Donald Trump is who we are as a nation. We are self-promoting. We are confused. We don’t lead. We demand our way or drop people from our lives. We fill our homes with friends who think the way we think because it reinforces our beliefs and makes us look right. It makes us feel good about ourselves. We are the selfie nation.
Trump uses the office of president to promote his businesses and his brand. He avoids spending time at Camp David. This would reinforce the historical significance of the place. He will only stay at his properties so the news will broadcast world-wide these place as accessible destinations. At a minimum, it reinforces his brand and not the brand of President of the United States of America.
We Are Not Leaders
The confusion of the leaders he has chosen also reflects our confusion of leadership. We are confused in how to lead our families. The dysfunction, hate, and impatience create distance in our families. Now we see our family dysfunction reflected in the White House.
It started in Congress and the Senate. These are the men and women we elected. They look like us. They act like us. They are us. Then it finally rolled itself up to the President of the United States. We are not leaders.
We are Facebook people. Our platform’s purpose is to promote ourselves and our personal views to reinforce our personal brand. It seems harmless enough. After all, everyone else is doing it.
I Am Embarrassed
When Trump insulted the African American CEO for leaving his manufacturing advisory council, I was embarrassed. Trump said in a tweet that the guy can now get back to work and stop overcharging us for the drugs he sells. Trump had to come out on top. He just had to have the last word. The message is: I will punish you if you leave me.
What kind of leader does this? The answer is our kind of leader. If it is all about brand, then I need to protect my brand at all costs. I’m right, and the world is wrong.
I Voted Against, Not For
I voted for Trump. But I didn’t vote for him. I voted against his opponent. Why was the choice we had to make on election day so awful? Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are America. There is the far left and far right.
The majority of the people, those in the center of what should be a normal distribution curve, are quiet and powerless. This means as a nation we are being forced to look more like a barbell than a normal distribution curve. There is no center to return to. There is no middle ground of agreement.
Lesser of Evils
Henceforth, we will be forced to choose. This choice is not attractive, but we are forced to make it nonetheless. Neither choice reflects who we are. So we have to become one of the two choices. We have to accept the beliefs, morals, and self-promoting leadership of the only two choices presented to us.
These types of choices, the lesser of two evils, drive a wedge in our society. This wedge divides us so we can never come together. We have outsourced our moral compass, and we are forced to adopt someone else’s. And they are always the people with the loudest voices, the most money, and the most extreme views. We find ourselves defending a leader we would have called indefensible a decade ago. We are forced to choose a side, and we don’t want to be on either side.
We Are an Anxious Nation
Over the last few months, I have felt anxious. I was blaming it on my trip to Uganda and all the accompanying fundraising and necessary preparation. I was blaming it on the new startup deals and advisory work I am engaged in. I was blaming the anxiousness on past investment deals which are struggling to survive. I was blaming it on the demands of the ministry I lead in the Atlanta technology community.
But I have come to realize it is bigger than all these activities. I am anxious because everyone around me is anxious. Our whole nation is anxious. We are driven by an ideology of either the left or the right. And we don’t want either one.
Every president says his highest priority is to protect our nation. We applaud the bold stand a president takes when he confronts a leader who is threatening to harm us and says firmly, “Back off!”
But there is another element to this priority beyond physical safety. Our president must protect us from ourselves. He must unify rather than divide. He must give us a moral choice as defined by God and not by man. Without this choice, we will implode as a nation. We won’t have to worry about outside enemies getting us first. We will hand them the keys without them threatening to take them.
Please, Just Stop It Already
This is what is making me anxious. The Bible tells me in Romans 13 that I am to respect my government leaders and obey them. That God chose these leaders for us. They are put in these positions to create and maintain order and protect us. We can then live full and productive lives with our families. This is God’s plan for a healthy society focused on the family, which results in a healthy economy.
Does this mean God is leaving us? Are we victims of our own beliefs and behaviors? He did this to Judah and Israel over 2,400 years ago. These people stopped listening to God, so God reinforced their spirit of disobedience. He, in effect, gave them exactly what they wanted. Well, here we are just like them. And now we have exactly what we wanted, and we have it in abundance. And it doesn’t feel so good to me. I’m anxious.
Kathy told me this morning she is praying for our nation and our leaders. She’s never told me she was doing this before. We don’t usually talk about what’s happening in America, but she is feeling the anxiousness, too. I pray for all three branches of our government to protect us from ourselves.
Starting with Trump.
Stop thinking about yourself.
Just stop it.
Think about us.
We are your priority.
Oh God, protect us from the enemy, for we have met the enemy, and it is us.
Also published on Medium.