I’ve never been and am still not a fan of "the" Donald Trump.

The same goes for former President Barack Obama.

During Obama’s eight years in office, I continued to write my weekly column for this, our community newspaper. Even though I didn’t always agree with him, I always consistently encouraged the readers to respect and honor him as president. This is the United States of America -- It’s the way we’re supposed to be. So, I have a very public record of speaking respectfully of Obama and have even praised him a few times in my columns.

Most of us were raised to believe it was a great aspiration to believe you could someday become the president of the United States of America. I grew up with American Flags in every classroom, and many with the picture of the current president on the wall. I was taught in public school to acknowledge, respect, and honor our president.

Times have changed.

After Trump was elected many people said, “He’s not my president.” Apparently, the idea was if the person for whom you voted didn’t get elected, you don’t have to accept the outcome. To me it seemed blatantly childish. “I didn’t get my way, so I’m going to throw a tantrum!”

When Trump became president, it quickly became socially acceptable to use profanity and extremely derogatory language about him. Most major news outlets and social media platforms seemed to promote an anti-Trump agenda quite openly. Public schools discouraged staff and students to even acknowledge the president as president. It became the trend to not accept the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

During his first term, Trump spent a lot of energy defending himself as congress began and fulfilled impeachment hearings. Even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had said the elections were not “rigged” so often and so loudly as we approached the 2016 election, changed her mind and said they were rigged and that there was collusion with Russia to rig them. It was crazy and hypocritical.

Recently, Clinton publicly advised Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden not to concede no matter what. The very media outlets who seem bent on promoting Clinton and Biden are promoting this idea that Trump won’t accept the outcome of the election if he is defeated. This is coming from the same media outlets and politicians who still haven’t accepted the outcome of the 2016 elections. Hypocrisy much?

Throughout the last four years, partisan politics seem to have taken over popular news outlets and social media platforms. People were allowed to publish and share posts depicting a severed head of Donald Trump and images of officers being killed but were not allowed to publish, share, or keep published information which might be supportive of the president or police officers.

As COVID-19 began to rear its ugly head, Trump quickly moved to ban movement in and out of China and Europe; this was hugely criticized by politicians who didn’t like Trump. Some even encouraged people to gather in crowded areas for festivals, etc., yet, now these same politicians say Trump didn’t act fast or serious enough when we first learned of the virus. Isn’t this hypocrisy?

Riots were not only allowed by governors, mayors, and legislators who oppose Donald Trump, they were encouraged -- and I believe incited -- until rioters went to the doorsteps of said politicians. Then, they were opposed to them. In the middle of a pandemic where politicians had imposed strict lockdowns, for a while the only enforcement happened to what were typically known as law-abiding citizens -- never the rioters. Rioters could gather for days on end, but people were not supposed to attend church in person. Hypocrisy?

Meanwhile, “critical race theory” has become a bigger thing. Biden has a long history of openly-expressed racism in his own life. He publicly referred to schools becoming jungles as more darker-skinned students were allowed to integrate, and he adamantly and publicly opposed integration. Even during his presidential campaign he said, “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids," according to a Aug. 9 story in The New York Times. Hypocrisy, again.

Then again, we are being taught all white people are racist, and the ones who think they’re not are the worst (See exhaustive research in my July 13, 2020 column, “So, do you really want to be woke?”)

The Republican Party and many of its politicians have certainly displayed their fair share of hypocrisy as well. So has Trump. It’s not one-sided, but it sure seems to me that most of the violence, riots, arsons, and anarchy come from those who oppose Trump and not from those who support him. Now, there are some isolated few who have believed the popular media narratives which twist Trump’s words and paint him as a racist and have felt emboldened in their racism.

People blame Trump for inciting racism. I don’t. I blame popular media which seems bent on dividing our country, racially and in many other ways (See Prager University “Stories of Us” on YouTube).

In my opinion Trump has said and done foolish things, so it hasn’t been easy to be respectful to him as our president. To me it has been very clear that Joe Biden is right in many ways that Trump doesn’t know what he is doing. Trump has fumbled through a lot.

Think about it. Bill Clinton, Obama and Biden have become quite wealthy while in public office and thereafter, yet Trump already was wealthy and has lost wealth while in office. Obviously, he doesn’t know how or doesn’t want to use the system for financial gain. Additionally, All three of those aforementioned politicians seem to have gotten away with major scandals while in office, but Trump can’t even deflect the whole Russia collusion claims even though after years of extremely thorough investigations no evidence of Russian collusion was found.

Trump is an outsider, and just doesn’t know how to be a politician. I think that’s actually a good thing.

Now, we have the Hunter Biden scandal which ties Kamala Harris, Obama and Biden to what seems to be very serious criminal activities which risks America’s security and safety. The evidence, which continues to surface, seems to be overwhelming. Yet, popular media outlets and social media platforms refuse to cover or allow much information to come out. They dedicated tons of energy to push the Russia collusion thing, but now seem to be fighting to cover up the Hunter Biden scandals. So much hypocrisy!

Last week this newspaper did a story on a longtime resident who has such an abundance of political signs in his yard people wanted to know what’s going on. That’s a pretty normal thing for a local newspaper to cover. Yet, because the guy claimed to be a Republican and a Trump supporter, accusations flew around about this newspaper being Republican. So, the idea is the newspaper can do stories as long as they don’t in any way say anything positive about Trump, Republicans, or people who support either. Isn’t fascism about oppressing opposing views? More hypocrisy. SMH.

If you’ve read this far in my column, you might be thinking I’m a Republican. I am not. I am first and foremost a Christian.

Right now, the Republican Party is more sympathetic to orthodox Christian ideals, but I refuse to allow myself to be identified by a particular party which I may regret later. After all, I was raised to be a Democrat, but the party has changed so much I can no longer identify as a Democrat, either.

As predicted by scientists these cooler weeks have pushed more people indoors and increased the number of COVID-19 cases around the world. As is the trend, people, politicians, and partisan media blame Trump – as if Trump controls the world. Governors try to help their individual states with increased lockdown measures to try to prevent the spread. The economy might show improvements here and there, but people are still hurting.

I, personally, am appreciating the lower fuel costs. I’m hoping we get past this pandemic and come out okay. The debates didn’t change my mind about how I voted -- they solidified what we already knew, that Joe Biden sees our future as bleak and Donald Trump sees it as great.

I still proudly hang an American Flag on the front of my house, even though the trend is to think that doing so is racist. I still treat police with respect and, by the way, my parents and driver’s education teachers taught me to keep my hands on the wheel when pulled over by police.

I did not vote for Joe Biden because my conscience wouldn’t allow it.

Other countries are seeing headlines about the Hunter Biden and Joe Biden scandals even if our popular media outlets refuse. Yet, it’s not the scandals that kept me from voting for Biden. It’s his stated policies, beliefs, and his proposed plan to increase taxes incredibly on Americans. It’s his and Harris' intent to turn law-abiding, gun owners into criminals by disarming them and making them more vulnerable to violent criminals, while planning to not prosecute violent criminals and to release more out into our communities. 

Besides, in the first Democrat presidential candidate debate, Biden spoke openly of taking law-abiding gun owners’ firearms away – except when he was denying it to targeted supporters who believe in the Second Amendment. Look at the exchange on CNN in an interview on Nov. 6, 2019:

“CNN: So, to gun owners out there who say, well, a Biden administration means they’re going to come for my guns?

BIDEN: Bingo. You’re right if you have an assault weapon. The fact of the matter is, they should be illegal, period. Look, the Second Amendment doesn’t say you can’t restrict the kinds of weapons people can own. You can’t buy a bazooka. You can’t have a flame thrower.”

If Biden becomes our next president, I will do the same as I have in my public record. I will treat whoever our president is with respect and honor. It is un-American and un-Christian to do anything less. I treated President Clinton with respect and honor; I treated President George W. Bush with respect and honor; I treated Obama with respect and honor; I treat Trump with respect and honor; and I’ll treat any upcoming US president with respect and honor. That’s Biblical (See 1 Peter 2:13-17; Romans 13:1-7).

If you’re actually reading this column with an open mind and are trying to see if God might help you to understand how to vote this election cycle, I encourage you to do your own homework and pray God leads you to make wise decisions which will please Him. Below is more information which might help guide you to do just that.

This year big issues include subjects such as: upholding and following the rule of law; treating others without prejudice or bias (no racism); real justice; state lockdown regulations, selectively biased enforcement of restrictions, protecting the vulnerable, and impacts on economies; taxes, stimuluses, unemployment assistance, essential workers, etc.; biased media coverage and social media platforms; international relations; the Second Amendment, the Constitution, restructuring the Supreme Court; degradation of some of our cities; border security; and more. Christians should let Scripture and prayer guide us as we vote.

The controversial sex education “Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5395,” comes with much public outrage. Due to the outrage, we have on our ballots the ability to reject that bill. The bill, which was brought to us by the Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal and was supported by Gov. Jay Inslee, in my opinion is grooming propaganda for child predators. If you read some of the sickening material, you would make the same conclusion -- unless you are a child predator. So, to me the clear choice for Referendum 90 on my ballot was “rejected.” As a Christian, I cannot condone teaching children sexual education from such perverted perspectives.

What about the “advisory votes” where the legislature imposed taxes without consent of the people they represent, to me it is clear to always repeal them. Taxation without representation is always a bad thing. Taxing the people without consulting the people is always bad. We’re already overtaxed anyway, so I have a tendency to not support more taxes. Most people have been hurt financially by this pandemic. Increased taxes will only hurt the common people more.

The Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution 8212 is controversial among conservative Christians (and people would label me as such). To me our state has a proven and good track record of investing public funds. So, although I tend to not be so trusting of the government, in this case it seemed reasonable to do so. While my opinion on this would be more in-line with liberal Democrats, I do support approving this resolution.

If you’re a conservative Christian, you’ll likely focus on the same issues as me when picking candidates who identify with particular positions or parties. People like to criticize me for even talking about politics because they think I’m not allowed since I’m a pastor. The same people are fine with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, sharing their opinions and even campaigning for their candidates. There you go with more hypocrisy. If you claim to be a Christian, you know you cannot turn your Christianity off as you cast your votes.

So, one who is truly dedicated to Christ should consider candidates who are pro-life, who are respectful of authorities and others, who treat others equally with genuine Christian compassion, and who generally have a track record of supporting rather than criticizing God, Jesus, Christianity, and the Bible. Since many think most politicians are crooked, some people think Christians can’t support any politicians. Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect person except Jesus. Maybe the main thing to remember when utilizing your Christian faith as a measuring rod for electing politicians is this: Does the candidate’s positions on things align with your faith, not necessarily if the candidate perfectly demonstrates Christian behaviors (since we all sin, Romans 3:23). Consider if the candidate will either help or hurt the ability of Christians to live out their faith. Obviously, it is counterproductive to vote for people who will undermine your faith.

While weighing things, consider getting your information from sources other than cable news, popular news, or social media platforms. Source material (like actual videos in context, transcripts, etc.) is best. This election cycle has been chock full of false information coming from news organizations bent on creating narratives rather than reporting facts. It’s fairly easy to find out what the presidential candidates say they will do in the next four years by getting on their own campaign pages and reading. You can do the same thing with the others on the ballots. The judges are tricky ones. Get on their campaign pages and find out their records. Doing that will give you a better idea of who they are, and you’ll be more equipped to be an informed voter.

There are some people on the ballots about whom I can speak, specifically. I know Kim Wyman, have sat with her a couple times at dinners, and have watched her masterfully handle questions about our state election process. She has been an outstanding Secretary of State, and has had bipartisan support for a reason. She has my vote. I also know J.T. Wilcox and many of you do likely also as well. He has a good mind and heart and represents us well. He has my support. Many of you also know Gary Edwards. He was our sheriff for years, and was a good one. He ran for commissioner because others pressured him to do so, and now he’s running again. He has my vote because he is a proven leader, loves our community, and has demonstrated stability.

If you struggle with the rest of your ballots, talk to your pastor(s). Ask them how they came to their conclusions in this year’s election. More importantly, pray. Pray for our country and community. I pray we will behave as Christians should, and accept the results after Nov. 3.

Know that the motivation for writing this column came from a number of people asking me about this year’s election. Since there have been so many, it seemed reasonable to put something out there to help as many people as possible. Your vote is your vote, and you should vote your conscience (James 4:17). I do not take it lightly that my words might influence people. Please, only take my words and check them with source material as best you can. Pray and ask for God’s guidance before you vote. Know that much prayer went into writing this, and much prayer is happening as I know people are reading it.

To those of you who have asked for my opinions on these matters, thanks for the trust. May God have mercy on us all and may He unite, heal, and bless our nation, state, and community in these difficult times.

•••

Pastor Jeff Adams is a professional Christian counselor who travels the world teaching but serves our community. His column appears weekly. He can be reached by email at jeffreydadams@hotmail.com.

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