About Hillary — we can do better

Well, THAT was a convention! I always think the balloons should fall faster, but that is just me – and perhaps a secret wish that it would all be over! The DNC was a well-choreographed spectacle of hopefulness, exceptionalism, saber-rattling and Trump bashing, with lots of faith thrown in. I’m old enough to remember that it seemed a lot like a page from the Ronald Reagan playbook. To be honest, Hillary reminds me a little of Richard Nixon — I kind of think she is a crook, but boy, can she do policy!

But a woman was nominated, people. She works for children. Does anything else matter? William Barber was allowed to give the best speech. Isn’t that great? Secret fat cat donors funded the thing (Johnson and Johnson was apparently the biggest donor with a face), but at least she threatened them. Bernie Sanders was the most gracious curmudgeon to endure Hillary’s moment – shouldn’t you be as nice?

I’m trying to go along a little. I truly admired the eloquence and organizing capacity of the Democrat crew (except for Katy Perry and her malfunctioning ear mics)! I do not believe in their view of America, but it would be great if I did. As Hillary proved, in her own way, “We can do better.” But we Christians are not running an election campaign for our brief moment in office to rule and change the world (are we?). We must do better than holding out America as God’s gift to the planet.

I have the blessing of traveling a lot. The United States is not God’s gift to the planet. I also pray a lot. The country has positive points, but I have not gotten the impression that it is central to the Lord’s redemption project. If anything, China has been better for that, in my lifetime.

But let’s be positive (as if anything could be more positive than the anti-RNC DNC!). The Democrats have a lot to offer

  • They unabashedly talk about love and building community.
  • They are on the side of “the least of these,” and quote the Bible about that conviction.
  • Both Hillary and Tim Kaine have public service resumes that looks like serving.
  • Even if they are obviously in the pockets of corporations, they talk back to their overlords.
  • They mentioned mass incarceration, generosity to immigrants and equal pay for equal work.
  • They are into protecting rights.
  • It cannot be underestimated how revolutionary it is to nominate a woman, and a qualified one!

I don’t think Hillary has a chance of getting most of her agenda passed through Congress, since it appears the Republicans have suppressed voting and gerrymandered the system so well it will be very difficult to dislodge them. So if she is elected, expect her to be a lot testier than Barack.

We must do better. We Christians must not get looped into the glittering promises of Hillary’s great compromise – the first George Bush meets Lyndon Johnson. Just because Johnson and Johnson let Christian speakers on the platform, doesn’t mean the United States is any more Christian. Most of these people are part of the Baby Boomers’ last stand of peace and love. But the legacy of those Boomers looks a lot like all the other promises of politicians. We always need to do better.

It is tempting to spend another four years hoping things will get better – and the government can and does makes things better, as it should. But we still don’t put our hope “in chariots and horses,” that is, in the capacity to threaten ISIS, the wealth to promise free education, or the exceptionalism of our supposed democracy. So let’s not fall into temptation. Someplace, Jesus needs a platform to speak the truth. Someplace, normal people need to struggle face to face in faith and do what they can do, not dependent on their corporate overlords to allow it. Someplace, the alternative to two years of vying to be the top dog has to be available. The church is the Lord’s people and we are, like it or not, the best hope of giving people real hope in a 46%-43% society. I think our witness has been drowned out by big money, big systems and our own complicity (in general). But Jesus is still making connections and is still using us. I’m with Him.

About Rod White

Pastor for Circle of Hope, http://circleofhope.net , grandparent, church planter, peacemaker, comrade, spiritual director, psychotherapist, silence lover

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