The Preacher

Please note: You may not want to read this. I held off as long as I could…but this is, in fact, about the election. That’s the downside. The upside? I’m not here to convince you of anything, and no political views will be expressed.

The election is less than 1 week away…does anyone else need a hug? 

Do you remember the old story about “The Preacher”? I’m probably going to miss some parts, but here’s the gist:

There was once a man on death row for murder. He was soft spoken and slow to anger and, over the years, people made assumptions and started to call him “The Preacher”. The name stuck and people started coming to him for advice and a friendly ear. Finally, the time came for him to be executed. The paper from his hometown showed up at the prison to interview him and asked him about his faith. He had none. He was agnostic. He said he spoke the way he did – quietly and clearly – because he had noticed through the years that “once you start yelling and swearing, people stop listening. I wanted people to listen to me.”

Don’t we all. 

Can I be perfectly honest with you? This election has not brought out the best in us. Have you noticed? The awful ugliness we’ve thrown at each other? Brutal, right? We all need to meet up in a central location, light a campfire and sing Kumbaya until we’re in a good place again. Maybe toast some marshmallows.

This year’s candidates are polarizing. You have folks on either end of the spectrum who are hung-ho for their candidate and a whole slew more sitting in the middle waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out and tell them they’ve been Punk’d.

Now…here’s where it gets interesting….The folks supporting the red candidate and the folks supporting the blue both claim that the other candidate is a lot of very bad things. Evil, racist, incompetent, corrupt…the list goes on. Some of them see such bad, dark things on the other side that they feel COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED in calling supporters on that side some pretty awful names. When did we stop criticizing the candidate and start attacking each other? Last week, I saw a woman post on her Facebook page that “if you’re voting for X, please unfriend me now. I never want to talk to you again”. That’s not an accurate quote though…hers had a lot more expletives.

It’s ironic, isn’t it? That our fight against “hate” or “evil” leads us to behave in a way that would seem – to the casual observer – to be the exact thing that we’re claiming to be offended by? We can find ways to justify it. But I’m not sure it passes the sniff test…and the kids are watching.

When this election is over, regardless of who wins, the MAJORITY of the country will be unhappy with the outcome. I don’t know how we got here and I don’t know how we get out. What I do know is this…hatred has never won an argument, and the louder you yell, the less people listen.




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