The 2016 Presidential Campaign is judged, by all accounts, as the most unprecedented, unpredictable and strangest campaign in modern history. It’s been unusually ugly; it’s been nasty and it’s produced two candidates who possess “HUGE” flaws in character and style. As one writer put it: “out of 320 million people, is this the best we could do?” Truth be known every candidate for leadership here and around the world, past or present, is flawed due to the raw material that makes them who they are…their humanity! Our human flaws permeate every institution - family, school, work, government, community and church.
In building His church, Jesus Christ drew from this inventory of flawed humanity:
• Judas – the betrayer
• Peter – the loud mouth denier
• Thomas – the doubter
• Paul – the persecutor of the church
In evaluating your choice for president or senator or representative on either the federal or state level this year or any other year, I suggest we consider a basic principle used in hiring – the principle of “best fit”.
The Bible informs in Romans 3:10 “…there is none righteous, no not one.” No perfect person, no one without flaws, no one without sin, no one right on all the issues confronting humanity and our times, no one with all the answers. The only one who could ever be defined as flawless who walked this earth is Jesus Christ.
As a result, we are left to choose which of the candidates is a “best fit”, that is, which comes closest to our understanding of the issues confronting our country and which comes closest to our “Biblical values”. To make a proper assessment, pray as you consider each candidate that the Holy Spirit will give you wisdom, guidance and discernment so that when you enter the voting booth you will choose wisely and choose well between flawed candidates.
And now come the Mia Culpas…No one can doubt the polls and the media failed to see the Trump victory. Why? Primarily because reporters sat it out in their offices on the East and West Coasts staring into computer screens scanning what other news sources reported as the pulse of the people. Never getting out to the southern and rust belt neighborhoods, where the voters were disgruntled with political business as usual, perpetuated the views of the echo chambers the national press finds itself in. The failure of the journalists to go where the story was makes them “repeaters”, not “reporters”, of the news. In 1831, the famous historian, statesman and social philosopher, Alexis deTocqueville, toured the country of America. His purpose was to observe the American people and their institutions. In search of what made America great, he went into “her fertile fields, boundless forest, rich mines, public schools… I sought it in her democratic congress and in her matchless Constitution.” But then he wrote: “Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.”
If the members of the “Fourth Estate” really want to know what’s going on between the big populations on either coastline, it’s time they put away their preconceived ideas, biases and indifference and go among the “others”, i.e. “Middle America”. The people don’t trust the media to convey the truth in part because when and if they go out after a story in Middle America they behave more like inquisitors than inquirers.
Failing to objectively analyze the various indicators that showed an impending political revolution, the media, pollsters, pundits and powerful missed the story. The reporting took us down a series of rabbit holes about she said, he said, etc. having nothing to do with a hurting middle class crying out for “help and change”.
Jesus said: “the truth shall set you free”. Let’s try that for the guiding principle for journalists as opposed to “all news that’s fit to print”. Then, maybe, we won’t miss the real story next time.