Welcome to Selfie Nation

Donald Trump Leads the Way

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 self-justifying.

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.

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6 thoughts on “Welcome to Selfie Nation

  1. Great stuff here. Especially the bit about the collective anxiousness. You hit it right on the nail.

    The problem is the Primaries. Centrist can’t get elected in the Primaries anymore, so we are stuck with a General “lesser of too evils” in November. It’s sad, and I don’t know how to fix it, or if it will be fixed.

    What I do know is we don’t have to get caught up in the rat race of it. There are three practical things I have done that keep the anxiety away.

    1) Our hope is not in this world – our hope comes from God. Which too often Christians on both sides forget. And of course, non-Christians don’t understand / believe.

    2) I made a pack with myself about 2 years ago to stop posting political stuff on Facebook. Save for a very few amount from time to time, I have lived up to that pack. I also don’t really read political stuff posted by others. It has significantly positively impacted my anxiousness and outlook.

    3) No one agrees with me when I say this, and I have said this before Trump, but the I firmly believe the President doesn’t really matter. Really, honestly, most people: how much better or worse was your life during the Bush years compared to the Obama years? +/- 5% probably. And even that +/- 5% probably had nothing to do with Washington. It had to do with your family. Your career. We spend all this time. All this effort. All this money. All this anxiety. For something that really makes little difference to most of us.

    That’s it. If you view this world as God is in control, the President doesn’t matter that much, and stop posting / reading / responding to political messages on Facebook, the anxiety slips away and frees you up to worry about the important things like raising decent children, being an effective and good boss, and living God’s purpose in your life.

    • Good thoughts Andy. I encourage you to checkout my comment in relation to your 3rd point. I’d argue that the legislative priorities of the Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations were aligned so you’re right that it didn’t matter much who was President. Trump is different though. He is the first President to be outside of the established system in our lifetime and that has already made a significant difference and will continue to do so.

      I do agree with you that God is ultimately in control and I take great comfort in that. I also believe that our actions matter though and so do our leaders. It certainly is less stressful to turn a blind eye to everything going on and I struggle with the balance of how to be involved like so many other people.

    • God is in control. He has a purpose in appointing all his leaders. We, as Christians, are called to trust the Lord and pray. As Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all [a]comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

  2. I spent several hours of my morning delaying other priorities to write this response because I think it is important information to share. I hope you will take the time to read and review, including the linked articles and videos.

    I’ve been following your posts for a few years now and have found a lot of encouragement and insight from them. This is the first post I really felt burdened to respond to because I desire for us to wake up as a nation and realize what is really happening. I desire for you Charlie and all of my friends and colleagues to stop being manipulated by a series of lies. I understand my view isn’t held by the majority, but I truly believe we are deceived collectively as a nation when it comes to our federal government, including President Trump and what he is trying to accomplish. A warning though – if you come to see what is actually happening you may be more upset than you are now, but you will be in a position to do something about it. Much like an alcoholic can’t begin recovery until he/she admits they are addicted, we as a nation can’t begin recovery until we understand our real problems.

    The deception is that we’ve been falsely led to believe there are two differing parties. However, the legislative priorities of the Democrats and the Republicans are identical in action. I realized this fully about two years ago when the Omnibus Spending Tax Bill was passed by the Republican controlled House and Senate. This basically gave Democrats an unlimited budget for the remainder of Obama’s second term.

    Here is a quick blog post to help understand that:
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2015/12/18/just-so-we-are-clear-the-paul-ryan-omnibus-spending-and-tax-bill-was-passed-with-democrat-majority-support/

    What is the point? The point is that the Republican’s action was totally against the stated Republican platform. This gets to the concept of the UniParty – that there is actually one agenda that spans the Republican and Democrat parties that is controlled by special interest funding.

    This blog post does a good job of briefly explaining the Uniparty:
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/11/06/understanding-legislative-priorities-through-the-eyes-of-the-uniparty/

    One aspect of of the UniParty that causes so much angst (which I see in your post and in other’s social media daily) is to leverage social issues to divide and manipulate the people across our nation. These issues keep us distracted and build anxiety while the UniParty moves through the funded legislative priorities quietly behind the scenes.

    This post does an excellent job at explaining how “special interest groups” control legislation across party lines and why so little has even come to a vote since Trump was inaugurated: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/04/27/understanding-why-president-trump-has-not-received-legislative-action-from-congress/

    So what can be done about it? This article talks about just that…
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/04/28/part-ii-why-president-trump-has-not-received-legislative-action-from-congress-and-what-can-be-done/

    If you read the articles above, then you have a good grasp of what is actually going on in our federal government. I want to highlight an outcome of the UniParty reality – which is that all of the existing power structures are lined up against President Trump. The same entities that fund the special interest groups and control the priorities of our congress, are the same entities that own Wall Street and the media. That is why Trump himself and everything he does is portrayed as “bad”. All of the current structures with power, influence and wealth want him to fail so that their interests can succeed. This includes many nations too who are unfairly taking advantage of the Unites States and don’t want to see that advantage go away. Therefore, it is not a surprise that you think Trump is a bad leader if you’re listening to any media sources.

    So what do I suggest? The best solution is to go to him directly. You may not know it, but Trump releases about a two minute address every week directly to the American people through the White House YouTube channel. They also release updates from time to time on major events.

    Do you want to be inspired? Listen to what Trump is actually saying and what he is actually accomplishing. Many of his greatest accomplishments haven’t even made the news (evidence that the news has an anti-Trump agenda).

    Here is 3-minute video recap of his first six months in office put out by the White House. Watch it and be encouraged:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nosLkQe4dH4

    Here are some quotes from the video:

    “Think of the marvels we can achieve if we simply set free the dreams of our people.”

    “Because in America we don’t worship government, we worship God.”

    “I call upon all people Jews, Christian, Muslims, and every faith, every tribe, every creed, to draw inspiration from this sacred city (Jerusalem), to set aside our sectarian differences, to overcome oppression and hated and to give all children the freedom and hope and dignity written into our souls.”

    “The people of Poland, the people of America, and the people of Europe still cry out we want God and above all we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom. That is who we are. Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization.”

    “I’m asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big, and bold and daring things for our country. I’m asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment, believe in yourselves, believe in your future, and believe once more in America.”

    Here is where you can see all of the weekly addresses, including the new one each week. These are great, quick updates of the big things happening each week:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRJNAhZxtqH-MfozN_cNchyScPOBuhJrM

    As a Christian, you will especially appreciate the address he gave leading up to Easter. Here is is:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-HAAlJebkY&index=17&list=PLRJNAhZxtqH-MfozN_cNchyScPOBuhJrM

    And here is a quote from the video above:

    “With God’s grace life always triumphs over death, freedom overcomes oppression, and faith extinguishes fear. This is the source of our hope and our confidence in the future. I also want to give a special message to those struggling Americans who have felt for too long the bitter taste of hardship. I want you to know this Whitehouse is fighting for you. We are fighting for every American who has been left behind. We are fighting for the right of all citizens to enjoy safety and peace and to work and live with the dignity that all children of God are entitled to know. As long as we have faith in each other and trust in God, we will succeed.”

    ===============

    I hope that this gives you hope! Did you hear and see that?

    Our President’s source of hope and confidence in the future is a faith in God’s grace that overcomes death, oppression and fear. He is fighting for everyday Americans and people across the world because of “the dignity that all children of God are entitled to know”. He has made it known repeatedly that in “America we don’t worship government, we worship God.” While this gives me great hope as I pray for the leadership of our nation knowing that a God-fearing man is currently in charge, sadly it is another reason he faces opposition. For we know there are many forces in opposition to God’s kingdom.

    ===============

    I didn’t know where to start this reply and there is so much more I could say. For example, I’d love to talk about so many of the great things Trump has done that have gone unreported, but I don’t have time. I do want to comment in closing though on the main reason Trump is President. What I mean is, why did he decide to run for President? At the core, what is he trying to accomplish?

    He is here to help the powerless and to get rid of corruption.

    He has said it himself many times. Here we have a man who saw how badly the people of our nation and the people across the world have been suffering due to poor leadership and corrupt leadership and he decided he would sacrifice himself to do something about it.

    Charlie, I know you can relate to his sacrifice because you too are a successful man. You’re at a stage in life where you are able to choose how you want to invest your time. I’m sure you spend a good amount of time investing in family and community. Suppose you could give up your reputation, your health, and your time with family and friends to work harder than you ever have in your life to help oppressed people and end corruption. Would you?

    Here is the point – I respect that Trump made that decision for us.

    He is an unashamed male. He is an unashamed follower of Christ. He is a strong leader. He speaks his mind. He is white. He is challenging the systemic corruption of our federal government. He is challenging the oppression of special interests against everyday people. He is challenging the oppression of global interests over national interests. He is calling out the hypocrisy in the media. For all of these things he is being attacked. And regardless of what these groups say is his true motivation — I know because I’ve watched him closely for two years now — he is doing this to help the powerless and get rid of corruption. I respect him for that. And I pray that he succeeds and that God’s will be accomplished among all the nations of earth, including ours. I pray for the righteous as well as the corrupt leaders that God will use them to achieve his will and for the shalom of all mankind.

    By the way, here is a 5-minute speech that Trump gave shortly before the election last year where you can confirm why he ran for President:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHsZxJlxHYw

    We’re in the thick of it right now though. While Trump is President, the entire system described above is trying to make him fail. This includes the top leadership of both political parties. It will be very evident once congress starts discussing the budget. I honestly don’t know how it will play out or how it should play out. I suppose I feel I can help by helping more people see to what is actually going on. I’d like to think that if enough people know the truth, then we will be able to do something about the corruption. Ultimately I think a solution could be to pass laws that take away the ability to fund and continue the corruption, but how will we get a congress in place that is willing to limit their own power and wealth? We need a majority of leaders in congress that are there to serve the people rather than themselves. We don’t have that today.

    • Thanks for your extensive comments. I appreciate how important this is to you and to all of us. I have never written about politics and really don’t intend to again. The point of the article was more about the general anxiousness I am feeling around me. I wanted to make the point it is our leaders responsibility to reinforce peace in our nation not incite anxiousness. Trump is 71 years old and he operates using a style which has worked for him in his business. The job he holds now is not just leader of Trump, Inc. but President of the United States and, as I found out when I travel to Africa, President of the World. It is a big job which requires God’s firm direction.

      Brian, I don’t want to make this a dialogue. You’ve said your peace and I said mine. Let’s agree to pray for our President that God’s will be done.

  3. Trump showed his true colors long before he became President, Charlie.
    We knew he is greedy, narcissistic and misogynistic, with a short attention span and one-way loyalty. Nobody should be surprised by his actions. He told us who he is.
    He made campaign promises regarding the environment and health care that he is blatantly breaking. He promised coal miners would get their jobs back He’s a liar. His ‘base’ got played.
    His ‘toughness’ is terrifying. I haven’t feared nuclear annihilation since grade school. Kathy is right to be anxious. I am too. We all are.
    You are rightfully embarrassed. I believe his cabinet, staff & advisors are too.
    God help us all,
    Larry