Trump, Clinton, and the Race to the Bottom


Politics has always had a dirty side. There has always been politicians that were crooked and left you with skeptical feelings. For generations we have felt that some government officials and candidates played with a stacked deck and we were the fleeced victims. But nothing matches where we find ourselves today. I heard a pundit say no one would have believed one year ago that we would be where we are today. One year? Can you believe it?  Did we fall through a time portal?

Trump and Clinton are racing to the bottom. The last week or so we have reached warp speed. Everyone is following the polls, but I will report an actual result to you–they have both won.  Both have shined in the narcissistic, immoral, unclassy, and disgusting category. My wife and I watched the two debates and agreed before the political analysis was given that Clinton won the first debate and Trump won the second one by a mile. Still, if you win a fight in a septic tank, was it really a victory?

Here’s a question for you: how do you think Ronald Reagan would have reacted in such a debate? He likely would have walked out thinking the whole thing below the dignity of the office sought. For those happy that Trump is the Republican nominee, do you really think he can carry the mantle of Ronald Reagan? If so, that mantle must have spent years putrifying in that same septic tank.

Don’t suppose I feel better about Hillary Clinton and her antics (including the likely holding of a damaging video by NBC to strategically being used as an October Surprise). The only difference for her is that she plants flowers on the septic tank to hide it while Trump lifts the lid and invites you to look in. 

Here’s the truth about these two. I wouldn’t turn my back to either of them. I wouldn’t trust my wife or daughters being alone with Trump or Clinton’s husband. I would hate to make Trump mad as he would lie and trash my character nationwide. I would hate to make Clinton mad because I might find myself in a shallow grave. The Bible characters they most remind me of are Herod for Trump and Jezebel for Clinton.

I still am uncertain about what I will do in the voting booth in a few short weeks. I still plead with my fellow Christians not to turn on each other. Let’s respect each other in what is really an impossible choice. 

But let’s agree on one thing and not be naive. America loses with either Trump or Clinton and there is no viable third choice. If Clinton wins Christianity will be attacked further and we will go so far into socialism we likely can’t come back. And, yes, she’ll ruin an already diseased Surpreme Court. If Trump wins he will likely give rise to conflict or even war. He will trivialize Christianity (because some Christians have so positively pushed him) and destroy the Republican Party and the future possibility of a conservative Renaissance. Maybe Congress will hold either of them in check, but does their track record during the Obama Administration give you any realistic hope on that account?

Some might accuse me of forgetting about my Lord as they read this article. I have not forgotten Him at all, but am thinking about what He is saying. I love America, but to assume the Lord is pro-United States no matter what is an unreasonable theological conclusion.

The truth is that our Mighty God has spoken. The fact that it will be Trump or Clinton reveals that His Word to us is one of chastening. I can almost close my eyes and hear Isaiah or Jeremiah or Obadiah saying it. We foolishly act like our counterparts in Old Testament Israel when we ignore the plain facts and say God wouldn’t do that to the USA. They said that in Jerusalem too…right up until it fell.

I write not of dispair, but of sensible strategy. My goal is to stay close to my All-powerful Lord as Trump and Clinton cross the finish line at the bottom. I relish that Christ remains at the top.

10 thoughts on “Trump, Clinton, and the Race to the Bottom

  1. Very well said. What a strange and unfortunate season we have on our hands this political season. And my kids were just getting interested in politics…!

  2. I felt so sad the accusations the interchanged had unmoral backgrounds. Hilary accused Trump for his sexist declarations and Trump accused her for her adulterous husband. I would have never imagine that day would come to this nation. To me, the main topic of the second debate was immorality. That would have been insulting for Reagan, an offense.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • People do change and President Reagan is a perfect example:

      Ronald Reagan was also a Democrat for many years.

      As President of the Screen Actors Guild, he was an informant to the House Un-American Committee, naming names of suspected Communists in Hollywood.

      Speaking of campus unrest and the Black Panthers Reagan said, “If they want a blood bath they can have a blood bath.”

      Reagan called the Berkeley campus “a haven for communist sympathizers, protesters, and sex deviants.” Kind of reminds me a fundamentalist preacher. At least Reagan matured enough to understand brow beating never accomplishes anything good.

      Reagan sent California Highway Patrol and Berkeley police officers into People’s Park to remove the protesters. The melee that followed became known as “Bloody Thursday”.

      Moreover, he was twice married and took advice from his wife Nancy who believed in astrology.

      The Iran/Contra fiasco was a national embarrassment and tarnished Reagan’s political career.

      The point: No man or woman is perfect. And yes, I voted for Reagan.

      • It is clear that none is perfect, including presidents. Event more, those who are in power tend to move from promises to arrogance and corruption. Though I do not like comparing people, I cannot imagine Reagan in last Sunday debate.

      • How could we? Reagan debated Carter 36 years ago. Certainly a paradigm shift has occurred as to how debates are moderated and the punch back of candidates that has resulted due to journalistic sensationalism.

  3. Certainly you have read many books over the course of your lifetime. I respect that. One of my heroes of the faith read a book a week for over 60 years. That said, I still find the Scriptures to be the essential foundation that puts all other writings into their proper perspective.

    The Scriptures clearly tell us, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” And we see this clearly revealed in the annals of history. Americans are always searching for the golden age in the past, which never existed. Why? Because they refuse to look to the Scriptures which gives us all the answers as to our condition; individually, nationally and historically.

    There’s just no avoiding the more malevolent side of politics during presidential elections in the United States or those elections in other nations for that matter. However much we complain that this political campaign is sinking to a new low, it is, in fact, not even close to approaching those of past campaigns. Another reason why politicians keep up the devilish deeds time after time is that people have a tendency to forgive and forget even the worst offenders by the time the next election roll around.

    Andrew Jackson v. John Q. Adams
    The 1828 presidential campaign sent a tsunami of mud through the land. The Democratic-Republican party had split. Jacksonian’s called themselves Democrats and Adams supporters called themselves National Republicans. And they called each other anything they could think of, so long as it was nasty.

    The Democrats painted JQA as a secret monarchist and a fancy pants who lived in “kingly pomp and splendor.” They claimed he was irreligious — he was a Unitarian, after all! Even worse, they spread the rumor that Adams, as Minister to Russia, had procured a young American girl for the czar’s pleasure.

    Not to be outdone, an Adams supporter produced a pamphlet describing Jackson’s alleged youthful indiscretions, from brawling to gun-fights. The editor of the Philadelphia Democratic Press upped the ante by printing a handbill suggesting that Jackson had murdered six militiamen accused of deserting in the War of 1812 (these and subsequent posters are known as the “Coffin Handbills” for their depiction of the dead men’s caskets). The National Republicans also didn’t hesitate to brand Jackson’s wife an adulteress due to a delayed divorce filing on the part of her first husband.

    Jackson won the election, but Rachel died of a heart attack in December 1828, before he took office. At her funeral, the campaign was clearly still fresh in Jackson’s mind. “In the presence of this dear saint,” he said, “I can and do forgive all my enemies. But those vile wretches who have slandered her must look to God for mercy.”

    Martin Van Buren v. William Henry Harrison
    One of the wildest political attack of the Republic’s early days was the one leveled at President Martin Van Buren by his Whig opponents. Van Buren was a widower, and his antagonists accused him of being a voluptuary. A famous speech called the “Gold Spoon Oration” given by Congressman Charles Ogle, a Harrison supporter, denounced him for the “regal splendor of the President’s Palace.” Quite memorably, Ogle charged Van Buren with having the White House landscaper build rounded mounds on the grounds with little gazebos on top, which at a distance supposedly resembled a woman’s breast. Ogle had tens of thousands of copies of the speech printed up and distributed. Harrison clobbered Van Buren in the election. But his victory dance didn’t last long. He died of pneumonia a month after taking office.

    Al Smith v. Herbert Hoover
    In 1928, Al Smith found that his Irish ancestry, working-class roots and thick New York accent were prime fodder for his political foes. His support for ending prohibition led to accusations that he was an alcoholic. But it was his Catholicism that really stirred the creativity of his rivals, who distributed literature claiming that the Holland Tunnel, built while Smith was governor of New York, ran 3,500 miles under the Atlantic Ocean straight to the Vatican, where Smith could hold secret meetings with the Pope. In Daytona Beach, Florida, the school board sent a note home with every student containing the following message: “We must prevent the election of Alfred E. Smith to the Presidency. If he is elected President, you will not be allowed to have or read a Bible.” And so on.

    The Ku Klux Klan continued to be a powerful force in America during this time, with a membership that historians now estimate as high as two to four million. When Smith’s campaign train headed West, it was met by burning crosses on the hills and explosions from dynamite charges echoing across the prairies. Klansmen and other religious bigots swayed ignorant voters (That includes supposed Bible-Believing Christians too) by telling them that the Catholic Smith, having supposedly sworn fealty to the pope, would turn the United States over to “Romanism and Ruin.” Baptist preachers told their congregations that if Smith became president, all non-Catholic marriages would be annulled and all children of these marriages declared illegitimate. Preachers even warned their congregations that if they voted for Al Smith, they would go straight to hell. Sound familiar?

    How far have we (or haven’t) come in a couple hundred years of presidential contests? Again, the Scriptures place all events in their proper perspective. “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

    • I fully agree with your recollections of history. I still see some differences even if I agree that we were never close to perfect. Truly, politics has always been our ugliest feature.

      Things are different. Some presidents, for example Kennedy and Johnson, were serial adulterers. They lived like barnyard animals in secret. They did not, however, in their role as president speak for us all that it was ok. Now we are even told from the White House that gay marriage is moral! Clinton mentions protecting that in many speeches. Trump has PUBLICLY bragged on his conquests, referred to his private anatomy in a public debate. There has not even been much presidential debates until 1960. Before surrogates told rumors that newspapers picked up, but I don’t believe anyone could produce videotape of anything that would compare. We’ve always had an ugly side, but only now do we publicly revel in it. That is a major change and shows a downward spiral and a collapsing morality. No one says our morals were ever perfect, but they have never been where they are right now. No president has been as bad as the one we have now or the two we have running. In my opinion, that is evidence of the chastening hand of God.

      • Thanks for the reply. We could debate the differences, but the one verse you will never be able to circumvent is, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

        I find it very revealing that “Chasten” or “Chastening” do not appear in New Covenant Doctrine. We do find the word “Chastened” being used in two verses and both verses are speaking to believers. God is not chastening the world, but I am sure glad to know He is chastening us.

        The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be….

        That said, there is nothing different happening that has not happened before and is still happening today. We cannot simply look at America as a microcosm and negate all that Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent God is watching over.

        There have been debates prior to 1960, they were just not one on one. Men, because of pride, have always bragged about their conquests, both moral and immoral. And both are wicked! Gay marriage? Such has occurred in other nations long before we saw it here. Remember, America is not the center of the universe.

        Again, “No New Thing.” It is only because we have instant access to events that folks believe it is somehow worse today than it has been in the past.

        Example: Six people die in a shooting incident and it plays on the airwaves of American media outlets for weeks; yet, 20,000 die as the result of typhoon in the very same week and American news outlets stay focused on only the events happening in their backyard. What happens is that uninformed believers are drawn in and discern incorrectly thinking that the times are getting worse and the God is somehow chastening America. Really? What about the 20,000 who just passed into eternity?

      • I agree that the essence of human hearts is the same through the centuries, yet as for the age we live in 2 Timothy 3:13 says, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” That means there is a downward spiral till Jesus comes.

        I have always said that America is not the center of the Universe, but the context of my statements was America. In discussing America we are spiraling downward. Things are not the same. Israel always had problems, but the last kings of Judah lurched downward to the Babylonian Captivity. The Lord deals with nations. You can disagree with “chastening” on a technical level as it is for believers, but I used it symbolically as we have often seen ourselves as a “Christian” nation. Of course that can be debated.

        The media of course is completely unreliable, even as you suggest, on what should be covered. The media has never been great, but there was a time not too long ago that you could count on far more than we have now.

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