Some thoughts on the coming election, Nov. 2020

Posted on August 29, 2020


There seems to be next to little left to write about with respect to the coming election of 2020. It is truly difficult to determine truth from fiction, fact from fraud, honest opinion from outright lies and prevarication of the grossest sort.

If words truly carry the day in any way, then we are in a war of words, where the newest inventions of the word mavens: cancel culture, weaponize, the wokes, and the resurrection of old standards like race, gender, legitimate, truth, etc. are given new meanings.

President Donald Trump’s supporters are at odds with his detractors in a fashion that can only be described as crude and ugly. Those who hate him ascribe every evil under the sun to his three and a half years in office while those who defend him are, in the main, more cautious. They may not like some of his outrageous behavior, but quietly support his policies, especially in the economy and restoring pride in being an American in today’s global world.

Some view the coming election in November as a twenty-first century apocalypse which will reflect an uglier and dangerous world marked by dramatic and sometimes catastrophic changes in our way of life. We will not be the masters of our fate as we were when emerging from the Second World War in the 1940s, triumphant over the Fascist, imperialist states of Germany and Japan and the most powerful nation in the world, a beacon of freedom and liberty.

That was then. Editorials in newspapers today describe the coming decline of the country in depressing terms, condemning the political and economic elites for a dismal record, largely taking care of their own interests, opening the door to radical socialists determined to destroy capitalism as it has flourished for more than two centuries. That all socialist and communist regimes in the past century have failed dismally and delivered mostly death and totalitarian regimes doesn’t seem to dissuade its new converts, rioting, burning and looting in the great metropolises of the nation that once bloomed with creativity and wealth. But, from New York to Portland, they now stink literally and figuratively from the smoke of despair and frustration with the “system,” however that is described. The abandonment of the cities, the impoverished left behind, the failure of education and parents to inculcate a sense of personal responsibility rather than victimization among the least privileged will hardly end with the defeat of the Corona virus and the restoration of the economy.

The worship of the “great” Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro and holding up Cuba and Venezuela as models for us is astonishing. Does not anyone deal with reality honestly today?

Yadira is a young Cuban woman who escaped the island last year with her husband after years of persecution. She was a schoolteacher who was suspected to be against the regime by her neighbors recruited across the country by the communist government to spy on everyone. They came to her home, beat her up, got her fired from her job, and in February of 2016 caused her to lose a six-month term baby. She and her husband tried twice to escape by boat but failed to reach the U. S. and were returned to the island by the U. S. Coast Guard. Then they put whatever savings they had left, caught a flight to Surinam, and walked or rode buses through nine countries of South, Central America, and Mexico before reaching the U. S. where she was given temporary shelter. She had her baby Enzo in Tuscaloosa and was taken in by Victorious Life Church in Fosters where she now lives, applying for political asylum and her green card. Her story is the Cuban reality that the Left in this country glorify.

While working on a book and living in Manhattan in 1979-80, I remember the Times Square district of NYC as a sinkhole of sexuality, pornography and sin, hardly recognizable as the magnificent center of the entertainment world in the minds, hearts and memories of Americans. And the south Bronx looked like a city bombed into rubble during war. I went to visit an old friend from childhood, but never found her.

“You went to the south Bronx?” an astonished friend asked me when I got back to where I was working on 42nd. St. just behind the N. Y. Public Library.

“Sure, why not?”

“Man, they must have you thought you were some cop in disguise. White men wandering around there don’t last long!”

These are just some random thoughts about our country today from one who loves it and still thinks it disgraceful to burn the American flag although I understand the scumbags doing this are exercising their First Amendment rights. There is a sickness—political, psychological, ideological, generational, racial, sexual, etc.—running through us today. There is one solution, but not all will embrace it, or as the disciple James wrote in his book, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)

Christians have to deal with these problems directly, not hide among platitudes and euphemisms that won’t “offend” all in our society who take offense with someone speaking, teaching and acting on the truth as expressed in the Bible and in our basic governing instruments like the Constitution.

Published as “Lines drawn in a divided country,” Sunday Aug. 17, 2020 in The Tuscaloosa News.