Friday, November 11, 2016

How we see each other matters

This year's political campaign season was ugly. No question about it. And it didn't get much prettier when the votes were counted. As one who is rooted in red-state America but spends most of my time in blue-state America I get caught in the crossfire more than most. Here are two things I've seen or heard in the past 48 hours ...

“It wasn’t just Donald Trump who won last night — it was his supporters, too. The Klan won last night. White nationalists. Sexists, racists and buffoons. Angry young white men who think rap music and Cinco de Mayo are a threat to their way of life...  Men who have no right to call themselves that and who think that women who aspire to more than looking hot are shrill, ugly, and otherwise worthy of our scorn rather than our admiration struck a blow for misogynistic [expletive] everywhere.” -- Aaron Sorkin (creator of the TV series "West Wing").

And then just a few minutes ago the blue collar worker who came to repair my hot water heater asked, "Did you see the video of the woman in Oregon who pulled down her pants and took a dump on the Trump poster and then smeared it all over his face?" To him, that image represented the typical Hillary Clinton supporter.

Sometimes over the years I've felt that the greatest sin of all is to dehumanize folks who see things through a different lens than our own. And the tendency toward that sin has only increased as America has diverged into the cocoons that are now red-state America and blue-state America.

Political commentary is good and helpful, even when it's biting or critical. But it's good and helpful only when the artillery is aimed at the candidate and not their supporters. Once we get started targeting the voters who disagree with us we inevitably paint with too broad a brush.

Thanks to all at CUCC who have reacted to the election with cool heads and prayerful hearts.

-- Lavon Page

(Note: This blog is open to all. The thoughts expressed above are my own. If you have ideas or opinions you'd like to share at any time, you may send your comments to Jane Smith or Lavon Page. They will be glad to post your comments. The church policy is that all commentary must be signed.)