Reflections on the Election

First, I was clearly wrong.  Not only was I wrong, I was wrong in a big, big way.  To all my loyal readers whose hopes I raised only to see them dashed to pieces, please accept my groveling.  I’m not going to quit my day job in order to become a political pundit.

Second, I have been thinking all night about what this election means for America.  If Republicans cannot beat this President during this time of economic stagnation, after a campaign in which the President had no message, no vision for the next four years, no semblance of being presidential about much of anything, then I am beginning to wonder if we can ever win again.  Democrats were, in spite of my predictions, able to replicate a similar turnout to 2008, even after four years of Obama!  I don’t understand this, but it is a reality to be reckoned with.

I think it means the American landscape has now changed for good.  We are, probably irreversibly, on our way toward a European style of life.  We have reached the tipping point where the number of takers in our country has reached a critical mass large enough to vote government benefits to themselves indefinitely.  This means, in the long run, that we are looking at more dependence and less prosperity over the long haul.

I lament this tragedy.  America may never be again what it once was.  I fear for the society that my children will inherit.  What kind of opportunities will be available for them?  What kind of life will they have to adapt to in order to survive in the new America that is coming?  It can be scary if you think of it that way.

On the other hand, I could look at it this way: how much more will they be able to treasure Christ if the god of mammon does not loom so large over them as it has over previous generations of Americans, including myself?  How much more loosely will they hold on to the fading wealth of this world and demonstrate a willingness to give up their lives in service to the gospel?  How much more treasure will they be able to lay up in Heaven because God has chosen to take away some of it from them on earth?

I have absolutely no confidence that Barack Obama will lead us out of the mess we are in as a country.  He is not capable of that kind of leadership.  Our decline will continue, and I have no clue where this ends, though I can imagine that what we see happening in Greece is a fair approximation.  And, as a country, we have voted for this, so we deserve every bit of what is coming.

But if this is the path God has chosen for us to walk, then I know that in the end it is for the good of his children.  A billion years from now, perhaps we will be able to see clearly how today’s historic event enabled us to treasure Christ more than we otherwise would have.  And that is worth far more than any political victory.

Don’t be too invested in this world or in the future of America.  There’s not much there now.  The present form of this world is passing away.  Tonight was a good solid reminder of that biblical truth.  May we rest, now more than ever, in the hope of the age to come.

About Aaron O'Kelley

Aaron O'Kelley (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a pastor and theological educator who lives in Jackson, Tennessee, with his wife and their three children.
This entry was posted in Contemporary Issues. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Reflections on the Election

  1. The pendulum will swing, my brother. Bush won reelection after Clinton won reelection before him. It is always difficult to fire a president. The gap in the swing states was not much. However, the GOP needs to examine itself even more. After 2 elections with a moderate (McCain in 2008), maybe it’s time they go back to their conservative roots. *Side note: I think if the GOP had embraced Ron Paul supporters, then Romney would have won. The ostracizing of the Ron Paul libertarians / libertarian-republicans may have cost them the election. Too not cash in on the young people of the Ron Paul movement will haunt the GOP as it may become

    Rand Paul 2016!!!

  2. Mary says:

    Thank you, Aaron, for saying exactly what I needed to hear. I have forwarded your post to all of my family and friends who need to hear it, too.

  3. Mary, I really appreciate your words.

    In the couple of days that have passed since the election, I have begun to feel a little more optimistic about where the country could go from here, but regardless of where that goes, I think we must beware the danger of desiring economic prosperity more than we desire Christ. It may be that if we endure the next four years, the next time around things turn out better. The more I think about it, the more it seems like we are seeing 2004 in reverse. Republican victory in 2004 was four short years, followed by a sound beating in 2008 and, now, in 2012. In 2016 we may be due for another reversal.

    However, the bottom line is that the future of America is, has always been, and will always be, uncertain. But our future in the age to come is not.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m gonna need a new blog post to keep me coming back….. 🙂 get with it AO’K

  5. Chris says:

    You’ve got a lot to share. I hope you post something new soon.

    God’s blessings…

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