I rarely write on politics these days, because I am a pastor. While I have strong political opinions, I keep them to myself. I never want my particular take on the best health care system or the size of COVID stimulus checks to cause someone to disregard what I say about Jesus. But, when a large number of Christians put their hope so profoundly in the wrong places that they are willing to lay siege to the capitol to hold on to that misplaced hope, I must say something not to make a political point, but to make a pastoral one.
In his most recent column for Time, David French sounds the alarm under the heading “Only the Right-Wing Media Can Save America From Trump’s Conspiracies.” In fearing the conspiracies of the MAGA-ites, the opposition folks such as French keep creating their own conspiracy theories of sorts that are just as unhelpful. Let’s settle down both wings of the Vast Conspiracy, shall we?
So, here we are. The day after and, much like 2000, with a strong sense of what the end will be but delayed closure on the race. There is plenty of reason to believe when the ballots are crunched and the lawyers’ last shots are fired that there will be a President Biden. That is not the end I wanted – or am even still continuing to hope for – but even if that end comes, I find some solace in two telling aspects of the results we can see.
In terms of civility, style, and substance, this debate was light-years ahead of the presidential contest last week. I suppose we should be thankful, but it feels perverse to reward those who have lowered the bar enough to finally step over it.
Joe Biden could easily take the award for the rudest Presidential candidate in debate in my memory. Put the Vice President up against past nominees and that would be nearly undeniable. Except that he was debating the President, who didn’t want to lose out on that award. Most disturbingly, in that melee, the President’s horrid performance allowed one of the worst ideas ever brought up on a debate floor to slide by and it could easily mean we all lose.
You know, I don’t agree with Joe Biden about abortion, the redefinition of marriage— and it’s important to call it that— and so-called “religious liberty”. I voted for George W. Bush twice. I’m voting for Joe Biden.
I have a confession to make that will make virtually everyone mad. I think Donald Trump is uncouth, has worsened the political discourse in our country and continually says things about everyone from POW’s to immigrants that make me cringe. I am also planning to follow up my 2016 vote for the man with a 2020 vote for the same. Yes, I am amongst the reluctant Trump voters and here’s why.
I thought it should be her long ago. I thought that if I were Biden, I would choose Harris. I also believed that Joe Biden would have to do something to placate moderates, and while Senator Harris is not a moderate in any coherent sense, she runs in that lane, especially with regard to presentation.
I read with great interest the latest column by our esteemed Editor-In-Chief. There ought to be a theoretical neutrality, at least with regard to the government, and the potential regulation of speech. We would like to believe that the cure for bad speech is not less speech, but more and better speech. We would like to believe that in a theoretically pluralistic society, the true, the good, and the beautiful will eventually win out over the false, the bad, and the ugly. The most profound question is whether these things we would like to believe have ever been true.
The pandemic has been a test tube for a rapidly developing process by which social media platforms – particularly the overwhelmingly dominant Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – plow ahead with the purging of false information. There is good reason for their efforts: they created platforms that make the spread of even the craziest ideas incredibly easy. Those who oppose these fringe ideas celebrate as the platforms shred ideas deemed dangerous, but have we genuinely considered the cost?