Friday, February 26, 2016

An Open Letter to Future Americans

Dear Future Americans:

I'm am just so sorry. 

I write these words from a place of great sorrow and regret for the direction our country seems to be heading. You will likely read about these few decades in your history lessons and wonder, "What in the world?" I read the current headlines myself and think the same thing. 

We are in the midst of a presidential election campaign when our political parties are battling to determine who will be the lead candidate for them. It is disheartening, I must admit, to look at the top choices. My heart hurts a little that we have come to this. I feel partly responsible because I have been so busy in my own little world in small town America that I have forgotten that I DO have a voice. That my vote is significant in this process. That my voice can be used to advocate for what is right and good. This pains me deeply as twenty years ago, I thought I might one day have a career in politics. I served my university's student body as Student Government President and got just a small taste of what it felt like to serve others and advocate for the greater good. Then life happened, and my service took on a different look. But now, as I research the candidates and learn about their histories and their platforms, I can't help but think, "What if?" 

I am most saddened by the claim that "Evangelical Christians" are backing the current leading Republican nominee, Donald Trump. I am confident you have heard of his antics and very likely his business track record as he has reached "billionaire" status. I have no doubts these claims are true, but I hurt for those who have been in his path on this climb. I had the opportunity early in my career in academia to observe Mr. Trump in action; I regret to say that it was less that impressive. He rambled incoherently through a keynote address to thousands of public relations professionals and students. His language was deplorable and deserving of an R rating - completely unacceptable in any professional setting. When it was (finally!) over, he took questions from the audience and a student asked for his best business advice. Mr. Trump quickly told him, "Get even!" I was aghast. And now, as he is seemingly headed for the Republican nomination and potentially the POTUS, I am especially fearful. Fearful of how this "Get even!" diplomacy would impact our nation. Fearful of how his brash and unprofessional demeanor would be perceived by diplomats around the world. Fearful his "Get even!" mentality could drive an even deeper wedge into our already politically divided nation. I am sorry if "Get even!" has resulted in borders being closed to American citizens or the adoptions of hundreds of thousands of orphans delayed or even cancelled or the import/export relations affected for your generation. I am sorry if you are currently engaged in violent combats with other countries because we have set out to "Get even!" rather than work first through diplomatic relations to resolve conflict. 

I am just so sorry.

Although I thought it could not get any worse at the event I was attending, Mr. Trump proceeded to bring several young women onto the stage for photos with him. I was sickened by his chauvinistic and demeaning comments to these young women (who seemed too star-struck to speak up for themselves!). He interactions with these young women were completely inappropriate, and as I reflect back, I am even more fearful of how his leadership would impact women in our country. Women have been fighting for equality for years and yet we are seemingly on the brink of endorsing a man for the Republican presidential nomination who publicly "ranks" women on their appearance and regularly - I dare say, habitually - uses derogatory and inflammatory language about women and other minorities. I am sorry, young women, if my generation's lack of awareness and forethought has set you back decades because he was the best the Republican party could do. I am sorry if we voted for in the Presidential election as though it were a popularity contest or a reality TV series rather than as though the decision would impact our entire existence as Americans. 

I am just so sorry. 

I am sorry for the conversations you may have been forced to have at very young ages with adults about "adult things." I am fearful for the conversations I may be having with my own children in the coming months and years because of the lifestyle Mr. Trump lives. I am fearful of having to explain to my boys why the POTUS is using "bathroom words" in his Presidential addresses and on national TV bits. I am just not ready for the hard conversations with my young children about bigotry and racism and misogyny, but I fear they may be imminent. 

I am just so sorry.  

I do consider myself an "evangelical Christian" not because I enjoy labels or think people fit nicely into little boxes of being called something, but because I love Jesus and because of that love for Him, I want to share His grace and mercy with others as He has told us to do. But I can tell you today, sweet future Americans:


neither in the Mississippi primary nor the Presidential election. I can assure you I sought out a woman or man of integrity. I sought a candidate with Christian values who respects and values women for their contributions to our world - not on their 1-10 appearance scale. I sought a candidate that supports families and values children. I voted for someone who uses wisdom and self-control before speaking and making decisions. I voted for someone who quotes scripture because he or she is IN THE WORD and knows the promises and wisdom held there. I voted for someone who's spiritual life is not a matter of display, but a matter of the heart. And, if after researching the candidates for myself, there was not a candidate that met those requirements presented on the ballot...I used the write-in option. 

A woman on her knees for her country in 2016

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves 
and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, 
then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
II Chronicles 7:14

* Please note that I write these words based on assumptions about the GOP nomination as well as the outcome election. Please know I'm not handing either over to Donald Trump, but it's simply my heart's desire to share the fears and concerns should he win both. I am praying we (get on our knees and) come to our senses before either comes to fruition.


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