I think that most people can agree that we are currently in the middle of a unique election year, with both major party’s nominees being highly unfavored candidates. It seems as though people are more tuned-in to this election than they have been in previous years (which I’m sure feels like a jackpot to the media, whose revenue must be at record high considering the plethora of drama and scandal surrounding the candidates of the two major parties.)
As election season has progressed, there seems to be overwhelming disapproval by the public as a whole - everyone is predicting a dreary next four (hopefully not eight) years in America, regardless of whether we are led by Trump or Clinton.
My hope is, that the interest and passion provoked by this election translates to votes. Because, sadly, despite our pride in being a “free nation” with “free speech,” our country’s voter turnout rate for presidential elections has been sitting at around 60% (and even lower during other elections.) As a culture, a large percentage of us are quick to judge, quick to complain, and quick to be bitter, but not so quick to vote. And my personal conviction recently has been that if I’m not using the (political) voice I have by voting, then who am I to complain once the results come out on November 8th?
But my conviction has not been only regarding voting, though I do feel this is extremely important and a responsibility of each American citizen. I recently read an article titled The Reflection of a King, which discussed the idea that leadership does not define the morality of a people, but rather that it is a reflection of it.
Maybe we should not be surprised at the candidates we have to choose from to lead our country. Maybe the criticism surrounding Trump’s treatment of women, should apply also to the way we sexualize and objectify women in advertising, in popular fashion, in movies, TV shows, and music. Maybe the criticism surrounding Clinton’s dishonesty and power-hungry attitude should apply also to our culture’s obsession with financial success, titles, and “the American dream.” The failings of these two people are widely publicized and criticized; they are political “celebrities.” However, at the end of the day, they are both humans, just like you and me. I wonder how I would feel if my life’s mistakes were broadcast across TV screens or pasted as bumper stickers on people’s cars? Not that I’m excusing either of their actions - I think that many things they have done are appalling and wrong, and I believe that we should hold our leaders to a high standard. I just wish that we would also hold our culture, and ourselves individually as citizens, to a high standard as well.
I am so angered by the comments I have heard Trump make about women. But I wish I would be just as quick to be angered by sin in my own life, and that I would be more active in making decisions that support the fair treatment and respect of women. Maybe that looks like not listening to music that has lyrics which degrade women or not purchasing/wearing clothing that buys into our culture’s objectification of women. I think there are a lot of areas in our everyday lives where we have the opportunity to be intentional, and I think it’s time that we take a little more responsibility for the current state of our country.
I guess we’ll find out next Tuesday if the attention the public has given this election translates to votes. I hope so. I also hope that we begin to take personal responsibility for the fate of our nation. For starters, there are still 5 days left before November 8th - if you haven't already, go vote now!
I believe in God's grace through Jesus. I love to learn, in a variety of contexts - reading God's Word, interacting with people from diverse backgrounds around the world, and as a student of Linguistics and Foreign Languages at Western Washington University. Pages of My Passport is dedicated to sharing this journey of learning through written and visual content.