Monday, November 30, 2020

What I Have Learned From the Donald Trump Presidency


In a way, it is much easier to learn from adverse, difficult, or unpleasant circumstances. This is because we are forced to pay attention to what is going on. The presence of what we hate or fear and the absence of what we accept as normal or cherish, also forces us to examine our beliefs. Loss of what we value or gaining what we loathe, makes it harder to take norms or benefits for granted. 

This applies also to living under a President who has spent his political campaigns and years governing in tearing down norms and institutions that we have come to depend on will always be there for us. For so many of us, living under President Donald Trump has been highly eventful. We have had to pay attention to things we may not have before. We have had to re-evaluate our belief systems. We have been unable to take what we have come to depend on, for granted. 

So what can we say that we should have learned from the Presidency of Donald Trump?

1). Some existing laws need to be changed.  Those of us who have followed the many legal angles surrounding Donald Trump can claim that we have received an informal law school education! These past three plus years have brought many TV appearances by former prosecutors, current defense attorneys, and other legal scholars. We went through two years of a Russia investigation. Whatever you think of that investigation and its outcome, you may have educated yourself about the legal system if you have followed it. 

We have observed Donald Trump do many things that cannot be prosecuted but proved extremely controversial. And many of us have observed the President and others, during his 2016 campaign and afterwards, do unsavory, selfish, immoral, and incredibly foolish things. Yet Robert S Mueller and his team were unable to establish evidence of a conspiracy with Russia to interfere with the 2016 campaign--despite many contacts with Russian officials. 

Throughout his 2016 campaign and Presidency, Donald Trump has done many corrupt, selfish, stupid, even cruel things. He has invited Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails. A videotape captures him bragging about his prowess in sexually assaulting women. He has fired many officials without cause. He has demanded loyalty from those who work with and for him. He has lied countless times to the public. He has bullied those under him into doing things they found morally or ethically problematic. He has called for the prosecution of political opponents.

Donald Trump evidently is not stupid.  Yes, it seems that he has had a "knack" for skirting the edge of the law without actually breaking it. It seems that he knows how the stretch the law without actually crossing the line and breaking it. He has enjoyed what is known as "Presidential immunity," protection against prosecution because of the office he hold. How many times have I exclaimed: "No President should have so much power!" or "I never heard of anyone with so many 'rights!' " Does this indicate that maybe existing laws need to be changed or created?

2). People don't always act as expected. Just observing the conduct and actions of many in the Trump Administration should tell us that. Many of these officials have spent their entire careers serving with character and honor. The same holds true for many elected officials, particularly those in the GOP. Generally, they also have served with honor and integrity. 

Sadly, during these past few years of Trump, things changed. Many in Trump's staff and Cabinet, likely fearing their boss's wrath, remained silent even when he did things that many saw as abhorrent and even dangerous. Many elected officials, even most who ran strong primaries against Trump in 2016, unexpectedly became staunch allies of his during his Presidency.

Of course, it goes without saying that many of us have not expected the attitudes and actions of many Trump supporters. Donald Trump has done many controversial things, even before he ever became President. On videotape, he bragged about getting by with sexually assaulting women. He invited Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails. On videotape, he mocked a reporter with a disability. He called Mexicans criminals and rapists. 

As President, Donald Trump imposed a travel ban on Muslim countries. He has appointed many people who have been both inexperienced and morally compromised. He has called for the prosecutions of political opponents. He has obstructed investigations into himself and others. He has called the media "fake news" and the "enemy of the people." He has separated many migrant children from their families, some seemingly forever. He has made it a point to bully, intimidate, and punish anyone who dares to "cross" him." And, yet, many women, poor people, and people of color have voted for this President in 2020. 

3). Democracy must not be taken for granted. If you live in the United States, you live in a country where you can vote if you are a citizen. Multiple institutions exist for the purpose of keeping all of us safe and to hold wrongdoers accountable. We have typically trusted these institutions to be there for us. However, we got Donald Trump, a man fiercely determined to attack and batter these trusted institutions and resulting, established norms. To be fair, many have been mistrusting many of these before the rise of Donald Trump. It was for that very reason, among other things, that he was able to get into the White House. 

Donald Trump has been both a symptom and a cause of so many of what ails us. No aspect of what came to be known as the "deep state" has escaped unscathed. Donald Trump has battered the CIA, the FBI, the CDC, and even the military. He has fired perfectly good officials from these institutions, in many cases replacing them with "loyalists" who have politicized these institutions. He has done the same with other institutions.

Donald Trump has battered and shattered so many norms. He has fired many officials, mostly because they have crossed him or criticized him in some way. Often, he has replaced them with "yes people" and "trump loyalists" Doing this has forced us to pay attention to many norms that we were able to take for granted before. Over and over, he has called media "fake news" and the "enemy of the people." Many officials have resigned in protest. They could not in clear conscience work under circumstances where they would face pressures to do things deemed to be unethical, immoral, even criminal. 

To be fair, some who resigned from the CDC in protest, did state that the CDC had faced barriers during the AIDS epidemic. "We could have saved more lives" and "More infections could have been avoided." But politicization, even then, was not as severe as has become under the Donald Trump Presidency. In fact, the situation became so bad that Joe Biden has benefited from many voters who based their vote on the need to "save our democracy." How can we take democracy be taken for granted again?

4). Neither major party holds all human life as valuable. Actually, I was always somewhat aware of this. Yet this was powerfully reinforced during the Presidency of Donald Trump. Throughout his whole term, Trump has shown disdain for the lives of immigrants, people of color, women, and anyone who had the courage to stand up to him or hold him accountable. He has even shown contempt for members of the military. Of course, he has shown utter contempt for virtually all his political opponents. And yet, his policies and communication with white right Evangelical Christians and the pro-life movement has evinced regard and respect for the lives of the unborn and their right to live. 

Donald Trump has made the sanctity of unborn lives a priority throughout his Presidency. The pro-life movement have anointed him as "the most pro-life President in United States history." But Donald Trump has never shown a consistent life ethic. Far from it! His Vice-President, Mike Pence, also is strongly pro-life about abortion. His loyalty to Trump has called his consistent life ethic into question, however. Trump's and Pence's ethics line up with their party.

In President-Elect, Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect, Kamala Harris, this principle works in reverse. According to to his past record and statements, Biden has demonstrated regard and respect for the lives of those Trump shows disdain for. Biden consistently shows empathy for immigrants, people of color, women, and anyone deemed vulnerable. So has Harris. Even the past controversial "Crime" bill, which Biden authored, was set up to fight crime out of empathy for crime victims. It contains elements like the Violence against Women's Act. Yet the pro-life movement and religious right Evangelicals have a major beef with Joe Biden. 

There is one people group which Biden now shows complete disregard for--the unborn. He has promised to "uphold Roe" via law and repeal the Hyde Amendment. Harris isn't only pro-choice but proudly pro-abortion. As California Attorney General, she has gone after pro-life pregnancy resource centers as well as a pro-life whistleblower against Planned Parenthood. Despite their character, competence and empathy, neither Biden nor Harris show a consistent life ethic. Biden's and Harris's ethics line up with their party.

5). Both character and ideology matter in a leader. Throughout his Presidency, Donald Trump has not demonstrated much character. He has shown consistent dishonesty through his lies to the public. He has shown greed through severely unethical business practices. He has evinced poor impulse control though numerous public outbursts caught on tape. Trump has demonstrated selfishness by making it a point to make things about himself, no matter what goes on with his country. He has shown cruelty and lack of empathy through separating migrant children from his families; frequently, he has failed to show empathy in response to national crises. He has evinced racism in calling certain groups criminals, spreading false information about "caravans" in 2018, and failing to clearly condemn white supremacist groups. 

Yet Donald Trump has shown an ideology that has been so morally acceptable that the religious Right have strongly supported him. He has garnered much praise and support from them due to his anti-abortion stance and solid support for religious liberty. In exchange, pro-life voters and religious Right voters have overwhelmingly voted for Trump both in 2016 and 2020.

The principle of character and policy work in reverse for Joe Biden. Throughout much of his life, including in public service, he has displayed many virtues. He has shown empathy, over and over, in his conduct, attitude, and policies. Throughout the general election and transition, he has demonstrated restraint and discipline in the face of Trump's attacks on him. Despite his rather problematic civil rights record, Biden has evinced respect for the lives, histories, and needs of anyone with difference of race, ethnicity, disability, and more. He has shown depth and vulnerability, particularly when he addresses the multiple past tragedies in his past. Biden has demonstrated consistency in messaging throughout his primary, the general election, and now. His VP, Kamala Harris, has also shown these qualities. In addition, arguably even more than Biden, she has shown strength, toughness of personality, and the knack of saying the right thing at the right time.

On the other hand, the Biden/Marris stance on abortion and weakness on religious liberty turn off religious Right Christians and the pro-life movement. For all his virtues, Joe Biden hasn't earned the support or trust of those who typically vote based on the sanctity of life or religious liberty values. In the eyes of Trump supporters, character did not make up for what they view as a fundamentally morally lax platform.

These past almost four years may have been a rough ride. They may have forced us to ask questions we may never have had to ask before. But what a learning experience this has been--informal lessons in civics, law, and even psychology!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

What Joe Biden Needs to Do to Help Heal Us

This is addressed to President-Elect, Joe Biden:

You will probably never see this, much less read it. But if I could talk directly to you, these are the things I would say to you, the things that I believe that you need to be aware of and take to heart. NOW....

Repeatedly, you have stated, promising: "I may be running as a proud Democrat. But as a President, I will govern as an American. I will be the President for every American, whether you voted for me or not."

So let me provide some tips as to how you can make this work, and fulfill that pledge.

1). In your first speech as President, address those who voted for Donald Trump. You are doubtless aware that over 73,000,000 people cast their ballots for Donald Trump. They voted against you. Currently, many remain in a state of denial and refuse to accept the results. Many others may accept the result but do not feel happy over it. You need to ponder their fears, concerns, issue priorities, and ideologies. Then speak to all of these, using your gift of empathy to walk in their shoes. Assure them that you will do everything to reach out to them. Then make plans to apply this to how you govern.

2). In your first speech as President, address those who feel "politically homeless," not represented by either major political party. Many people did not vote either for you or for Donald Trump. They may have voted for Third Party Presidential Candidates or left the choice for President blank. Many may have not voted--period. They don't feel that either Democrats or Republicans adequately represent them or their value systems. Many of them are "consistent life ethics" voters who favor social justice issues upheld by Democrats but also oppose abortion like most Republicans. Speak to their concerns; emphasize with them. Keep them in mind as you govern.

3). Moderate on abortion. Many millions of voters from the Republican, Independent AND yes, Democratic parties, based their votes on abortion. They said NO what they see as your "abortion extremism," including your call to repeal the Hyde Amendment. Many of these voters detest Donald Trump, but felt conscience-bound to vote against you. During your campaign, nothing you said or did gave these voters any assurance of any outreach to these voters. Find it in your heart to moderate on abortion. Stop calling for the repeal of Hyde; allow it to stand. Show support for the Pain Capable Child Act and the Born Alive Infant Protect Act. Two measures would be reasonable restrictions; the third would say NO to infanticide. Please return to your Catholic roots. These measures will not threaten women's rights. Studies show that many women do not want or need abortions! Instead, promote adoption; fund family-friendly and child-friendly initiatives. Fund and strengthen the child and family welfare system!

4). Do not copy everything that former President Obama did when you served with him. Yes, we know that you profoundly admire the former President and want to emulate him. Still, copying him too closely can backfire! Remember, it was disenchantment with two terms of Obama that gave rise to Donald Trump's rise in the first place. As wonderful as Obama was as President, he was not perfect. After Obama's second term and Trump's 2016 campaign, Democrats lost most "working-class white voters" to Donald Trump. Democrats also lost (even then but not like in 2020) increasing number of African-American and Latino voters. They lost voters in other people groups. Emulate Obama yet find your unique governing style that seeks to appeal to those who voted for Donald Trump.

5). Appoint to your Cabinet a qualified official in charge of religious outreach task force. I know that you probably have your own ideas of whom to appoint, But I strongly urge you to appoint a qualified person in charge of religion and issues of faith. The task force can be as small or large as you wish. But it could reassure those who fear that your Presidency would hinder their religious liberty; they fear your Presidency will run roughshod over values that bind their consciences. Then listen to their advice and counsel; take it into consideration when you propose future legislation and evaluate legislative bills that come across your desk.

6). Appoint to your Cabinet a qualified official in charge of an anti-human trafficking task force. There are task forces for other forms of crime, like Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF), but none that we know of focused on human trafficking. This is a huge, worldwide, multimillion dollar industry. It needs to be shut down. Many fine nonprofits are fighting to help end it. But they can use more help from the government. Nonprofits express dissatisfaction that neither major political party is doing enough to help combat the issue. Appoint a team of qualified professionals as well as survivors on this task force; let the FBI expand their capacity in using them.

7). Appoint to your Cabinet a qualified official in charge of a task force to find missing persons, identified the unidentified, and fight crime. Many people in the world of the missing, unidentified, and crime, from my experience, apparently feel that Democrats don't adequately address these issues. The fact that many law enforcement officials seem to support Donald Trump, exemplifies this. Donald Trump branded himself as the "law and order candidate." Many voters fell for this line. You can reassure many of them that you will take crime-fighting seriously. Appoint a team of qualified people (law enforcement, other professionals, crime survivors) for the purpose of finding the missing, giving the unidentified back their names, and combating crime. Let the FBI expand their capacity to use them.

8). Appoint to your Cabinet a qualified official in charge of a task force focusing on racial relations.  Include both law enforcement and representative minority community members. Appoint a qualified person of color to head this task force. Mixing this task force with concerned law enforcement as well as minority professionals will reach out to both sides. When you ponder legislation or legislative bills cross your desk, carefully consider their advice before taking any action. They can advise also on fighting poverty, income inequality, and homelessness. Taking their advice should benefit all people, whatever their race or ethnicity.

9). Appoint to your Cabinet a qualified official in charge of a task force to combat disinformation campaigns. Consider re-hiring the Christopher Krebs, the Cybersecurity Chief whom Trump had fired in late November. .He had been in charge of cyber security and disinformation. Then appoint other professionals in a task force. Congress should contact them for advice when they have social media CEO's come to the Hill to testify, for example. Their counsel should be sought surrounding and during every election cycle.

10). Appoint to your Cabinet a qualified person with a disability in charge of a task force to confront disability-related issues. For way too long, people with disabilities, even those who have succeeded in life, haven't felt adequately represented in Washington. Unlike with other minorities, we see very few people with disabilities in media, many professions, or in government. Sadly, most are invisible. We have come a long way, but still have a long way to go. Appoint a qualified official with a disability to head up this task force. Add to this team experts in various disabilities and qualified persons with various disabilities. Doing this will reassure the disability community that you believe that they matter. "Nothing about us without us"!

Doing these things will cost both time and money. However, they will pay for themselves. And they will make it easier for you to keep your campaign pledge to heal the deep, gaping wounds in this country. Be a President for all!

***NOTE***: The Leadership positions need not be Cabinet level but should be Senior level, in my humble opinion.


Friday, November 13, 2020

To the Pro-LIfe Movement


Roughly one half of America are celebrating. They are relieved, elated, thrilled, happy, and excited to get rid of someone whom they viewed as destroying democracy. Now they are back to normalcy. Many are relieved to see the exit of someone who did not make them feel welcome in their own country.

Roughly one half of America are not celebrating. They are devastated, terrified, furious, shocked, and in denial about the election outcome. Their hero and many in his party also refuse to accept the election results. They are crying rigged election and voter fraud.

Social media has been blowing up with posts from voters who are either elated and relieved or profoundly disappointed and livid.

Donald Trump remains President until January 20, 2021. Before him, losing Presidential Candidates have almost always conceded graciously. This is normally the same case for losing down-ballot Candidates. It was no easier for them to lose than it is for Donald Trump. It is painful to lose. Not only does losing bruise your ego, but it deprives you of a prize that you had invested in. Presidential campaigns cost tremendous amounts of time and energy. Losing them is devastating for both the candidates and their supporters. I know that many pro-life people enthusiastically voted for Donald Trump. In fact, many pro-lifers chose to look past Donald Trump's intensely controversial words, conduct, and some other anti-life policies, and based your votes for him solely on his platform that has protected the unborn and rejected abortions in general.

Pro-life and religious Right Evangelicals voted FOR Donald Trump. Reports tell us that many of you did not vote AGAINST his opponent as much as you voted FOR him. You have been intensely enthusiastic about him. During his tenure, Donald Trump made championing the unborn baby's right to life and religious liberty his priority. His motives for upholding values you treasure may have been transactional, but he has upheld them. Learning of his loss is a blow. It may comfort you that he is contesting the election results. It may make you feel that he is fighting for you, and reassure you. When he cries "Voter fraud!" and "Rigged election!" you tend to agree. You may believe it is true, that everyone is unfairly picking on your guy.

To make things worse, President-Elect Joe Biden may not surround himself with pro-life people. During his campaign, had chosen a now Vice-President Elect, Senator Kamala Harris, who is even worse about abortion. According to reports, she had taken legal actions to suppress free speech for pregnancy resource centers. She also took legal actions against a pro-life whistleblower against Planned Parenthood. She will have a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, if needed. As his VP, Kamala Harris will exert much influence over Joe Biden as President. As much as he may want to reverse any pro-choice stance of his platform, Harris would likely do all she could to suppress such a move. As I write this, he is in the process of choosing Cabinet officials who are pro-choice. 

I know full well that no amount of evidence will probably convince many Trump supporters who believe that your guy is the victim of widespread voter fraud. As I write, Georgia is set to do a full hand recount of all its counties. It's unlikely that we will see the race there certified until later this month. Networks have called Arizona for Joe Biden this Friday. Some networks have called North Carolina for Donald Trump. Even if Trump ends up actually won North Carolina, he still would come shy of 270. When the recount comes back, it's unlikely that the outcome will change; this is what history indicates. Trump had been taking legal action also in Arizona. 

Donald Trump is legally entitled to contest the results of this 2020 election. He is exercising a right. But does he have the moral obligation to do so? Is he modeling the Christ Whom he claims by fighting the election results? Does this help his credibility or his legacy? Trump has no moral obligation to fight election results, unless you are talking about his coming off as a fighter. I doubt that Christ, if alive today, would run for any political office. But if he did and lost, He would have graciously conceded; He would do all He could to foster a peaceful transition to power. Trump is looking link a sore loser, like one unable to take defeat. So this helps neither his credibility or his legacy. Also, reports tell us that he is firing upper-level people in his defense department. For about a week, he has not been seen in public. Some pundits suspect that he will begin pardoning undeserving criminals. 

Yes, I know that the unborn have lost advocates in Donald Trump and Mike Pence. You rightly fear that anti-abortion "victories" will be undone, that Biden may take steps to roll them back. On Facebook, I found one article published; it claims that Biden plans to issue executive orders to roll back anti-abortion measures which Donald Trump put in place. I have not found other articles to back this up, except one that Facebook placed a "Fact Check" disclaimer by. I fervently hope that Joe Biden will not issue these pro-choice executive orders. If he does so, he demonstrating extremism on a highly polarizing issue. This would do nothing to heal or unite America. For the sake of democracy and unity alone  (let alone protecting the unborn), he should not do this!

I know that many of you are in no mood to accept the results of the recent 2020 election. Please try to understand, however, why millions of people feel relieved at the thought of no longer being forced to live under a President and Administration that made them feel unwelcome and marginalized, even unsafe and scared. You may dislike the fact that protecting the unborn may not be priority for them. You may be in no mood to try to emphasize with them. Reports tell us that courts reject one  of Donald Trump's lawsuits after another. Bear in mind that many of these are no doubt judges whom he had appointed.  But these doubts about the outcome of this election need to stop! The guy you voted for and support is un endangering national security, hindering the fight against COVID-19, making America look weak to the world, and hindering a smooth, peaceful transition of power. Trump is undermining his own legacy, plus we don't hear his voice being raised now for even the unborn. None of what he is doing is pro-life. 

Scripture tells us to pray for the President and others in power. This includes those we do not support, like, or agree with. If nothing, pray for him as an enemy, if you view him as such. The Bible tells us to pray even for our enemies. Who knows? God may change Biden's heart or even rabidly pro-abortion Harris's heart. Multiple reports indicate that Donald Trump may run for President, again, in 2024. We are more than just Republicans, Democrats, or Independents; there is much more to life than politics. 

Top election security experts call this 2020 race the most secure race in history. Read article.
This is an UPDATED article about the most current developments in the 2020 election. Read article.
This is an article about the 2020 election; found at THE GUARDIAN, it links to other articles about the election's outcome. Read article & others.
This article fact-checks what the President has said after the election. Read article.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Post-Election Thoughts


Like you, whatever your voting choices, I was nervous, apprehensive, and really excited.
People came to vote in margins like never before.
Many new voters came out to cast their ballots.
Many people who stayed home in 2016 cast ballots this time.
Many people cast their votes by mail.
Many voters cast their votes in-person.
Half of us went to bed pleased as punch that the other side lost seats in the House and did not regain Senate control. The outcome of the Presidency remained uncertain.
Half of us went to bed disappointed, disillusioned, concerned, angry, maybe heartbroken. This side lost seats to the other side in the House and did not regain the Senate. The outcome of the Presidency remained uncertain. 
Lots of people voted on Election Day. Tv "road warriors" were scattered all over the country in many states. Journalists, election officials, lawyers, and many others have seen a "stress test" of this democracy like none other.
Though lots of dollars were poured into some Democratic Senate races, these Candidates, for the most part, lost. 
Democrats do not regain the control of the Senate.
They keep control of the House, but have lost multiple seats.
Data tell us that more African-Americans and Latinos voted for Donald Trump than they did in 2016.
Roughly 48 percent of voters cast their ballots for Donald Trump
Democrats hoped for a huge read wave. Instead of that, we are seeing a red wave.
Election Night did not deliver to Americans a clear winner.
The next day, Americans still don't know who their next President will be. 
The day after that, American still did not learn who would be the next President.
The day after that, America still did not learn who would be the next President.
The day after that, we woke up still not knowing who would be the President-Elect. In the late morning, we finally learned.
Reports tell us that Joe Biden has won more popular votes than any other Democratic Candidate in United States history. And votes continue to be counted.
Donald Trump is legally challenging lawsuits against the vote count process. This goes on in every state where updated vote counts seem to favor his opponent, now projected as President-Elect.
Reports tell us that Trump supporters in some states have taken to the streets, even carrying weapons in "open carry" states.
On social media, many users are crying "election fraud."

We have not seen an election like this in United states history. And there are lessons that all of us, whether we are politicians or private citizens, should take away from this historic election that was not yet been decided until after the 4th day after Election Day.. And we are counting votes.....

We are divided in half. Millions and millions of people turned out to to vote. Reportedly we saw the highest voter turnout in 2020 than in any other election. Conventional wisdom has it that low voter turnout tends to favor Republicans and high voter turnout tends to favor Democrats,. Actually, data indicate that roughly half of all people turned out to vote for Donald Trump and roughly half of all people came out to vote for Joe Biden. Takeaway? We are roughly divided in half. It is like we are split into two Americas. Two universes. Two worldviews. Two views of one reality.

No group can be approached as a "monolith." This holds true no matter what group we talk about. In politics, politicians and their operatives talk about the Latino vote, the African-American vote, the Muslim vote, the pro-life vote, the Christian vote, the women's vote, the senior vote, and so on. Politicians and people assume what members of certain groups care about as issues. For example, we assume that Latinos base their votes about immigration, African-Americans base their votes on racial justice, women base their votes on women's rights, and seniors base their votes on policy affecting Social Security and Medicare. Ah, reports tell us that many seniors, African-Americans, Latinos, women, and seniors voted for Donald Trump; he is not known to champion "their issues." Many voters who "should" have voted for Joe Biden did not. 

Democrats need to face a reckoning about their party. Before Election Day, polls forecast Republicans, especially in the Senate, to be at serious risk of losing their races. Democrats poured huge dollars into their races. One Senator predicted a GOP "bloodbath," politically speaking. Ah, the reverse happened. The "bloodbath" happened among Democrats. The Senate remains GOP controlled. House Democrats lost seats, making that body more divided than in 2018. Democrats did not convert their lavish fund-raising dollars into votes. What is going on? Do Democrats need to change their messaging, as many TV pundits keep stating? Or do Democrats need to adjust something in their platform? This is a topic that needs a blog post of its own.

Donald Trump has split the country into two camps. One camp loves Trump and swears by him. The other camp abhors Trump and swears at him. We have become totally polarized. The country has been getting divided for decades. But since Donald Trump entered office and took over the Presidency, he has intensified and deepened this divide. As noted by pundits, he has "brought out" many people whose "fringe" views have become mainstream, specifically white supremacy groups. Those who oppose these "fringe" groups have also "come out" in historic numbers, to oppose them. Many family members and friends have ended relationships over deep differences over Donald Trump..

The next President will face many challenges in his job. We have just learned that former Vice-President Joe Biden will be the next President and Senator Kamala Harris will be the next Vice-President.. Both will need much prayer and support, even from those who did not vote for this ticket. This President-Elect will have to deal with a completely polarized country; he will will have to face a divided government. Christians, who have embraced Donald Trump and rightly showered him in prayer, should do the same thing for the President-Elect Joe Biden. He will need this prayer support throughout the upcoming four years. They should do this even if this President-Elect is not named Donald Trump. We need to redouble our efforts to speak out on behalf of the unborn, but do it with prayer, grace, and respect.

The pro-life movement needs to regroup. Embracing Trump as standard-bearer has not worked for them. They can crow that GOP candidates who agree with the pro-life platform, won virtually all of their races in both the Senate and the House. And all of those who based their vote on protecting the unborn, are no disappointed, scared, disillusioned, and disgusted. They have lost someone they embraced as the "most pro-life President in United States history." As heartbroken as these pro-life and religious Right voters are, they will need to set aside the anger, fear, disappointment, letdown, hurt and horror they are no doubt feeling and redouble their efforts on behalf of the unborn.

We will get through this.

This is an UPDATE of the 2020 Election. Read article.
This web page provides "live" updates in this fluid and developing story of the outcome of the 2020 election. Read page.

Monday, November 2, 2020

If, If, If, & 2020


Like me, I am sure that you are jittery, nervous, excited, enthusiastic, and tense about the results about this 2020 election. Whoever you support--Donald Trump, Joe Biden, or a Third Party Candidate, we are united in asserting that this is the most consequential, historic election of our lifetimes. Because of the intense divide in the United States, Voter suppression efforts, foreign interference, a flood of disinformation, and more, this race can go either way. Anything can happen.

If Your Side Wins

This piece is addressed mainly to any of each of you who identify as pro-life. It addressed to you, whether you are conservative, progressive, or moderate. Pro-life voters are highly diverse in ideology, politics, and worldview. The main thing Pro-lifers have in common is that we believe that life begins at conception. But what is written here is meant for ANY VOTER. 

Donald Trump Supporters--So you learn that Donald Trump gets certified as the official winner? Let is count not when or if he declares victory on Election night, which many pundits believe he may. No, let us consider the time he may be certified as the actual winner after every vote is counted. You likely will be thrilled! If your vote for him was based on his anti-abortion stance, you can cheer on that the unborn will retain their advocate for four more. If your vote was based on his stance on religious liberty, you can breathe a sigh of relief. He will be around to champion you for the next four years. Whatever you based your support for Trump on, you can smile and crow about your side getting four more years of representation. 

And, yet, there are important caveats. You may have "held your nose" voted voted for Donald Trump. So you may likely sense where I'm going with this. But you may be one who voted for Trump because you love him. Please be sensitive to the other side, who, if Joe Biden loses, will be devastated, scared, and angry. Don't gloat or say "I told you so!" If you identify as Christian and/or pro-life, bear in mind that people of color, people with disabilities, the poor, the middle and working-class, and many women will fear that they will lose their rights. Many people will be terrified that Trump, if awarded a second term, will damage America beyond repair and will destroy our reputation with our allies. To establish credibility, do much more to hold Trump accountable for actions and policies that are anti-life, unpatriotic, selfish, racist, and mean, than religious Right voters did during his first term. You can do that and still cheer him on as he champions anti-abortion and pro religious liberty values. Do both! If you based your vote for Trump on other issues or because you love him, still seek to live at peace with the other side.

Joe Biden Supporters--You have learned that Joe Biden has been certified as the President-Elect. You breathe a sigh of relief. You had experienced anxiety and fear that the polls would be as "off" as they were in 2016, when Hillary Clinton lost. Remember the shock, devastation, and heartbreak you felt then? Sure you do! You now are foreseeing a return to civility, peace, unity, and healing. You know that Joe Biden will not be able to  serve as a "cure-all" for the past four years. It will take much time for him to undo the damage that has been done over the years. The poor, workers, immigrants, women, and others who suffered under a Trump Presidency will gain an advocate. Gone will be regular scandals flooding the news. Gone will be hearing about the President seemingly millions of times per day. No longer will we have to worry about what outrageous thing the President will say or do next. 

And yet, there are important caveats. Above all, bear in mind that if you identify as Christian or pro-life, like-minded voters will view you as having betrayed basic values. This will certainly be the case if you dare to share how you voted. It won't matter why you chose Biden. If you are Christian and/or pro-life, you know that the unborn will not have an advocate in Joe Biden. It will be as if they don't exist. You need to work hard to push back on Biden's and Harris's stances on abortion and religious liberty. Understand the deep-seated anger, rage, and let-down the other side will be feeling. Do not give into fear. Seek to extend peace and grace when you can. Show them that a Biden Presidency will not be the death sentence many of them believe it will be. It may be harder to practice your religion, but "persecution" under Biden will be a cake-walk compared to the horrors believers face worldwide. The country will not become "communist" under Biden. Illegal immigrants won't suddenly flood across the borders. Work tirelessly on behalf of the unborn, if you're pro-life. Extend peace!

If Your Side Loses

This is a painful reality. Both sides express confidence that they will win. Both sides believe they should win. But, unfortunately, only one side will win. And we all must face, head-on, the reality that our side may lose. Our side is just as likely to lose as to win. Either Biden or Trump, when a winner is officially certified, will be forced to concede the election to his opponent. The outcome may be unfair, it may anger and terrify you even to contemplate it, but there will be an outcome. This is democracy. In a democracy, there are winners and losers. We could contest the results, take to the streets, and make noise all over television and social media. We can blame voter suppression or election fraud, depending what side we are on. We can blame the other side for cheating or even our side for not campaigning differently. Whatever happens, we will face challenges.

Donald Trump supporters--You have learned that your candidate of choice, Donald Trump, has been certified to have lost the election. You are appalled, angry, livid, disgusted, and feel the urge to take to the streets. You kept hearing about the high voter turnout among those on your side. Your candidate told you, from the beginning, that if he lost, it was because the Democrats stole the election from him. You believe this. You make a plan to protest; you're not taking this lying down! If you are a pro-lifer or a person of faith, you fear that a Biden Presidency will undo all the pro-life gains that your movement has made over the years. You're frightened that you'll lose your religious liberties, that a Biden Presidency will shut down your free speech. Now that the unborn have lost their advocate, you know that your work is cut out for you. You're glad that Trump is a fighter and is going to contest the election, as he threatened to do. This is what you like about him; he fights for what he believes in, whether it concerns himself or you. He is talking tough and rough; this is another reason you love him. 

Yes, there are important caveats. If you based your vote on abortion, you will need to double down on your fight for the unborn. They need your voice as much as ever. The same holds true for religious freedom. As for other issues on which you may have based your Trump vote, your fears may not necessarily come true. Biden will not open the borders and let a bunch of criminals flood in. Nor will he let anarchists take over the streets. He opposes defunding the police. The government will be unlikely to "take over" the health care system. You may fear that Biden will raise your taxes, even if you fall under the limit he set. Calm down and breathe. Please. Biden is not the far Left radical that many on your side have painted him, as your Candidate has portrayed him. 

Joe Biden Supporters--You are horrified at the news that Donald Trump has earned a second term. You have heard that Joe Biden is preparing to make a concession speech. You feel devastated, terrified, livid, and shocked. How could there be this repeat of 2016? Did Joe Biden's COVID conscious style of campaigning backfire? Should he have visited more states? Used more surrogates? Done more to get out the vote in key areas? Picked a different running mate? You'll never know. All you know is that you're facing four more years of the nightmare that you so desperately have wanted to avoid! You were so elated at the high voter turnout in the days leading up to the election. Did suppressed votes hand Trump a second term? It is so unfair, so wrong! But it has happened and your side has to face your stark, painful, ugly reality.

In this case, there are important caveats. If you identify as Christian or pro-life, you can assure yourself that the unborn and religious liberty rights will retain their advocate. Roe vs. Wade may be overturned; Planned parenthood may be defunded. However, you know that the pandemic may go on for many more years, family separation may continue, good public figures may keep getting fired, and you likely will hear the name Trump seemingly millions of times per day. If you use Social Security or the Affordable Care Act, you may be certain that you may lose these. You may fear that you will lose other rights. Because of Trump's threats, I cannot assure you that your fears are unfounded. With him, we can count on only the unpredictable. I can only assure you that after these four years end, term limits forbid Trump from seeking a third term. He MUST leave by January 20, 2025. But that is cold comfort to you now. As hard as it is, expect it to get rougher. You sense it may. Officials of principle may bravely hold Trump accountable. Divine Intervention may play a role. Please breathe and calm down.

A Word to Third Party Voters--A number of voters have chosen Third party candidates or written people in, if this option exists in their states. You may have done this if you did not have much use for Donald Trump or Joe Biden. You may not like either man or their personalities. You may lean toward Trump or Biden. However, because your moral convictions left you with the deep feeling that neither major party represents you. You know that your vote was risky and may "throw" the election to the most evil candidate. While you may not be complicit in the evils of either of the major parties, you know that you need to do all you can to push back against the major parties. In 2024, there is always hope that you will have better choices. It is better, if given the choice, to be able to vote for a major party candidate than to vote for or write in a Candidate who cannot win.

If you have not voted yet, you can increase the odds that the election will swing your way. Tomorrow, Election Day, it is your time. VOTE, VOTE, VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

This article seeks to calm our fears about the election results. Read article.

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