Yesterday, America voted in Mid-Term Elections – bringing in new Senators and Representatives (and, mostly, re-christening existing ones) to head to Washington, D.C. on behalf of their area of the nation. For the weeks and months prior to November 6th, we listened to and watched (again), ad nauseam, the reasons why we should vote one particular way or another. More often, we listened to and watched the reasons why we shouldn’t vote the other direction.
My favorite part of the election cycle is usually the day of, followed closely by the day after. The end of the insanity, so to speak. Watching the dust settle into decisions made and seeing those that have spent time (and millions of dollars) being uncivil and petty at someone else’s expense turn that into an attempt to break through the cloud of dust sans the need for a hose-down.
My personal political needle, admittedly, points to the right most of the time. But, not because I am a staunch Republican.
Actually, let me retract that statement. I am a strong supporter of the GOP – but it all depends on whose party of the elephant to which you are referring.
If you describe Ronald Reagan and his philosophies on small, laissez-faire government while executing diplomatic reaches across borders and oceans – then I am a Republican.
If you describe Republican U.S. Senators traveling to Louisiana in 1990 to campaign for Democratic candidate J. Bennett Johnson because his opponent was the outspoken racist David Duke – thereby choosing what is right and what’s best for the country over party lines (say what?!) – then I am a Republican.
If you talk about Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, Lisa Murkowski, Dean Heller, Colin Powell, George Bush (both of them), or any other Republican stalwart and true conservative that chose not to support Donald Trump like sheep in the 2016 election – then I am a Republican.
But, if to be a Republican I must blindly give my support to a man that is shameless in his racism, sexism, disrespect for others, and all-out narcissistic approach to. . . . well, everything – then I proudly renounce the party altogether. I didn’t vote for President Trump in 2016 and won’t in 2020 either. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And the clothing doesn’t even fit that well.
And yet, I am in the minority as an American “conservative” that does not go the route of a rodent behind the pied piper. When I look at the results across the country, politicians are elected on their loyalty to this guy. So, it causes me to pose the question of – “why?”
My succinct and pointed answer is simple, yet many of you that read this will not “like” and “share” – as if I write for those reasons anyway.
Current supporters of the rhetoric and tone of the Republican party are not conservatives, at least not in the true, traditional sense of the word. Being conservative means that you don’t want to spend more money than we should (or that we have) and that you want individual responsibility to reign over government intervention. There are other values, but those two are cornerstones, typically.
And, I can disagree with a someone that is more liberal-minded in those (and other) areas and still not line up with today’s definition of a Republican. You know why?
Because I try to love people. Today’s version of the GOP simply does not.
Sure, they love those that are gun-totin’ and immigrant-hatin’ people who look and act a lot like theirselves and refer to Jesus every once in a while (or at least “Two Corinthians”). But, they don’t love all people. (For the record – I have guns and my concealed carry permit.)
Conjure an image in your mind of a Republican fund-raiser today. One of those where you pay a large amount for a plate or a table. Or, of a “rally” that supports our current President. In your mind’s eye, look around at who all is there and what they look like. Who all is being fed at this dinner? Who all stands and cheers at this rally?
While that is still simmering, let me give you Luke 14:12-14:
“. . . when you give a lunch or dinner, don’t invite your friends, your brothers, your relatives, or your rich neighbors, because they might invite you back and you would be repaid. On the contrary, when you host a banquet, invite those who are poor, maimed, lame, or blind and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. . . . “
Not sure that’s what you pictured – a room full of people that cannot pay someone back for a lunch or a favor. In fact, I bet you pictured a room full of people that probably expect some reciprocation.
For transparency’s sake, my state had two major races yesterday (that were contested to a level worth mentioning) So, I’ll give you my voting record for this cycle.
For Governor of Tennessee, I voted for Republican nominee Bill Lee (he won). He ran a clean campaign and gave clear answers for a conservative agenda. I know people that know him personally and even before he emerged from a crowded Republican primary they had nothing but good to say for his character and integrity. I worry a little about the lack of clarity he has for a vision for public education, but I never considered his opponent (Karl Dean – D) anyway. For further transparency, I did not vote for Bill in the primary – I supported Randy Boyd.
For U.S. Senator, I voted for Phil Bredesen (D). He is an intelligent man with a history of running an efficient government. His opponent’s agenda was to tell everyone she planned on being a Trump rubber-stamp. (She won.) I don’t agree with all of Phil’s policies, but my conscience is clear by not voting for Marsha Blackburn.
So, Republican Party, when you go back to real conservatism and get away from rallies and support rooted in the opposite of the call to love others unconditionally – I’ll still be here.
Until then, to quote a friend of mine today, I’ll walk into the voting booth, hold my nose, and do the best I can.