I have nothing personal against Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. If you endorse any or all of them, that's just fine. This post isn't meant to make you change your mind or persuade you in voting for or against anyone in particular and it's certainly not meant to insult or offend anyone, though I'm sure I'll already be doing that inadvertently anyway, because to have an opinion means to offend someone at some point in time.
Anyway, to get to the point. I have long been worried about the future of this country of which I am a part of. The education system is abominable (see No Child Left Behind & Common Core), as we are number 24 on the PISA assessment in math and reading (a global education rankings test) leaving us behind countries like Australia and Canada. Our foreign relations policies are atrocious, and don't even get me started on these small interest groups on college campuses asking for "safe spaces" (sorry, is the 1st Amendment still in force today? Or did I miss a meeting?) or Black Lives Matter (If you want to get people involved in a cause that is against racism, shouldn't you at least make the title of your group more ethnically inclusive?).
But I digress. The current candidates in the GOP running is kind of the straw that's broken the camel's back for me lately. Like I said before, I'm not going to be rude or judgmental of Trump, Sanders or Clinton, but I will say what concerns me about all of them.
His entire campaign has been steeped in controversy and frankly, verbal violence against loads of people (see Serge Kovaleski, Megyn Kelly and Ted Cruz to name a few). I am not a fan of celebrity worshiping nor am I a fan of political party worship (see every single daggum celebrity in Hollywood or the music industry who are incredibly vocal about the Democratic party but immediately ostracizes and demonizes others who belong to a different political party) and this issue with Trump (and Sanders & Clinton) is no different. People get caught up with his idioms and catchphrases like "Make America Great Again," that they are blind to some deep flaws and foibles in his character. I'm not saying that the President of the United States needs to be perfect, but I am saying that the President needs to hold some standard of dignity and grace. Though I don't agree with Obama's politics, and I have criticized several of his policies, President Obama does hold some dignity and has strived for peaceable dialogue, even though I may not agree with his dialogue, I haven't heard anything truly inflammatory like I hear on a regular basis from Trump. Whether or not he'll be a good president if he gets elected, I don't know. He may surprise us yet. But my concerns with him are numerous in regards to him saying anything and everything that comes to his mind without thinking about the consequences they might bring and the fact that everything that comes to his mind is derogatory and sometimes hateful.
This may come as a surprise to some people, since I've been rather quiet on the political discourse on Facebook, that I don't support Bernie Sanders. I've never felt "the bern" as his supporters have coined the phrase. If you like him, that's fine. I'm not saying I don't like him. He's certainly deserving of respect and common decency like all the other candidates. What I am saying is, he wouldn't be a good choice at all. I don't agree with his politics, and here's just one example why:
Free college--Let me explain something here. I don't remember much from my Economics class I took my senior year of high school, but I do remember this: There is no such thing as a free lunch. Meaning, when people promise you free stuff, it is never truly free. If celebrities are a part of a fundraising campaign like omaze.com, and they promise you an all-expenses paid weekend to the premiere of such-and-such movie, you have to donate something to their campaign in order for you to even be considered as winning. If, on a smaller scale, the monopoly game is happening at McDonalds, even if you get a free small french fry on your large Diet Coke, you still had to pay for the Diet Coke. Does that make sense? The fact is, free college would never work. Not in a million years. It is a socialist dream that will die as quickly as it is put into place. Canada has a constitutional monarchy and has implemented socialist programs into their government, like free health care and subsidized universities. Note that I said subsidized not free. Canada is much more socialist than we are and you still have to pay tuition each year. If free college would be put into effect, it would bankrupt the country.
There are other reasons why I'm not feeling "the Bern" and never will but this blog post is already too long. Fact is, Bernie Sanders is a nice guy and I actually do appreciate him wanting parental leave but if he were to get into office, he would increase the power of the federal government by 40%. 40%. Since when has governmental involvement been a good thing? Since never. It's already screwed up our education and health system when it should've been protecting us from ISIS and terrorism which is it's number 1 priority (our safety). The federal government shouldn't be a micro-managing nanny, but apparently no one else is bothered by that except me.
I don't think I need to go into detail why I'm not feeling "the Hill," but if I need to defend why I'm not a fan, I'll just give you a few words. Benghazi. Email Scandal. Clinton Foundation. Hillary Clinton may not be steeped in controversial hate speech like Trump, but she is steeped in fraud charges and is currently under investigation by the FBI. You're more than entitled to vote for her, but I personally don't think she's honest and couldn't trust her with my vote let alone my tax dollars.
So this brings me to my original point for writing this blog post as something that's more positive than negative. As you can tell, I've been thinking about these 3 candidates a lot and it's been eating away at me for weeks and weeks. I've prayed a lot and studied a lot and hoped that I could get some kind of answer as to what I should do about all of this, how to process it all and how to combat the shadiness (GOP candidates) to the evil (ISIS) that has been happening.
Today, I finally got my answer. I was singing in a meeting today the hymn, "Now Let Us Rejoice." I've always liked the song, but there are definitely some other favorites that come before it. But today, for reasons mentioned above, the lyrics struck me in a way that brought tears to my eyes. The last verse says:
In faith we'll rely on the arm of Jehovah
To guide through these last days of trouble and gloom
And after the scourges and harvest are over
We'll rise with the just when the Savior doth come
Then all that was promised, the Saints will be given
And they will be crowned with the angels of heav'n
And earth will appear as the Garden of Eden
And Christ and His people will ever be one
The part that really got me was In faith we'll rely on the arm of Jehovah to guide through these last days of trouble and gloom. And though to some the days aren't that troublesome or gloomy, to me recently they certainly have been. As I worry about the refugee crisis, ISIS, the education system, the corruption that always happens when men and women thirst for power, internal unrest with the American people, it's clear to me that these days are full of trouble and gloom. But, having said that and it being the title of the song I chose, now let us rejoice in the day of salvation.
We can still rejoice, even in spite of everything going on. That's not to say we can get complacent with the things that go on in this country and around the world, we still have much work to do to combat the evil and inhumanity in the world. But we can still "rely on the arm of Jehovah" and know that He will guide us "through these last days of trouble and gloom."
I know that God loves us, that He loves you and me and yes Trump, Sanders and Clinton (obviously). We are all His children and I know He won't leave us alone. And though secret combinations and Gadianton Robbers will arise in our own days, Heavenly Father is on our side and the Savior Jesus Christ, and they will not abandon us to our foes.
Hopefully I didn't hurt anyones feelings who truly like any of the above people mentioned, I'm simply trying to say that there are much better individuals than these. And to remind those who say they're going to choose the "lesser of the two evils," you are still choosing evil.
To quote Ezra Taft Benson, "If you vote for the lesser of two evils you are still voting for evil and you will be judged for it. You should always vote for the best possible candidate, whether they have a chance of winning or not, and then, even if the worst possible candidate wins, the Lord will bless our country more because more people were willing to stand up for what is right."