Americana

Darth Clinton, Kylo Trump, and American Choices

It is impossible for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to “save” the United States of America. (Even Gary Johnson isn’t up to the task.)

No candidate has the ability to truly make our country better than what we the people choose to make it.

Disappointed? You’re not alone. Most people like to look for some sort of political messiah, and it’s easy to assume that someone with as much power as the president of the United States could “save” our country.

The only problem is that, while a president can help or hinder our nation, at the end of the day the only soul they have full power over is their own.

Unfortunately, neither Hillary or Donald is a political savior.

Thankfully, neither of them are the devil incarnate, either!

Like Darth Vader and Kylo Ren (Star Wars nerd warning here), Hillary and Donald may cause grief, chaos, and division, and throw fits when they don’t get their way. They may do terrible things to our country, our people, and the world. Both manage to bring out the worst in people. It’s easy to mentally throw in the towel, to say, “Well, so long U.S. of A. Welcome to the ash heap of history.”

Kylo

Vader

This mindset, however, doesn’t factor in a very important truth about this election:

Our politicians represent our own choices, but they are not our only choice.

Both Hillary and Donald may reflect the worst of America: political and corporate corruption, dishonesty, immorality, broken homes, divisive rhetoric, race v. race, godlessness, you name it.

But they have not, do not, and will not represent our only choices as Americans. I’ve seen people I respect use half-truths and anger to support their favorite candidate, and that’s too bad. I’ve also seen these same people do things like helping a neighbor, serving in their community, giving water bottles to homeless people, and sacrificing everything to support their families.

Their politicians represent their own choices, but they are not the only choice they’ve made.

Regardless of who is elected, Darth Clinton, Kylo Trump, or (wonder of wonders) Gary “where’d-he-come-from” Johnson, it’s going to be a rough next four years.

Here, however, are some things that will survive this political debacle, if we the people choose to save them:

Honesty. Not the half-truths of politicians, but the courage to defend and speak the truth as you see it. The courage to admit when you’re wrong (because that’s honesty too), and to not apologize when you’re right.

Love. The kind of love that can say, “I vehemently disagree with you, but I can still love you as a fellow human being.” Jesus called it charity; not the kind you give at Christmas, but the charity that allows you to love someone even when they post incendiary things on Facebook, or steal your political yard sign, or try to harm you or your family.

Courtesy. This is a natural side effect of love. Courtesy is the willingness to act—well, courteously! To disagree without being disagreeable. To speak politely, even when your friend voted for the “wrong side.” It means being kind with our joking, and not taking unnecessary offense.

Now, I’m going to be Honest and admit that I have a hard time Loving everyone I come in contact with, although I try to be Courteous at all times. I’m, um, human, in case you hadn’t figured that out. I have learned one truth, however, and I want it on record:

We, the people, save America. Each time we choose to be a little better, to pray for our enemies, to be polite instead of acting like an Internet troll, we make our part of America that much better.

America will be saved because we, the people, choose to save it. One step at a time, day by day, in each choice we make, we save or lose our country.

Our politicians represent our own choices, but they are not our only choice.

I don’t know about you, but I choose to keep trying, in my own little way, to save America.

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©2016. gif images courtesy of Giphy.com.