Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Test Every Spirit. (1 John 4:1)

"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

Congratulations. If you are able to read this, you have a computer and internet access. This means that the above applies to us even MORE than it did before.

For "right" or "wrong" reasons, Donald Trump has won the Nation's Highest Office. I was discussing the portent of this with a man who has studied politics in far greater depth than I and while he called himself a "Democrat with a small d" he said that he was casting his vote for Trump and he went on to list reasons why he would not vote for Hillary Clinton. When I brought up the lack of political experience, he brought up FDR's keen business sense and suggested that "experience" is overrated.

How do we categorize this? Was the last eight years so ruinous that it required a correction? Was it too much to ask of the country to back a Black man and then expect folks to elect a woman? Was it poor vs. rich? Urban vs. Rural?


For me, it all boils down to, "Hail the Conquering Hero" by Preston Sturges. The plot is that a soldier (Woodrow) comes back from the Marines, not from combat, but for medical reasons before he sees combat. To spare his Mother's (a war widow) feelings, some Marines build up a gallant story about him.

The "Hail the Conquering Hero" Theorem: "Politics is a very peculiar thing...If they want you, they want you. They don't need reasons anymore... they find their own reasons."

When we elected President Barack Obama, we elected not only a brilliant man, but we voted for a cool, telegenic African-American man and his brilliant (and equally telegenic) family.

When we elected President George W. Bush, it was, in part, a repudiation of the sexual politics of the previous President.

Now, we have President-Elect Donald Trump and an overwhelmingly "red" government to look forward to.

Personally, I may lose in this proposition. I am genuinely concerned about the future of my Health Insurance, for example. However, who are among the biggest losers in this race?

The print media. The Trump camp might say media, but Ernst Lubitsch once said that the advent of sound in pictures meant losses in the ranks of actors that couldn't speak, directors that didn't know how to do more than direct traffic and writers who thought they could get by without writing dialogue. Lubitsch also said, though, that producers didn't lose anyone and that was where the talent was.

The internet has given us GOBS of information, without necessarily expanding wisdom, but it and the advent of Craigslist, destabilized the financial foundation of many newspapers. A Presidential candidate just won and not only was he endorsed by only one newspaper, he was denounced by USA Today, which NEVER has endorsed any candidate before. Almost every major poll on either side of the political spectrum had him pegged as losing.

That's is, well, shall was say, huge.

We may lose some of these organizations. Who will survive and what will supplant them? At one time a poll was taken in the country and the most respected journalist was deemed to be...

Jon Stewart.

A man that had a comedy show based on current events. John Cleese, called it sad that there is a section of the populace that gets its news from "Daily Show"-type shows and I agree.

So, what do we do now? We do what I have said we must do in any situation.

Pray and act.

However, we must do what the Bible says to do, " not believe every spirit". We must learn to sift through information and find wisdom.

Pray and act.

We must tell our children that the level of discourse from this last electoral cycle does not represent this country at it's best. We must strive to be informed, for the devil is not in the details, he's in the glossing over.

Pray and act.

And to you millions who held their noses rather than vote, I hope you can face your ancestors with a good enough excuse as to why you didn't.

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