Encounters with myself … others … Life !
I am astounded at the unravelling of the forthcoming US presidential elections … and I am alarmed. Like it or not, the US is a cultural lodestar for numerous other countries, particularly in the west, A.K.A the ‘developed’ world.
Quite frankly, I am confused as to how the likes of Donald Trump can even be considered seriously by US voters as a potential candidate. I am not referring here to his policies – (and should clarify at the outset that I am an objective bystander with no interest in either candidate).
What I am astounded at is the character of the man. Or should I say the lack of character. He was OK, even a celebrity, admired for his business acumen from afar. But once he entered the race and got up close and personal, I have lost any respect I had for him. I doubt even the staunchest Trump fan would deny his records of discrimination, injustice, bigotry and racial prejudice which makes people of the 21st century squirm in disbelief. And the fact that he blatantly boasts about his ability to avoid taxes!! I cannot understand how America can seriously consider such a man for the highest office in the land. What do you think … that he will make a difference when he is the President? That if he had no patriotic fervour for his country, sent some of his businesses offshore, and felt no compunction or conscience to pay his dues as a billionaire, that he will now provide windfall benefits to all? His audacity and the acceptance of it by a sizeable populace boggles my imagination.
Please forgive me if I am treading on the toes of any one who sees Donald Trump as a saviour of the nation.
I accept there are circumstances that could make him appear as an economic saviour to persons who have lost their jobs, whose companies have been threatened by advancing technology of the East, by those who want to live in a promised ‘safe America’ without fear of attack by terrorists, (although it is questionable whether the hatred he incites will actually prevent or invite attacks from the ‘enemy’, or even police/locals gone amok with hate) … and to realise the American dream.
The American dream – to which you have every right.
But what I am questioning here … is what gives Mr. Trump … or indeed any other leader or any race or group of people – the right to take over a piece of land, call it their land and then prevent anyone else from entering?
We are so used to having ‘nations’ and ‘borders’ that it is almost impossible to imagine a world with freedom for everyone to move to a nation of choice, live by the rules and call it ‘home’.
This is a radical view but one that has been on my mind since I heard Trump talk about ‘building a wall to keep them out’.
Two decades ago, my father suggested that national flags, school flags, church and temple flags only promote segregation and differentiation of people. It was a radical view and I did not then see the wisdom of his statement.
My father also suggested that if we can get every soldier in every country to sign that he would not go to war under any circumstances, then we would have peace.
We laughed at him. It seemed an impossible dream.
But when I hear about people like Donald Trump – a candidate for the highest post in the world talking of building walls to keep people out, then I realise my father was truly a visionary. And a Christian of the highest order (albeit one who hardly went to church) !
And it saddens me to think that it is the Christians mostly – conservative, evangelical, bible belt and bible-loving Christians – who are thinking of casting their vote for this very un-Christian view point viz . to keep out the marginalised, the desperate, the poor and those seeking refuge, and to deport others based on nationality and religion.
This is the policy loudly proclaimed from the platform of Trump – inciting people to religious and racial intolerance and financial selfishness, and dangling the God of mammon and prosperity before you.
The other candidate inter-alia promotes free choice, and whilst as a Christian there are some choices that I wish people would not make, I also do not think that you can bring about moral values in a nation by regulations and legal restrictions. The choice of right and wrong should come from deep within you, not from legislation. It is still hard to accept that we should give each one the freedom to make choices we disagree with, and to accept that we are not called to act as arbitrators and judges. And so
America .. you are truly between the devil and the deep blue sea. And I feel for your plight. Your choice is tough.
But if I were you, I would run from the fear mongering devil, jump into the “deep blue“ and cast my cares on the Lord.
Blessings and prayers … and peace to all men of goodwill.