I rarely watch television news. Few people I interact with at work or home discuss politics: too much work to accomplish, too many mouths to feed and evenings to be enjoyed. I even quit listening to NPR on my morning commute (a 10-year habit).
So I know what’s going on with Trump and Clinton, but I’m not immersed in it. The only exception to this has been while I’ve been on a vacation in the western mountains of North Carolina where Clinton is running absurd ads on the most obscure cable channels and at an alarming pace. This state must be close and important.
What I am relatively immersed in is my social media news feeds, and many of my friends could not be more divided … or frustrated … or indignant … or flabbergasted … you get the point. Judging solely on my Facebook experience, Trump supporters—who weathered his flaws to this point—are on the ropes with his “locker room talk,” while those OK with Clinton—having survived (among other things) her public displays of weakness due to illness—have Wiki-leaks all but proving what Tea Party types have been saying all along about political corruption in our nation.
So the choice, apparently, is between a narcissistic, sexist jock and a decrepit, heartless wench.
I don’t know what I’m going to do. I moved to SC in 2008, and back to TN 2012, and near the election both times, so I had an excuse not to vote. Not so this year.
But all of the October surprises … the recordings of Trump, the emails around Clinton and the DNC … eventually led me down a path toward the depths of my own heart; a place I did not at first care to go, but a place I’m glad I went. It showed me the one thing I was missing about the whole Trump and Clinton debacle, and it might be the one thing you need to know too.
I came to realize that before the Lord, I am no better a person than either Trump or Clinton. The three of us are far more alike than I’d care to acknowledge.
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”[b]
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”[c]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[d]
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[e]
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”[f]
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[g]
Based solely on my knowledge of what the media tells me about our presidential candidates, I read this passage and think, “Paul must have been thinking about Trump and Clinton.” But he wasn’t. He was thinking about every human being that’s ever lived.
The degree of severity will vary from to time to time and person to person, but ultimately this passage is true of all of us.
Yeah … the real struggle I’m having this election season is that the high level of sin exposure in the lives of our potential leaders is hitting a little too close to home, and to vote for either one of them makes me feel like I’m OK with their sin AND mine.
I don’t know that Jesus would vote for me to lead anything, much less a country, but fortunately He was not called to vote for me based on my credentials: He was called to die for me based on my lack of credentials.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
So while I struggle with seeing my sin in Clinton and Trump’s lives, I also rejoice because I can see God’s triumph over sin on my behalf.
So maybe it’s better to say this: the one thing you’re probably missing about Trump and Clinton is the gospel.
That’s something I can rejoice in no matter who wins.