It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way

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Is there any way to unite our country once again? We live at a time when our nation is deeply polarized and many people have chosen to completely give in to hate. There are a lot of Democrats that deeply hate Donald Trump with everything that they have inside of them, even though they might not be able to clearly explain to anyone exactly why they hate him so much. And the same thing could be said about many Republicans when it comes to top politicians among the Democrats. Yes, there are very important issues that divide us, and there are certain things where compromise simply is not an option. But just because we disagree with others politically does not mean that we have to hate them. The following is another excerpt from my new book, and hopefully it will inspire people to start loving their enemies (even their political ones)…

 

*****

What do you think would happen to our society if we decided to just start loving one another? I am writing this at a time when the United States is the most polarized that it has been in decades. Democrats hate Republicans and Republicans hate Democrats, but all of this hate is not really getting us anywhere. I think that most of us have forgotten that we are supposed to love our enemies. If we only love those that agree with us and that are just like us, what is that going to accomplish?

Following the election in November, there were news reports about leftists that were being “triggered” simply by seeing the name of Trump somewhere. I don’t know if I have ever seen so much rage directed at a new president, and some of the things that are being said and done by those on the left are absolutely frightening. For example, Kathy Griffin made national headlines when she posed for photographs “with a ‘beheaded’ President Trump”

Kathy Griffin sent shockwaves through the internet when she posed with a “beheaded” President Trump.

The comedian looks somber in pictures that are reminiscent of ISIS beheading videos and photos. She holds a facsimile of Mr. Trump’s detached, bloodied head by the hair.

The photo was taken by Tyler Shields, who is known for controversial art, including a photo of Clint Eastwood’s daughter burning a $100,000 Hermes handbag.

(http://www.cbsnews.com/news/kathy-griffin-takes-photos-with-beheaded-trump/)

Why would someone do such a thing?

Many of those on the left have no idea why they are feeling so much rage. They just know that Trump is on the “wrong team” and that he supposedly stands for things that they aren’t supposed to like. But if you would ask many of them to put their feelings into words, most of them would not be able to do so in a cohesive manner.

Of course many on the right have heaped a tremendous amount of abuse on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in recent years. Even though they stand for things that are truly appalling, does that justify the horrible mistreatment that they have received?

You can love people without agreeing with them. In fact, you can deeply love someone and still disapprove of every single thing that they stand for. And even though Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are both completely unfit to hold any political office anywhere in the country, that doesn’t mean that we should hate them. Like so many other political leaders, Obama and Clinton have done some exceedingly terrible things, but that doesn’t mean that they are beyond all hope. All of us have done things that we are now ashamed of, and all of us have needed some grace at various points in our lives. We should always be willing to love our political enemies, to forgive them, to pray for them, and we should always want the very best for them and for their families.

As it stands, America is at a very dangerous place because of all of the anger and frustration that are boiling just under the surface. According to a recent Reuters survey, only 25 percent of Americans believe that the country is heading in the right direction, and the protests in our streets have turned increasingly violent in recent years.

Many on the left are using terms such as “Nazi”, “racist” and “dictator” to describe Donald Trump, and that is the kind of language that can spur people to take violent action. There are some that believe that America is heading for a “civil war”, and there are others that believe that one has already started. But none of us should ever want that to actually happen.

In my adult life, I have never seen America so divided, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

What if we decided to start loving one another no matter what we look like, where we are from or who our ancestors were?

What if we decided to start loving one another no matter who we voted for or what our particular political beliefs may be?

What if we decided to start loving one another no matter how much the mainstream media, our politicians and the entertainment community tried to stir up hate?

Not too long ago, a distant relative decided to cut off all communication with Meranda and I simply because of a pro-Trump article that I authored. Apparently someone must be anti-Trump in order to be loved and accepted by this particular individual.

Of course similar things are happening all over the country because of animosity toward Trump.

But if we are not willing to talk with one another, how will we ever solve any of the problems that this nation is facing?

Don’t get me wrong. I am certainly not suggesting that we should ever compromise our most cherished values and principles. If the left is going to hate us because we refuse to move from the values and the principles that this nation was founded upon, there isn’t much we can do about that.

But even though they may hate us, we can choose to love them. When we do good to those that hate us, it has a far more powerful effect than if we return hate with more hate. The following is one of the most famous quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr…

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction….
The chain reaction of evil —
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars —
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Those are very wise words.

We will never defeat the leftists that are trying to destroy our nation by hating them. But if we shower them with light and love many of them will eventually come over to our side.

I am a big believer in the marketplace of ideas, because I also believe that truth always wins in the end. If we can respectfully engage with those that disagree with us and show them that there is a better way, we will win many of them over.

One of the reasons why the left has made so much progress in recent decades is because most of the population has abandoned the core values that once made America so great. If we rediscover those values, they can provide a basis for healing and reuniting our broken nation.

For example, in the Declaration of Independence our forefathers declared that “all men are created equal”. We should all be able to agree that every single individual is of immense value, and that all of us should be treated equally under the law no matter where we came from, no matter what our skin color is and no matter how much money we have.

The Declaration of Independence also tells us that we have been endowed “with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. If you follow my work on a regular basis, you know that first one is absolutely huge for me. Elsewhere in this book I am going to spend an entire chapter on that topic. But for the moment I want to focus on Liberty. In every human heart there is a desire to live free. This is one of the reasons why big government liberalism is such a bankrupt philosophy. Big government always ends in tyranny, and I don’t know any true American that actually wants tyranny.

There are so many things that both the left and the right should be able to agree upon.

One is that Congress has become a cesspool of filth and corruption. Can’t we agree that the way that we run our elections needs to be greatly reformed and that special interests and big donors should have much less influence in Washington D.C.?

Another thing that we should be able to agree upon is that we should have a country where freedom and liberty are maximized. Instinctively, most of us want to live our lives without someone else constantly telling us what to do. We all proudly sing that we are “the land of the free”, and we need to start making that a reality once again.

We should all also be able to agree that terrorism is a growing problem, and that we should do all that we can to keep our communities safe. Of course there are disagreements about how precisely to do that, but in the face of a common enemy that is intent on destroying us the American people should be able to come together.

In addition, we should all be able to agree that we need to strengthen the Social Security system so that it will always be there for retiring Americans that need it. Unfortunately, our politicians raided the Social Security trust fund and have badly mismanaged the system, and so now the future of the program looks shaky. But we should be able to work together to get it back on solid ground once again.

Of course all of us want an economy that is vibrant and growing, and that hasn’t been true for a very long time. Barack Obama was the only president in U.S. history not to have a single year when the economy grew by at least three percent, and over the past ten years U.S. GDP growth has averaged just 1.33 percent per year. If we would just take the shackles off of the economy we could do so much better. The greatest era of economic growth in our history was when there was no Federal Reserve, no IRS and no income tax, and we can do it again.

We all want better lives for our families and our communities, and we can make America great again if we start doing the things that made America great in the first place.

Ultimately, much of this book is about restoring American values. It is about restoring God, family and country to their proper places and getting our priorities back in order. It is about learning to love others the way that we love ourselves.

It has been said that a house divided against itself will surely fall. And if we continue down this road of hatred and division, America will surely fall no matter what ideology eventually triumphs.

There is nothing that says that we all have to hate one another. It doesn’t have to be this way, and we need a new generation of leaders that are willing to take us in a different direction.

Because right now what we are getting from the corporate media and most of our politicians is a steady stream of strife, discord, bitterness, resentment and hatred.

The only way that we are going to become “a shining city upon a hill” again is if we learn to love one another truly and deeply and from the heart. To close this chapter, let me share with you what President Ronald Reagan said about this shining city during his farewell address to the American people…

The past few days when I’ve been at that window upstairs, I’ve thought a bit of the “shining city upon a hill.” The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

Reagan’s dream is still alive, but in order to live in harmony and peace we must reject hatred and division.

Just because America is deeply divided today does not mean that all hope is lost.

There is a better way, and we can get there.

   
  • DJohn1

    I suggest we hold our media responsible for what they say that is not backed up by hard evidence. That means going to court with charges of slander against anything that is not backed up by evidence.
    For way too long, one party in particular has gotten away with slandering their opponents. The result being they are elected instead. I think it needs to come to a halt now.
    Suing them in civil court may be the only way to stop this kind of dirty politics.
    I suggest we hold our own responsible for how they vote. Not how they represent themselves as being for or against issues.
    Liars all!
    It is time to demand truth in our representatives in the Congress.
    There is a reason for the huge majority of Republicans in the US Congress. The other party dropped the ball big time by their putting Mrs. Clinton up for election with all the background of scandal she obviously had from the Obama administration.
    Anyone not seeing this is either not literate or they do not read opposition papers.
    Literate people read columns from both sides of the fence.
    Literate voters would not let the current situation happen because they would know how their representatives vote and vote them in or out of office as needed.
    I think it is determined right now by how easy it is to remember their names not how and what they do in the Congress.
    Yes, I blame the current situation on the voters themselves for allowing it to happen. Congress depends on our ignorance.
    Nothing changes until the voters change the way they are doing things and the way the political parties refrain from telling voters the truth about how their representatives have voted while in office.
    Love is a wonderful thing and every Christian needs to understand forgiveness and not hating the enemies we have.
    But until good Christians every where get their heads out of the sands and start looking at everything this and past Congresses have done, nothing will change.
    Until seniors do the same your pensions are all in jeopardy by the actions of the Congress and the President of this country.
    It is spelled devaluation of a currency. Pensions do not go up when a currency devalues and inflation goes wild.
    Know your enemy better than your closest friends. And act accordingly.

  • William Lutz

    Hey Michael. Your words of hope, optimism and positivity sound fabulous, but you have to remind yourself that we’re so deeply scarred that there’s no way to heal our wounds. Unfortunately, if our house is so unstable because of our divisiveness, we have to let it collapse. There’s no realistic manner in which we can repair something if we all disagree on how to fix it.

    Besides, there are some people on this planet that are so evil that don’t deserve an ounce of our hearts. With your illustration of Clinton and Obama, you’re very mistaken. If they’ve done so much wickedness, then we don’t owe them any feelings.

    I don’t want to sound like a pessimistic SOB. However, I’m only trying to be realistic. The truth about our America is very bitter, so we have to face that reality. We all have to stand up straight, be in defense mode and show no mercy.

  • iris

    It all boils down to the state of the individual heart. God told us through the prophet Jeremiah that the human heart is desperately wicked and deceitful. Only God can change a heart, and it is His kindness, expressly proven through the purposeful death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin, which can lead us to faith-filled repentance to receive that change. As the person continues to trust and depend on Him, their whole life will change, and they will effect positive change in their surroundings. Without the power of His Holy Spirit, it is impossible to truly love, especially one’s enemies. Therefore, Christians need to be courageous, (“perfect love casts out fear”) and share the good news of Jesus Christ, lovingly and humbly. Truth in Love is powerful!

    • Paul Patriot

      Amen. Only a true “heart and mind” transplant, that comes along with being born again, through faith in The Lord Jesus Christ can truly change anything.

      The liberal, leftist, progressive lunatics will never hold hands and sing kumbaya with those who believe in the God of the Bible, believe the 2nd Amendment means what it says, and those who are politically incorrect and speak out against the abominations committed in this nation, all in the name of political correctness, and “tolerance” towards followers of the “religion of peace”…

      No, this truly is a spiritual battle, and a battle with brainwashed folks that will never love those who stand for righteousness, goodness, the Bill of Rights, limited government, absolute morals, and any who dare ” judge” others by sharing what the Bible has to say about the need to be saved.

      • iris

        I so agree, but remember, we were lost once, too. Had we continued on without God’s intervention, we might be holding up mock heads of our president, like the photo in the more recent post, or much worse. No one is beyond saving, and one sin of the mind or heart is enough to earn us an eternity away from God. That’s why Jesus came, apart from Him, we’re all in that boat. God bless, Paul.

  • sj

    keep in mind telling those OF the flesh to love is the same as telling a sinner to not practice sin yet never telling them the Way to empowerment and freedom from sin-Christ Jesus is that only way.

    and unless the majority or even many more people repent and receive in all sincerity the Lord Jesus Christ those of the world the flesh and the devil will continue to wax worse, just as prophesied that evil men/women shall wax worse deceiving and being deceived.

    But yes, the some portion of those of faith who rail and spit at the lost folks of the world need to repent of that absolutely. And examine ourselves to see if we be in Christ and let the Lord show us why we’d spit and rail at the lost sinners ensnared and enslaved to satan when all are born into adam thus of the world the flesh and the devil and until/unless one receives Christ that’s what one is, a lost sinner, and those spitting and railing forget from where they were called, we too we called out from darkness to the Light of Christ, called out from lost and blind sin to be found and given sight.

    And another thing to examine as to why we’d as believers lash out so..love of the world? even a little? I used to lash some at..my? world turning to wickedness?
    But is it my world?
    If so then what is John 15:19 telling us and hebrews 10 and 11 and 1st John 2:15-17 and so many many more along with Rev 1:3..apply prophecy, the worlds falling is all prophesied..the question then is who will be saved and to cut heart mind spirit strings we may have that are tied to what sinks, being tied to what sinks will only drag one down with it, tie only to Christ.

    and ‘conservatives’ doesn’t at all mean christians..even telling a conservative to love but them being without Christ..how’s that gunna work.

    • iris

      Agree! Morality according to man’s standards can only last so long, and it is subjective to begin with. Even to know what’s wrong or right doesn’t mean one can live it out, in fact, we can’t, without the power of the Holy Spirit. Things may look good to ourselves or others on the surface, sometimes for many years, in the morality paradigm, but if we’re walking in faith and dependence on Jesus Christ, He will empower us to the end. Do Christians still sin? Well, I’ve been a believer for 44 years now, and confess that the answer to that is a big yes, but His Holy Spirit convicts me of what He sees as sin, I confess it and ask for help, knowing that He forgave it on the Cross, and He has always been faithful to pick me up and get me going again. He wins our battle.

      • sj

        yep amen.

        and some beautiful verses of promise-John 1:12-13
        But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:
        Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

        And Acts 26:18
        To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the
        power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and
        inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Christ.

        without the Lord Jesus none have the power to stand and walk for any length nor can any see but without Christ are blind, also the trap of those who can seemingly walk upright of their own power..yet rejecting Christ, this too is sin, of self righteousness, so they too in all truth are not actually walking upright, brought that up because today so many say of mankind that he is basically good and that self rightness is ok.

        as paul rightly said apart from Christ, that is in and of himself, there is nothing good.

        • iris

          So true, thanks! Our hope and confidence are in Him!

  • iris

    The anti Christ will be given power and charisma to do just that, along with the help of the false prophet, who will enforce the agenda. Jesus Christ will return, however, and He will rule this world He made in true justice and peace. God won’t put up with evil controlling His creation much longer.

  • davidnrobyn

    Michael, I appreciate your motivation and sentiments, but I’m afraid that any attempt to win over the left apart from their having a true change of heart and mind is unrealistic. Several of the points you mentioned as being shared values really aren’t shared values at all. For instance, just for starters, the idea that every individual “is of immense value”. If your reality is that matter is all there is, that we’re ultimately just particles in motion, how does the idea of personhood figure in? Admittedly, they can’t live their lives at that level, but that’s their underlying philosophy. That’s why they’re more concerned with baby seals than baby humans. They see man as an overwhelming viral infection on the face of the planet, whose numbers should be greatly thinned to restore balance.
    And what about the idea that “we all want an economy that is vibrant and growing”? Lots of lefties would reject that notion in favor of what they call “sustainability”, that is, stagnation at a very low level–again, in order to “save the planet”, which to them is a much higher priority than the lives of a few million (or billion) highly-evolved apes.
    I could go on, but you get the idea. The watershed between their materialism/pantheism and our belief in a Creator God is so wide and deep that it can’t be bridged by choosing a few obvious–to us–points of agreement. Those “obvious” points are really not so obvious at all to the true believer lefty.

  • The beautiful ideals expressed in this piece are just how I remember the Republican party I grew up with. It was the Republican party my parents no doubt grew up with as well… Compassion, charity, non-judgmental Christians who CARED, please come back! To see the GOP returned to *actually being* the GRAND Old Party rather than the party of hatred and division and holier-than-thou-ness would probably be my chief fantasy in life.

    Alas, judging by the entirely selfish and tone-deaf responses below, the Right has fully lost any desire to be decent anymore. Turn the other cheek? Never! Not when there are so many sinners to deliciously anticipate the eternity in torment that awaits them! Become the party of love and compassion [again]? Good GAWWWD, no! It’s so much more “churchy” to hate those who aren’t exactly like us doncha know! The worst of the Right has become the current Right.

    We turn our backs en masse to the atrocities committed by our own side, while we amplify and distort the relative trivialities by the left. Gee, blah blah blah mote, beam, eye Matthew 7:3-5. Even in this otherwise pretty great article, the author straight up commits the acts that he tried to label the Left with. Acting like Donald Trump has so much as a single redeeming factor while slathering on the negatives toward the two Americans who’ve won the Most Admired Man of the Year and the Most Admired Woman of the Year for darn near a decade made Michael fairly tone deaf as well, at least in his Left ear.

    If we keep this up, it’ll be the Left who are the only ones actually trying to heal the country. Do any of you want that? If so, keep pointing your finger “at those people” while not noticing the four fingers pointed right back at yourselves.

    • Gay Veteran

      STOP pretending to be a conservative republican you liberal troll

  • Gay Veteran

    bilge