe he is sincere in wanting to change things in Washington and make America great once again. And that he is committed to choosing future Supreme Court Justices wisely. That makes him worth my vote.

I never know who reads this blog. I have expressed a combination of fact and opinion today. I trust you will be as tolerant of my views as I promise to be of yours if you express them courteously. Your comments are welcome.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Aging: Plus or Minus?

I just spent an hour or so trying to write a decent post on a serious subject, and I ended up too depressed to finish it. Not good. So I decided to try something different.

As many of you know, I’m just a few months away from turning seventy. What you may not know is I have mixed feelings about it. So if you’ll permit me to look at the pluses and minuses of aging, I’ll be grateful.

Plus: I’m retired, and I have very few required activities. Most of those can be done at my leisure. I’m free to pursue my writing and play my guitar whenever I like and continue recording my compositions at home.
Minus: Despite the variety of activities I enjoy doing, if I’m not careful, even the best of those activities can become routine.

Minus: I take a variety of kinds of medicines and still have aches and pains that seemingly have no cause.
Plus: Those medicines help to keep me in what I would basically consider good health.  Why should I be upset? I don’t gripe about having to wear glasses, do I? And the undiagnosable aches and pains aren’t that horrible. Yet.

Minus: Each week at my church’s nursing home ministry, I can’t keep from wondering whether I’ll someday need to use the LTC (Long term care) insurance we finally decided we’d be foolish not to have.
Plus: I’m not in a nursing home yet, and I don’t have any conditions that make LTC living seem likely in the foreseeable future. And if I do end up in a nursing home, maybe by then I’ll be sufficiently, uh, not-myself to care.

Minus: I can’t do everything I used to be able to do.
Plus: I should be thankful for how many of them I can still do. Sure, my agility makes my guitar playing harder at times, but at least I can still play. In fact, I can’t think of anything I can’t still do at all. Maybe just not as well or as quickly.

Minus: I’m becoming more forgetful.
Plus: At least I haven’t forgotten anything important. And I’ve always had trouble remembering people’s names and faces. Did I honestly expect that to improve with age?

Minus: With the extra time I have now, I’ve become more interested in politics. And I’ve become more concerned about the decline in American values, especially during the last eight years. It’s depressing. Especially considering our choices in the upcoming election.
Plus: I can still vote and I can still pray. It may not be in God’s will to restore America’s greatness, but I have every confidence that He can.  I believe in the power of prayer, and that makes me feel so much better.

Minus: In spite of everything, I know I’ll continue to age and deteriorate until the end comes.
Plus: Hmm. That’s true for all of us, isn’t it? But as a Christian, I have the promise of Heaven to look forward to. That should relieve me of my complaints about any aspect of aging.

Do you have any particular pluses and minuses about the idea of aging? How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Why Vote?

Okay, so this topic might seem more appropriate for this November rather than right now. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently and wanted to go ahead and express my thoughts. Who knows? Maybe I’ll re-post this again closer to November.

If you’re like many of us, you may be horrified at the available choices for our next president. I suspect that’s true regardless of your party affiliation.

The people have supposedly spoken in the primary elections, but since there are no consistent requirements for how the primaries are handled or what the results actually mean, who knows whether the majority of Americans are actually in favor of the  presumed candidates for each party?

That puts many of us in a quandary. If we don’t like either candidate, why vote at all?

I like what a friend of mine shared about the way elections are held in Colombia, a nation in South America. If neither candidate gets a clear majority, voters at the poll get to demand that they be given different candidates to consider.

If I recall correctly, voting in Australia is legally required. A bit extreme for America’s tastes, perhaps. Being free to make a choice also requires the freedom not to have to.

And too many Americans are convinced either that their votes won’t make a difference OR they refuse to support an undesirable candidate in the hopes of defeating an even more undesirable one.

I recently saw what struck me as a rather exaggerated excuse. Something like “I wouldn’t vote for Hitler, would I?”

I wonder whether the people of Germany would’ve voted overwhelmingly for Hitler if they’d had their eyes open. And I wonder whether that may be the situation with this November’s election as well.

Both of the presumed candidates appear dangerous to me and to a number of other Americans. I’m not writing here to advocate either party or either candidate.

What I do want to do is encourage everyone to vote in November, no matter how reluctantly. Vote against the candidate you consider least desirable. But don’t let other people make your decision for you just because you don’t want to make it for yourself. The future of this nation is at stake, whether you realize it or not.

Two remarkable quotes come to mind. One is from physicist Albert Einstein. “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”

The other is from theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

It’s interesting that two such different men–men from such different backgrounds–should say essentially the same thing.

Maybe you don’t care what Einstein and Bonhoeffer have to say, and you may not care about my opinion, either.

But if we end up with a dangerous president–perhaps I should say “the more dangerous president”–in the White House as a result of this November’s election, it won’t be because I didn’t do the research to choose who I think will be the more desirable person and go to the polls and vote for him or her.

It will be because of the individual Americans who–with each vote not cast–allow others to make the decision for them. Please don’t be one of them.

Donn Taylor, an author friend of mine, just had this letter to the editor published in his local newspaper in Texas. “Several letters recently have asked whether to vote or refrain from voting in the 2016 presidential election. To answer the question, I recommend the following guideline: When there’s no Messiah running, and only Barrabas and Judas Iscariot are on the ballot, we vote for Barrabas. Failing to vote has the same effect as voting for Judas. From that point it’s just a matter of identification.”

Are you planning to vote? Why or why note? How about leaving a comment?

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Why Vote?

I’ve visited Australia five or six times over the last twenty-some years. Wonderful country,  even if it’s become too Americanized in some ways. If you question that, you should turn on a TV set in Oz and see how many American shows are popular there.

But one thing comes to mind as different. Quite different. Radically different.

Unless I was misinformed or things have changed over the last few years, Australians are legally required to vote. Can you believe that? As much freedom as Aussies enjoy otherwise, they don’t have the freedom to refrain from voting.

Hmm. How would that go over in the United States? I can’t begin to imagine the specifics, but “like a lead balloon” is the cliche that comes to mind.

As far as I can recall, I’ve always voted in presidential elections, even when I didn’t like either candidate. And I probably voted in other elections periodically, but not as faithfully. To tell you the truth, after attending a political rally as part of a political science class in college, I was so turned off by the political party system that I changed my major to English.

I say that to emphasize that I think I understand how the common man feels about politics in general. Let’s see if I can sum this up accurately. The people in Washington are all crooks, and they don’t care what we think or how we feel.

They don’t mind taking more and more of our money, which they spend recklessly, and still run the federal debt up beyond our ability to comprehend. They don’t even obey the Constitution, much less live by biblical principles. No matter what they say, we can’t believe them. And state and local politicians aren’t always much better.

Is that how you feel? While I don’t believe it’s true of every elected official, I think we’ve seen far too much evidence of the validity of these complaints and many others as well.  For all intents and purposes, it appears that too many politicians view their offices as a permanent position–permanent as long as they can keep them. A career. And it seems they’re not afraid we’ll vote them out.

And why don’t we? Is it because we feel the situation is hopeless? Is it because worthier candidates are non-existent? Is it because even the candidates who talked a good talk to get elected have let us down completely–time after time after time?

If those things bother you the way they bother me, and especially if they keep you from voting, here are some things  to consider. The 2016 election will affect America’s future as no other election has ever done. We have the chance to turn this nation around. If we fail to, America may very well end up a third world nation. If not that, we could continue to lose our rights–freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms–all in the name of political correctness.

What Washington needs, no matter who runs and no matter who wins the election, is changed hearts and changed lives. That’s the business God is in.  But we still need to put the right people in office.

I urge you to research the candidates–and don’t trust the media for the information you need. A vast majority of the main media sources are in the pockets of the current administration, and you won’t hear the truth from them. But there are other sources…more objective sources.

I can’t tell you who to vote for, although I could be tempted to tell you who I definitely won’t vote for. But the freedom to choose is yours, and I wouldn’t do anything to deny you that right. If you do your best to dig through the political landfill dump and make the best informed decisions you can–and then vote–I’ll be satisfied.

Sorry if I got a little wordy today, but this subject is important to me, and it’s something I can’t remain silent about. Not when so many Americans don’t vote. Please share a comment…whether you agree or disagree. As long as you do it politely and respectfully.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger