Friends, I don’t know about you, but I’m losing hope. The two major candidates for president are arguably the most detestable individuals ever to seek public office in the United States. Party divisions are deep, mainstream media is centered on the horrible flaws of both candidates, and of late both campaigns are entirely focused on delivering and averting accusations of sexual assault. Actual public policy positions and real world issues seem to matter not a whit in comparison with inappropriate words and alleged personal misconduct.
Even worse than the party divisions is the deep divide within the Party of Lincoln, the party that is supposed to stand for unity. On the right, conservatives and evangelicals are going at it tooth and nail. The NeverTrumpers are criticizing and attacking Trump supporters to such a degree that you’d think we’d turned communist or something… and some of my fellow Trump supporters are going after the NeverTrumpers in much the same way. I already wrote an article elaborating my reasons for voting for Trump, and those reasons haven’t changed despite the tape that was released last week and the ongoing accusations against his character. But that isn’t the point of this article. Regardless of where I will cast my vote, I am heartbroken to see my country lower herself to such a state.
The American people are jaded, fed up with the political process, ready for the election to be over so they can get on with their lives. This election “season” has dragged on for a year and a half. Donald Trump declared his candidacy for president in June of 2015, fully sixteen months ago — and he wasn’t the first candidate to join the race. Even I, as energetic and politically engaged as I usually am, have switched off the TV because I just don’t want to hear it anymore. We’re all fed up, but that justifiable frustration must not cause us to lose hope.
It is in the darkest night that the light shines brightest. It is when all seems lost that we need to redouble our efforts and continue to fight for the good. If you doubt that there is still good to fight for, look to the Senatorial and gubernatorial races across the country where underdog conservatives are standing strong for their values, and look to many of the ballot measures, such as the assisted suicide proposition in Colorado, that must be and can be defeated. Look above and beyond politics (because politics, after all, is not supposed to be the center of our universe), at your family, friends, and community, and at the beauty of autumn all around us. Look beyond, at the Kingdom which cannot be shaken and of which we are heirs (Hebrews 12:18).
We have this hope, that the American dream originates in the hearts of the American people — not in the labyrinth of government. We have this hope, that the American people have been through worse times than these and life went on, brighter and better than before.
We are at war by some standards, but we are not engaged in a great Civil War, or a great World War, or a great Cold War. Our economy may be bad by some standards, but we are not in the midst of a Great Depression. The shining heart of America may be obscured by the current political shadow, but regardless of the outcome of this election, America will continue on — America will see a brighter tomorrow. Granted, “tomorrow” might be a few decades down the road, and the next administration might be even darker than the current one, but there is too much determined, steadfast cowboy spirit left in the American heart to let this land we love crumble completely.
We have this hope as an anchor for our souls, that Jesus Christ is on the throne today, tomorrow, and for eternity, both Priest and King forever, and no scheme of man or of Hillary Clinton can ever change that fact (Hebrews 6:19).
“For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come” (Hebrews 13:14).
This should not cause us to give up on our country and our world — to the contrary, we are commissioned with the task of bringing the Kingdom here to earth and saving as many souls as we can in the time we are given. That is why we defend the American idea, why we fight for religious liberty, and why we strive for peace and unity in this nation. And that, brothers and sisters, is why there is hope beyond this disgusting and discouraging political process.
In the words of Sam Gamgee, when our two favorite hobbits stood in the eye of the storm that seemed to bring the end of the world,
“There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
Keep fighting, my friends, but not against each other. “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). If the Church is not united, how can we expect our nation to stand united? America was made great by friendships between men who disagreed vehemently about many ideas but were bound together by one thing: their love for liberty. So regardless of what happens in three weeks’ time, let us rekindle the bond of brotherhood that made America great, and proudly carry the banner of faith under which we march.