How are you as an American citizen personally dealing with the political divisiveness that we are now witnessing in our country? If you are among the projected 145 million persons in the United States who will vote in the November 3, 2020 Election be it through absentee ballot, early in-person voting or November 3rd voting, you have probably already decided which presidential candidate is receiving your vote. Except for those voting their conscience for the Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen or an independent candidate, for the majority of voters their choice boils down to either current President Donald J. Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden.
And, if you are like most voters, you consider the outcome of the 2020 Election to be of utmost importance to the future of the U.S.A. How will we get the Coronavirus pandemic under control? Will the elected administration be able to get the U.S. economy back on its feet, putting its workers back to work? What will be the elected governing body’s response to global climate change and increasing natural disasters? What will the U.S. posture be on foreign trade and foreign affairs? How will Election 2020 affect health insurance, Medicare, Social Security, the political make-up of the Senate, the balance of the United States’ Supreme Court? And the list goes on and on . . .
In the presidential race someone is going to lose. And someone is going to win. And about half of U.S. citizens feel that the United States will be on a downward trajectory if their candidate is the loser. I hope we can remember that we are a democracy and a hallmark of such is accepting the will of the people through the voting process.
Within that premise of peacefully accepting the outcomes of the people’s vote, I’d like to share with you a few ideas I picked up from my son’s minister in Tennessee recently as I watched his church’s contemporary Sunday morning worship service livestreamed. His pastor read from Isaiah 45:1-3 to demonstrate how God used the Persian King Cyrus the Great as His instrument for ending the Jews’ long captivity. When Cyrus conquered Babylon, he allowed the Jewish people to return to their homeland of Judea and build a temple in Jerusalem.
My son’s pastor went on to point out that many of us cannot fathom how our work associates, church friends, and even our relatives can be for Trump if we are for Biden or be for Biden if we are for Trump. These are people we normally consider intelligent or at least well-meaning. Some of us have even let our assertiveness over the better candidate ruin neighbor or family relationships. How sad.
The bottom line for this pastor’s sermon was that all rulers get their authority to rule from God and that God uses imperfect vessels as instruments of His will. Romans 13:1 CEV (Common English Version) says, “Obey the rulers who have authority over you. Only God can give authority to anyone and he puts these rulers in their places of power.” The above may be an idea that is hard for a modern voter to accept. And depending on the outcome of our 2020 voting, I along with others may be tempted to say, “God, how could you let that idiot (you fill in the name “Trump” or “Biden”) win the presidential election?”
However as we approach the day when we will know who our next president will be, let’s hope that all will accept the outcome as American citizens who believe in and practice the laws of democracy. The beauty of our country, especially during these difficult times of COVID-19 and social unrest, must be that we can have a peaceful continuation or transition of power.
We can all be winners if we put our hearts and minds to learning to live and work amicably side by side next to those with whom we disagree. Each of us has the power to hold onto our beliefs and function peacefully within the democratic system to execute change. That’s how we the American people can be winners in the 2020 Election.
Essay on the 2020 Presidential Election
Connie Carlisle Polley, 2020