American politics have been a certain sort of ugly over the last few months, but the last seventy-two hours have been particularly nasty. To call this span of American politics a dumpster fire is generous. It’s more of an all out fire bombing. (Haven’t you watched the dogs and cats head for the hills? Aren’t you in your fallout shelter, eyes covered, listening to the news and praying, Dear God, just let this end?)
For those of you who may not have followed the news, allow me brief summation. Video leaked in which Donald Trump was recorded saying the following: (1) he moved on a married woman, moved on her “like a bitch,” (2) he can’t help himself around pretty women, he just starts kissing them; and (3) because of his fame, he can do whatever he wants to a woman, including grabbing them by the [ahem… expletive deleted because I cannot bring myself to write the word, even for posterity].
“But that was ten years ago,” you say.
Yes, it was. He was almost 60 at the time.
And I suppose this brings me to the point–we’ve nominated our xenophobic grandfather who talks like a pornstar for the highest office in the land. What have we done?
Then again, none of this is new. We’ve known Donald Trump’s colors for a while; haven’t we? We’ve known him to demean minority populations and immigrants. We’ve known him to demean women. And in case you believe that point might be debated, feel free to read my very own Trumptastic Timeline (which seems to require amending on a nearly daily basis).
I’ll not belabor the issue, but consider this: when the American people have become so addicted to reality-television culture and pseudo-news that they’re willing to look past actual, quantifiable facts and elect a bombastic businessman and shock-jock entertainer to the presidency, it might be time for a hard reset. After all, aren’t the people we nominate and elect just a reflection of our own hearts, the mirror to our own souls? I’d say they are, and what I see in the mirror right now ain’t pretty. We need a do-over.
Yesterday, I offered this prayer in church:
Lord, forgive us our love of dime-store politicians, reality-televisions ones, too; forgive us our penchant to be swept up in their empty promises, to ride the waves of their propaganda, to drown in their inanity; teach us to do the hard work of earth, to forgive debts and debtors, to care for the poor, to love the refugee, to go to church and take the Eucharist, to teach our children how to do the same; teach us to walk in the politics of the Kingdom, which are eternal.
Today, I’m looking in the American mirror and offering that prayer again. I’ll do it tomorrow and the next day. I’ll pray, and pray, and pray until we open our eyes to the fact that we have received just what we asked for: a candidate who embodies the pornographic, jingoistic, xenophobic darkness of our own hearts.
Lord have mercy.
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