Our land of the free, home of the brave turned 240 this past Independence Day, and our young country, though not without failure, has had much success. We have been the melting pot, the voice of democracy, and the technological trailblazer on the world’s stage. The dreams we have dreamt for equality in the workplace seem closer than ever as we witness the end of the first African-American President’s second term, with a woman waiting in the wings to take his place, if she can defeat The Donald.
What is there to say about Donald Trump that hasn’t already been said. My patience is constantly tried. The fascination with trying to figure out how did it come to this ended when he became part of the final two. Trump is no longer a ridiculous sideline to the main event. Myself, like many in America, and even some of those in the Republican Party are still wondering how this happened. When the power hungry businessman turned celebrity turned politician first stepped onto the nomination-seeking scene much of America screamed “satire and mockery.” We expected the debacle of his presidential run to be brief and come to a swift end. Secure in the safety of the power of the vote, we trusted the American people to get this brash bully off the political stage quickly. What has become evident during this time of elections and racial unrest is that America is not as tolerant as we would like to believe.
Though many drive around with their COEXIST bumper stickers on the back of their flexible fuel hybrids, it is clear that some are using their secret ballots to declare otherwise. This is their right. Let them exercise it; but let us not be so delusional as to think that we have mastered the way of the peacemaker. We cannot claim tolerance when we elect preachers of intolerance to the highest office. Yet here we stand, the nominee for one of the major parties is a man who is propelled forward by the starkest of “us” versus “them” mentalities.
I am well aware that in our push for acceptance we cannot forget there is also a craving for justice. We want justice for the rape victim, the racially profiled, and the victims of terror, but how will we find it when children who know nothing of building walls come home from school asking if their Latino friends are going to be kicked out of the country? I have asked myself time and time again, “Who is voting for this guy? How did he win the Hispanic vote in Nevada? What Evangelical can reconcile Trump’s opinions with those of Jesus’? Is this real life or reality television?”
Unfortunately, the country was ripe for a candidate such as him, not because people agree with everything he says, but because we were hungry for someone willing to stand against the political machine. It seems there has been a miscalculation between what equals justice and what brings about victory. We cannot be willing to exchange one for the other.
America really does want to be the best. I would like to say that we value humility, but if we put it to a vote—pride wins. We carry a mentality of go big or go home, and Trump embodies that in an infectious way. Our nation wants to be the richest, most powerful, and also the most tolerant of them all. But do we so insist on being the winners of the world that we would elect a candidate who turns people against each other?
Are the voters looking for a heavy handed disciplinarian because they feel lost in a world where no absolute truth is acknowledged and all is allowed? In our quest to be progressive have we sacrificed having the discernment needed to draw a line between right and wrong? So much so, that the inner longing of a public hungering for authenticity has settled for unfiltered diatribes that refuse to pander to political correctness as substitute. While America continues to step away from the ways of God and wanders through this existential confusion we have let candidates issue threats laced with the rhetoric of fear and pride. Self-evident truths which were once seen as concrete have now been made abstract, and we have molded the objective into the subjective.
Though we cannot yield the beauty of truth to the quest for tolerance, by no means can we put our nation in the hands of someone who name calls those who stand against him and persecutes those who peacefully protest. A ruler who does such things is unfit to rule a free people, but would a free people elect a man willing to play the tyrant to sooth their desire for truth?
Chara Donahue is a freelance writer, certified biblical counselor, and speaker. She holds a MSEd from Corban University and is passionate about seeing people set free through God’s truths. She loves to write about faith, culture, and the deep truths that drive our fascinations with it. Chara is the founder and editor of Anchored Voices and can be found on multiple social media platforms @CharaDonahue.