What the….

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Donald Trump Holds Campaign Town Hall In Iowa

Scripture: Matthew 21:28 Jesus said, “What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”

Observation: This was a strongly offensive story to the religious leaders listening to Jesus. They were the ones who appeared to be deserving of God’s Kingdom, but Jesus rebuked them. They would not receive John the Baptist or Jesus himself because their message was not what they expected. Instead, the least deserving people imaginable (tax collectors and prostitutes) DID receive their message and were welcomed into the Kingdom.

Application: We are in the midst of a political upheaval like we have not seen in decades in the US. A complete outsider, Donald Trump, is making a legit run to be on the final ballot for president – as is long-shot candidate Bernie Sanders whom no one saw coming on the Democratic side. People are freaking out, and perhaps rightly so. While I cannot fathom that someone like Donald or Bernie might actually be elected POTUS, it’s important to understand HOW in the world this happened in the first place.

I believe this is taking place in large part because millions of people have completely – and I mean COMPLETELY – lost faith in the political status quo. The normal processes, and the usual power brokers who control those processes, have not delivered for millions of people who see a declining future for themselves, their children, and their grandchildren. So they are sending a message. If the traditional leaders won’t do their jobs, we’ll find someone who will. Kyrie eleison…

Prayer: Heavenly Father, these are trying times in the USA. We are at some kind of political inflection point, though it’s hard to know where this ultimately leads. We ask your grace and mercy upon our nation as we continue through this bizarre and even scary election cycle. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

2 thoughts on “What the….

  1. Charles Shaw

    Thanks Ernie! spot on! I have seen, and have even checked the like button on a lot of posts on Facebook condemning Trump. The problem is that many of these folks posting this stuff are my liberal friends who miss the fact that they are happy to condemn the folks who are drawn to Trump without first asking the question which you have. They also fail to see the real scary part about Sanders, who keeps creating a straw man of the 1%. This horrible group of billionaires has become the “boogeyman” of the elite, many of whom seem to be lining up behind Bernie for the “free stuff.” I also find it scary that Hillary, who should already be under federal indictment (obviously not the same as conviction) will likely be the nominee of her own party. The prospects either way are become frightening. Trump is no conservative, but like Bernie and Hillary they all three are trying to tap a real anger. What I see happening is a classic case of Hegelian dialectic, that is to say, one takes the other end of the dialectic, create a thesis then an antithesis, the latter of which in politics you set out to destroy. Hegel also often used the term Aufhebung, which is not sublated, as it is sometimes translated . Aufhebung can mean throw up, dissolve, quash, etc. The point is that Hegel is often said to advocate synthesis in his philosophy. In fact, that is actually what Kant advocated. Kantian dialectic sought movement toward synthesis. Hegel worked out of a thesis which was abstract, moving to an anti-thesis which was then (Aufhebung) dissolved, which then brought about a concretized version of the initial thesis. Think how this applies to our present reality. When people are angry, not heard, dis empowered, as you have described, look out! Whether it is in the hands of politicians on the left or the right, the method becomes, offer what is first an abstract position, and move to the Hegelian dialectic eg. “We need to ask what a person’s religion is before they come into the country, because clearly keeping the country safe hasn’t worked under Obama. So if they are Muslim, don’t let them in the county.” (Trump) or conversely, “All of the billionaires in this country have taken advantage of the poor and working class. They fought against tax policies and they have robed the country of needed revenue. So it is time to set things right for the 99% of us and tax those billionaires at 40% so that we can rebuild our infrastructure, have single payer insurance, and so college students can attend the college of their choice tuition free.” (Sanders) Both Trump and Sanders are relying upon a means of countering the antithesis. Everything is in fear mongering, hyperbole and out right distortion. Hillary who is as crooked as a corkscrew is now taking a page out of Sanders’ playbook. Historically, since the 19th century politicians have used it to great effect. (remember that Bohemian Corporal in Germany in the 1930’s) What worries me is that never in my voting career have I been left in a situation where the two nominees: (assuming that it is Hillary and Trump) are two that I cannot seem to find a way to simply hold my nose and cast a ballot in the General election. Primary day here is on the Ides of March (more than a little irony there). I will vote, and only hope that there is someway that the Republicans can avert nominating a New York foul mouthed, vulgar, liberal, bully as its nominee, who is no conservative. Beyond that, all I can do is pray.

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