Kavanaugh and Common Ground

The recently concluded U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh have ignited the passions of all Americans. Seldom in our nation’s history have political sides been so fiercely divided. Democrats strongly believe Kavanaugh didn’t belong on the nation’s highest court. They strongly believe he is guilty of sexually assaulting a 15 year old girl 37 years ago when he was 17 years old. Many have called him a rapist. Many believe his angry response to these charges disqualifies him because he demonstrated a temperament and a political bias that is inappropriate for serving as a judge let alone a Justice. Many believe he would over turn Roe vs Wade, the 45 year old Supreme Court ruling that legalized virtually all abortions throughout the land, and because of this he is unqualified for the Court. These are Democrat’s beliefs. And it makes no difference how wrong YOU think these beliefs are. It’s clear Democrats are immovable in these beliefs. Polls show no other demographic is the determining factor in whether a person finds Kavanaugh qualified or not. Not age, race, sexual orientation, income, geographic location. Nothing but your political affiliation determines whether you think Kavanaugh is guilty of the cruel charges against him. If you vote Democrat you believe his confirmation to be a travesty.

Republicans believe Kavanaugh was wronged and smeared with lies and exaggerations in a calculated character assassination designed to derail his Supreme Court nomination. They point to the fact that no charge against him is any newer or fresher than 35 years ago. Republicans point to accuser’s inability to produce evidence or corroborating witnesses. They point to Kavanaugh’s lifetime of service in government and in community service and his wonderful family. They believe him to be a good man.

As this is written we are 3 days from his confirmation being solidified and the storm has not quelled yet. Democratic politicians even talk of opening investigations into the recent claims that date back 30+ years and of impeaching the Justice. Samuel Chase, an original signatory of the Declaration of Independence is the only Supreme Court Justice to ever be impeached. The U.S. House voted for impeachment in 1805. The Senate acquitted the Associate Justice that same year.

It’s hard to fathom where we go from here. Division is so firm right now. But this Republican hopes to invoke the words of three Democrats in this writing in the hopes of beginning a mending of this country. Few things politically have upset me to the degree this matter has and while I think it would be easy to point fingers at the Left for their tactics in the Kavanaugh case, there is no getting around the fact that the Left is firm in its belief. So continuing to try and change their mind amounts to pounding ones head against brick. They would say the same of the Right.

In 1963 President John F. Kennedy said: “So, let us not be blind to our differences–but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

It was in the context of world peace. But’s its cry for togetherness applies very much to today.

It was during his 1961 inaugural address that Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” 

In 1988 defeated Democratic Presidential candidate Jesse Jackson addressed the Democratic National Convention in a stem winding speech where he repeatedly invoked the phrase “Common Ground”. “Common Ground! That is the challenge to our party tonight. Left wing. Right wing. Progress will come not through boundless liberalism nor static conservatism, but at the critical mass of mutual survival. It takes two wings to fly. The Bible teaches that when lions and the lambs can lie down together and none will be afraid, there will be peace in the valley. Common ground. American is not a blanket, woven from one thread, one color, one cloth. “

And in 2004 a State Senator from Illinois spoke at the Democratic National Convention about Red states and Blue states:

Three Democrats. One theme. We are all bound together and we all can achieve more when we work together.

Togetherness and love for one another is the only answer. It’s important for everyone of us to learn disagreement is not hate. Agreement is not love. Love is love. And we need a lot more of it.

So where can Americans find common ground:

Do we all want health for ourselves and especially our children?

Do we all want our politics free from corruption and graft.

Do we all want reduced crime in all forms?

Do we all want peace in the world and to remain free of war?

Do we all want safe, dependable roads and bridges?

Do we all want police forces that keep us safe and that don’t abuse their power?

Do we all want opportunity to pursue happiness as we define it?

Do we all want clean air and water?

Do we all want to eliminate the threat of global terrorism?

Yes is the answer to all these questions. And there are so many more that given time and some help I could list.

I’ve said many times, you and I are being manipulated. Sometimes its obvious and often it is more subtle. But both sides do it. Republicans and Democrats make crises out of whole clothe in order to incite the passions of their followers for the purpose of gaining money and votes. Be aware of this, sensitive to it, and reject it when you see it.

The American people have it within our own powers to end the hate and move forward happily toward a brighter future. Through volunteerism, charitable donations, and voting for political candidates who reject rank manipulation, corruption and graft we can put into power more honorable men and women. We’re capable. 17 years ago in the wake of 9-11 who would have ever thought a black man with a Muslim father and name would be a two term President of the United States? Two year ago who successfully predicted a vain, loud, egomaniac TV personality and businessman would be elected to the same office?

To get to the point where we can foster the type of political leaders we need to stop calling names and presuming each others motives. As pointed out above, we all want pretty much the same things. We all can share common ground on nearly all issues. We just need to better figure how to get there. Founding father Benjamin Franklin was renowned for his wisdom and ability to find compromise. He also said, “Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” 

LET’S GET STARTED.

Christians and Politics

Clinton trump

Well the conventions are over and done with for another Presidential election cycle. I sure feel a lot more enlightened, don’t you?

I know now that Hillary Clinton is a liar, crooked, corrupt, and has no significant accomplishments in her professional political life.

I am more recently aware of the fact that Donald Trump is a racist, homophobe, anti-Islamic, anti-migrant, and a failed businessman.

The Republican convention and Democrat convention which followed spent most of its time demonizing the opponent in this Fall’s Presidential election. And while I know many who are reading this now will openly and frequently say they HATE Clinton or they HATE Trump or the HATE both of them, I would ask you to consider your faith, or the faith that you claim to possess.

Are the descriptions I wrote about Trump and Clinton accurate? True? Like most people these negative characterizations are possibly true to some people and not true to others. It’s like those grainy cell phone videos of police shootings that we’ve all seen. Maybe half this country see’s police acting irresponsibly and abusing and sometimes killing innocent individuals. Different people seeing the exact same video see a potential criminal suspect resisting arrest and in doing so threatening the law enforcement officers; and in the natural progression of things being man-handled or shot. As much as you see one side, you have to acknowledge that others see the other side. And so we have conflict.

I am not a fan of Trump or Clinton. I don’t think either is nearly as bad as their detractors claim. I don’t know who I’m going to vote for. I’m leaning toward voting for the Libertarian ticket with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and his Vice-Presidential nominee former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.

But as I contemplate my choice and try to sway some toward my way of thinking I am constantly amazed how our “Christian” nation continually forgets the main tenants of our faith. The message from Jesus over and over and over again in our Bible is LOVE. 

jesus

We’ve all heard it whether you’re Christian or not, “A new commandment I give you is to Love one another…” John 13:34. It’s important to note that Jesus didn’t say “Love one another…unless the other guy is part of a different political party”. You, of course, will say “but how can I love Hillary, she lies. And her lies offend me”. Fortunately, Jesus once again has you covered. He said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” JOHN 8:7. Have you ever lied? Have you lied repeatedly in your life? Have you been caught for doing so? Now…here is the real tough question…have you ever been perpetually in the national spotlight under the hot lamps of scrutiny like Hillary Clinton has been for more than 25 years and lied and been caught? The answer is no. You haven’t. In fact few have in our nations history.

It’s easy to see that Jesus was telling us to not be hypocrites. But he was also telling us not to judge others. Love one another. But again you say, “I can’t love Trump. He is so vulgar. I think he’s a racist”. Well, Jesus hits back at us with Matthew 7:1 “Judge not. Or you will be judged”. Its seems he’s pretty consistent.

And when friends and even family members harangue you for your political affiliations remember what Jesus told Peter about the brother who repeatedly did wrong. Peter asked Jesus how many times should I forgive him? Seven times? Christ again demonstrates his endless capacity for love and responds, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:22. (That’s 490 times for the math challenged. Though I doubt Jesus was being literal)

Forgetting what our faith teaches us over and over and over and over again in this life…happens. It happens when Democrats advocate for a woman’s right to choose an abortion at any time in a pregnancy. Their forgetting that another’s life is what’s being chosen. And what does the Bible say about that? Well there’s Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17.  But Jesus himself said it as well,“You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony” Matthew 19:18. In fairness a lot of Republicans advocate for abortion as well. If Christian, they too have forgotten, or chosen to ignore what else Jesus said, “You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” Matthew 5:21. And again, Republicans and Democrats are constantly forgetting the LOVE commandment with angry retorts to whatever the other says. The very next verse applies to all of us, Matthew 5:22.

Never in the history of Presidential elections have two more agitating and controversial candidates vied for the most power job in the world. And instead of the best they each seem to bring out the worst in our fellow Americans; which is good enough reason for me to seriously consider Gary Johnson. But it’s my prayer that we can all quickly realize, if you’re Christian, remember your faith’s teaching! The Bible, and Jesus doesn’t call them teachings. He calls them commandments! Or if you’re Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Agnostic, or Atheist we’re all Americans and above that we’re all humans. Life for you and your neighbors will be so much better if we disagree, agreeably, and remember to LOVE one another. “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” Mark 12:31

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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