The election is over.
Hard to believe. Hard to believe it is over as well as the outcome, but a few thoughts are worth considering in the wake.
First, I have read numerous FaceBook posts, heard plenty of commentators, and spoken to any number of people who have suggested that a vote against Clinton was necessarily representative of sexism and misogyny. While that is an interesting conclusion, it is likely a gross generalization that intentionally misrepresents any number of people who, for reason of conscience or other reasons chose to place their votes elsewhere (and not necessarily with Trump).
Second, there has been an ongoing invective against “uneducated white males in rural areas” who supposedly voted for Trump. The assumptions about this demographic group are too many to list. The point, however, is that they are assumptions – nothing more. My hunch is that the majority of those writing, commentating, and posting have never even spoken to such a person. They are merely statistics.
I am guessing, of course, that had the election swung the other direction, the same sorts of characterizations of Clinton supporters would have been flowing out of the Trump camp. In fact that has been the case throughout the election often in the crudest of terms. We tend to be equal opportunity generalizers and stereotypers.
All of which leads to my final point. If we are truly interested in dialog as we say we are, and if we are truly interested in coming together, these sorts of caricatures and stereotyping must end. Are we really interested in hearing each other, the hurts, fears, and concerns of those not like us? Or are we really only interested in having the ‘other’ come to our way of thinking? One posture has the chance of leading to cooperation. The other posture has no chance.
As noted in my last post, Christians owe their fellow image bearers more than caricatures and stereotypes. We owe each other an ear to listen to people’s hearts, whether we agree or disagree with their political choices. There are a lot of hurting people in the world and in our backyards. This election made that clear if one listened carefully. Christian love and care may not run in only one direction. Our care and concern must reach from inner cities to rural communities, each with their own sets of problems as anyone who has spent time in both places knows.
And while I still feel a bit shell-shocked by this election, one thing I know: Jesus is Lord.
3Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
the Lord gives sight to the blind,
8the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The Lord reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.
–Ps. 146:3-10 (NIV fromBibleGateway, accessed 11-9-16)