There are a few things in the world that I don’t like to talk about. One of them is politics. I have my opinions, ideals, beliefs, but to throw them out to people who don’t want to hear what I have to say, let’s just say I don’t like to go there.
I’ll tell people I’m mentally ill, or that I’m on medications for bipolar, or that I considered committing suicide numerous times before I was diagnosed. Those are hard topics to bring up, but they’re nowhere near the panic I feel when I think about speaking my mind about American Politics. Especially in this time when our country is deeply-divided over who our president-elect is, Donald Trump.
I can’t say I particularly like Donald. In fact, like would be a word too strong to use. I really don’t care for the way he talks, or the manner in which he conducts himself. I think he has a bad temper. He’s egotistical, and he’s not a role model I want my children to aspire to be.
Back in the day, nearly a year before the election, I thought it was a joke that he was running. I never figured he’d make it past the primaries, let alone become the president-elect.
The night of the election, I turned off the television as I saw the inevitable, the unthinkable unfolding. Donald Trump would be elected as our forty-fifth president.
I love the office of the president. I have an ambition to read a biography about every president who’s ever served our country. When I was teaching in a multi-grade classroom, I started writing jingles about the presidents so that my students could learn the order and their importance in the roles they carried out. The first, ah, not my best, but it went something like this:
George Washington was number one.
In the Revolutionary War he carried his gun.
He loved animals. He had pets.
He even brushed his horses sets. . . of teeth that is.
Here’s the one I wrote for our third president. (I was particularly proud of this one.):
Thomas Jefferson was number three.
He founded Virginia University.
His home was called Monticello.
He invented a folding ladder; he was quite the fellow.
I worked hard to complete those jingles. In fact, I made it all the way up to Ronald Reagan.
Ronald Reagan #40 had been famous in Hollywood
But at age 70 as our president, would he be any good?
He worked to end the Cold War with our Soviet enemy.
“We resolve to build less weapons,” became our shared treaty.
No masterpieces, but you get the idea. The office of the president is one I greatly admire and hold in high esteem.
So, you’ll have to forgive me but I have a really hard time with people saying that the president elect is “Not their president.” I beg to differ, but he is, in fact, our president- elect. He is because we live in a democracy, and as it is often said after shocking events like these unfold, the people have spoken.
Throughout the campaign, there was one simple prayer that I prayed most fervently. It wasn’t even my own, but rather one I “borrowed” from the second president who served our country, John Adams. In a letter that he wrote to his wife on his second night in the White House, this was the blessing he prayed and beseeched God for:
“Before I end my letter, I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof.”
And now with this—the election of a man I don’t want as my president I wonder, what was God thinking? Then I remember, God is not into politics. He’s not a Republican. He’s not a Democrat. As Jesus once said, “God’s Kingdom is not of this world.” But God is into us and, as the true King of all believers, God works everything together for good to those that love him.
America is not a monarchy. It is not King Trump who we will be bowing down to. If you don’t like him, fine, but don’t lie down on the train tracks and give up your rights to make a difference in the circle or sphere of influence that God has given you.
Our democracy was never meant to be about one person. Yes, the President is there to work on behalf of the people. But we the people of this great nation are the ones who make a difference in the day-to-day operations of this land. We are this country’s citizens and as such, we must work for the common good of all people.
So in the next four years, rather than holding your nose and barely tolerating the person who is, “Not your president,” work to make lasting changes at your level of citizenship. Visit a nursing home. Donate to your local food bank. Hold your leaders accountable. Be an advocate for someone who can’t be it for themselves. Give. Love. Work. Work to make and keep our country one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known. And when that four years rolls around, vote. Even if you think both candidates stink, pray for wisdom and vote.
Finally, let God be God. Proverbs states that, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord: he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” Remember whose Kingdom we truly belong to and whose reign will last forever. Remember which land we are truly citizens of and trust God.
God is in control. God is your President. He is your King and he, the honest and wisest of all rulers is everywhere, even in the White House. Even if we don’t believe it. So, swallow your guile and bitterness and trust the Ruler of all to make everything all right in the end. Because he will.
1 Peter 2:16-17 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil: live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.