By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. – John 13:35
I have not been watching the political conventions – in fact in 42 years I don’t think I have ever watched. But I was out last night waiting for something and the DNC was on. Before I go too far, let me say this: I am not 100% behind either side this time around…a first for me. Usually by now I have a sense of who I would vote for if I had to decide now and this year I don’t have that.
Ok, so back to last night. I saw what I am sure is a somewhat normal part of the process (if any of this is normal) when Bernie Sanders graciously called (despite the chanting throngs of Bernie supporters in house) for Hillary to be named the nominee. The sound was off on the TV and I could not hear him, but the scrolling text on the bottom made it pretty clear what was happening.
Since I don’t have cable, I can’t really watch on TV, but I did get home and look up the proceedings online. Just checked in – made sure that nothing dramatic had changed. And then I looked again this AM and 2 things struck out to me about last nights proceedings.
The first thing I saw was about Cory Booker’s comment about loving Donald Trump. Mr. Booker, had given a speech on opening night of the DNC and Trump had responded on Twitter as such: “If Cory Booker is the future of the Democratic Party,” Trump tweeted, “they have no future! I know more about Cory than he knows about himself.”
While in an interview, Booker responded to this by saying: “I love Donald Trump, I don’t want to answer his hate with hate. I’m not going to answer his garbage with garbage. I love him. I know his kids, I know his family. They’re good — the children especially — good people.”
It has been so easy to hate in this campaign. Over and over the negativity has gotten so much worse than I ever remember it being. It has gone beyond name calling and mudslinging to real hate. I have been guilty of it too…my feelings on Trump have been clear from the beginning. But I will say this, I was convicted by Cory Booker’s answer to the tweet. And so I want to stop answering Trumps hate with hate. As the Bible says, we are to love one another. And they will know who we are if we do that.
The second thing that impressed upon me last night and this morning, was how historic this election has really been. Regardless of how you feel about Hillary she is the first woman to be nominated by a major party to run for President. I will not debate the merits of that nomination – as I said above, I am not 100% on either side here, but there was a little swelling of something when you realize what she has managed to do.
I never thought I would ever see in my lifetime a woman running for President from a major party. We talk about the good ole’ boys club in Washington like it is a given. Women and other minorities have been steadily making inroads, but there are still a lot of old, white, male faces and ideas. It is not enough for me to say that I would vote for her automatically, but there was something about seeing it happen that was special. It validates every little girl who ever said she wanted to be President. It means that it is just a matter of time before a woman is elected – this election season or not.
So regardless of how you feel about the current candidates, love should be the name of the game in all circumstances. It is by no means easy – but we have been called in the name of a great God to love.