Will the 2016 Campaign Ever End?

By Graham Glover

I swear it’s never going to end. It was supposed to be over last November 8th, but it’s still going. Almost 6 months after Americans went to the polls, we are still immersed in the 2016 campaign. For some reason, we just can’t let it go. I really think it’s never going to end.

But why? Why can’t Americans accept the fact that Donald Trump is our president, that the Republicans control both chambers of Congress, and that Neil Gorsuch is the newest member of the Supreme Court?

I’m not saying you should like the outcome (I certainly have my reservations). Nor am I suggesting that last year’s election is a permanent referendum on how American’s want to govern (it clearly isn’t). But elections are supposed to come to an end. Elections have consequences and the victors are supposed to be able to do their job, or at least have the opportunity to do so

So please, please stop campaigning. Stop litigating the race(s) that American voters decided last fall. Campaign 2016 is over and Americans should start acting like it.

This goes for both parties involved.

Democrats, you need to come to terms with the fact that you lost. You ran a horrible campaign and your presidential candidate was seriously flawed. You have become ideological extremists and have abandoned your greatest asset, your bread and butter voter – the working class American that cares little for your ideological platitudes. You may not like Trump (a lot of people don’t). He was an equally flawed (perhaps more) candidate. But he is our president. The American people have spoken and he won the election. So please get over yourselves. Regroup if you want to (you really should), learn from your mistakes (even if you don’t appear to be doing so) and come back with a vengeance in 2018 and 2020. But for now, you’ve got realize that you did not win. There was no grand conspiracy. You just lost. And consequently, you do not control the White House, Congress, or the Supreme Court. And that isn’t going to change for at least the next 2 years.

Republicans, you won big. You ran an interesting campaign that may have permanently altered how presidential campaigns are run in the future. Although your candidate was (and is) a seriously flawed politician, he stuck to his plan and defied almost every political pundit, winning you back the White House. You now control the Executive and Legislative branches of government (and maybe sometime in the next few years, the Judicial). So, act like you’re in charge. There is no need to keep talking about President Obama and Secretary Clinton. Your incessant ramblings about both of them make you look childish and ill prepared to govern. Moreover, I’m not entirely sure what the Republican Party stands for these days. You may not be either, since you can’t appear to figure out what to do with healthcare, the budget, immigration, foreign policy, the economy, etc. You don’t have Obama around to blame for every ill. It’s now on you. It’s 2017 and the American political landscape belongs entirely to you. Time to step up to the plate and act like a big leaguer.

For the American voter, you need to relax a bit. Have a bourbon, smoke a cigar, go for a run. Whatever you do to unwind, multiply it by 10, because you are one fired up animal. Let’s let our politicians do their jobs. If we don’t like what they do, don’t worry, mid-term elections are only 18 months away and the next presidential cycle will probably kick off shortly thereafter. But for now, stop campaigning. Accept last year’s results and move on. Let 2016 go. It’s one election, and I promise you, we’ve got a lot more to come.

14 thoughts on “Will the 2016 Campaign Ever End?

  1. I think the political, religious, and social divisions in our land are deep and profound. They have been simmering over many years, and political theatrics aside, American culture has been moved by Hollywood, the media, and the left into a place where political correctness and other irrationalities have replaced civility and truth. Universities which once revered open debate are now filled with ideological and intolerant academic staffs and students too self absorbed to actually understand the dangers of the subjective world view they are taught to obey without question. Trump represents an effort to hold the line on Democratic Party hegemony and liberal insanity, and therefore, in the eyes of the left and the media, an all out campaign is underway to destroy his administration by all Machiavellian means necessary. The issues which will continue to divide our country include sanctuary cities, government subsidized abortion, terrorism threats, illegal immigration, and so forth, and if we cannot agree to address these issues….we have only one choice….defeat the opposition if no consensus is possible. After the election, regardless of who won, we all knew at least half of our polarized nation would be unhappy with the results. In the process, Americans have become more testy, more cantankerous, more profane, and more coarse. On the internet today, one can read the posts, remarks, and conversations from the masses, and there is entirely too much vulgarity, too many curse words and coarse slogans, and arguments without merit, the output of minds not attuned to peaceful and intelligent discourse. We are a nation losing our civility, abandoning our values, and self destructing.

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  2. John, completely agree that our divides are deep and profound. But I put the blame on both parties. The Republicans/conservatives are equally to blame for the visceral politics of the last 25+ years.

    You are absolutely correct though on the issue of free speech. Call it political correctness, but what we’re seeing recently is a sad testimony to the American spirit of embracing speech, even if it offends you to the core.

    And you are spot on with our nation’s loss of civility. This is truly tragic. We have to learn to live with those with whom we disagree. We should engage them, debate them, interact with them, challenge them. This is the sign of a healthy democracy and a healthy republic.

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  3. Graham –

    I am going to have to dedicate a post at my joint to deal with all the problems you squeezed into 5 short paragraphs and 2 normal sized paragraphs. Let me begin with this:

    “1Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” I Thess 5:1-3

    To go grab a whiskey or scotch and a fine cigar is the answer to nothing.

    But a few pointers – stop with your pre-judgments of candidates unless you are really and fully willing to engage in the whole gamut of things political. That is elementary at best, and at worst, short-changes your readers into thinking the very things against which Paul warned the Thessalonians. Go to some serious studies of Antonio Gramsci, and The Long March through the Institutions. Learn why much of what we see today has been in motion for a long time, and IS of communist origin. If candidates be flawed, then how much moreso this Constitutional Republic (WE ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY!) which once designed to keep us free of this presenet stinking mess those treating it like a vulgar democracy it has become.

    And that has occurred because many have taken your advice, pigeon-holed into the “politics” box, and ignored matters.

    If we do not fully understand that which we decry, how can we offer anything to another soul?

    I am just touching on matters here thus far. The bulk of the things wrong with your advice, I will take on when I am less-pressed for time. I’ll let you know. And to Johnny J. – John – you have many of the necessary clues, but you aren’t quite sure what to do with them. You decry symptoms – we need to discover and discuss and decry causes, not symptoms.

    Gentlemen, if we are going to discuss this, then let us, for God’s sake and our own, and those who read our words, at least endeavor to get it right, that it not be merely our seemingly enlightend opinions. As we do in matters of the Faith – using the Confessions as our tool of properly understanding Scripture, then likewise, let us ignore the enlightened opinions of ourselves or anyone, and instead, employ the United States Constitution in our argumentation. Failure to that much, renders any argument moot from the start.

    Pax – jb

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    1. Jeff, a few thoughts:
      1) This is a blog post. By nature, these are not lengthy articles. My aim is to make a point and facilitate conversation/debate.
      2) I might argue that a cigar is incapable of helping. See this piece I wrote a few years ago: https://thejaggedword.com/2014/04/15/how-the-cigar-can-save-america/
      3) How have I prejudged candidates? How exactly were Clinton and Trump not flawed candidates? What about their campaigns do you think were done well? I’m making short political observations that I think can hold up to argument pretty well. (As for Gramsci, I’ve read him.)
      4) Are you suggesting that our republic is on the verge of becoming a communist state?
      5) And perhaps most importantly, what do the Scriptures or our Confessions have to do with a political assessment of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or whether or not I believe the American voter is still in campaign mode.
      As always, thanks for chiming in!

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  4. Graham –

    I will, as I said, answer your lead question, and the many side issues it raises, fully at my site. When done, I will post notice here.

    Geez, your “5 Questions” remind me of Herman Otten’s “5” in Christian News! As to terms of a true discussion, and not a “chat site” – those are always the terms/outline with which I engage in debates. If you do not want an actual discussion of the very terms you have brought to the table, then simply say so, Graham. Then i will know not to engage you when you post.

    I guess I should know that by now. I specifically outlined to you #3 above, so deflecting away from that as you did – well – that was your call. Saying you have “read” Gramsci (English or Italian?) is one thing – that’s easy to say! I put it in the context of “the Long March.” That – you ignored. Ok. You want an end to campaigning? Then discover why that doesn’t just happen when the winner is verified.

    Playing by your rules – it’s your site. As for me and my house? I am going to go have a beer and a cigar! 😉

    Pax – Jeff

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    1. Jeff, I’m looking forward to your in-depth response. Please do let me know when/where I can read it.

      I must say that I’ve never been accused of being Otten-esque! That’s a new one. I’m not sure he would like the comparison, as I’m certain my politics don’t align with his, to say nothing of the overtures I make toward Rome!

      Of course I want a discussion. You know that, as we engaged in debates prior to this one. There is no reason not to continue to engage!as

      As for Gramsci, I’ve read the English (I’m no Italian scholar). And yes, I think I understand your argument as to why you think our nation is continually in campaign mode. I’m just not buying the leap of logic that then says we are on the verge of a communist state.

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      1. Graham –

        I should have added a 🙂 after my line about the 5 questions and Otten! Meant that to be a giggle, and not a shot at you. Sorry – my bad.

        There is no one (even here!) who desires rapprochement of at least the catholic communions, and I think there are any number of the Reformed who are yearning for the Liturgy and the Mysteries. To be able to see the Church become fully what it was intended to be by Our Lord – who could not desire that?!! I was raised, as I have said, in the RCC. As a young man, the bavarian unleashed upon my mother and step-father by the Church over remarriage and the Blessed Eucharist, soured me greatly. I began really looking closer and finding many things with which I took serious issue.

        In the military (AF), I was stationed in Ankara, Turkey – smack dab in the center of what was once called Galatia. I slowly became engaged with a small Southern Baptist mission in the city (up on a hill overlooking the huge mosque below). Being the way I am, I immediately began reading authors and commentaries that went deeply into their perspective. But two things continued to frustrate me – the complete inability they had to understand or even discuss the Sacraments, and a number of things about the Incarnation. When my wife’s family Pastor handed my the Book of Concord – all bets were off. I could see clearly the mighty efforts the Confessors made not to “protest” Rome – but to reform the Church from its errors picked up over the centuries. The long and the short of it was I was ordained 9 years later in the LCMS. Had my fam and worked full time all the way through school (I was halfway to my BA when I hit the books in a straight shot two years after I got the BoC).

        I also have dear, dear friends in all of the communions. I have seen men move amongst them – to Anglican, Orthodox and swimming the Tiber. I am not some hide-bound crypto-gargoyle hunched over my desk with a lit candle, in some dark cave carved out of a forgotten mountain. 😉 But these discussions are touching on fine points of the Faith handed down by the Saints over the ages – having read Chesterton’s magnificent piece about the Church as a careening chariot racing through the ages always occupies a corner of my mind – this is a serious journey that will give us no rest, and no regard for getting matters wrong and then not correcting them. Augustine’s little quip about unity and charity is a piece of wisdom that should be taken to heart. The confessional response to the Adiaphoristic Controversy is pristine, and it galls me to see “adiaphora” become the receptacle into which all sorts of personal opinions are put, and then raised to a semi-doctrinal level. You and I have seen the effects of that in our own Synod, Graham.

        To be frank – I have had some of the most fascinating and informative arguments (using the right definition of that word), with Pastors from the Orthodox, RCC, and Reformed traditions. How many of us have found some of the best sermon quotes in Chesterton or Lewis? Wisdom abounds, and has been granted by our merciful Lord, to many. To deny that would be insane! But the differences remain. There is a tenacity to the faith that is admirable in those from those other churches. And I know the old joke about “Theologians talking in such high-sounding tones that ever God asks the Archangel Michael – ‘What are they talking about?'”

        I plead “guilty” – Your Honor.

        The bottom line, for me, and I pray for every Pastor, is to bring the forgiveness and eternity of Christ to lost souls, then nurturing them along the walk to eternity. Biggest task and responsibility this side of Heaven!

        So to me, that is deadly serious business we are to be about, properly understood. At times, all of us miss matters and call the tenacity of one on a given doctrinal point “uncharitable.” Bad form, of which we all should issue “Mea culpas.” I have found in my 30+ years wearing the Weird Collar (as I affectionately call it), a ton of that. Are there some who truly are irrational? Unfortunately, there are. But most often, the matter comes down to one of two things in the end:

        One – a specific theological point – which should be debated/argued intensely and with source materials; and two – which is most times – folks talking past each other, often with one or both lacking any backing, and instead relying almost exclusively on emotions.

        So there it is a a nutshell, Sports Fans – what makes this Irishman tick.

        “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8

        jb

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      2. In my post below – 2nd paragraph – should read: “Who desire more for a rapprochement” . . . Typing to fast does that to a body.

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  5. Jeff, some of your heavy arguments and ambiguous analysis of Graham’s post have turned this discourse into a burdensome experience. In a site as this, few people comment at all, which tells us about the level of interest of the average American reader. Graham’s point was that too much divisiveness surrounding the election are stifling civility and progress, and as a country we need to seek solutions and work together. We may have overlooked the idea that many people never willfully agree to any consensus, having closed minds, and would rather keep the political fragmentation going on indefinitely. The establishment of opposing camps make reconciliation and cohesion nearly impossible. Few people want to sit down together and examine the issues. For our country, it is sad indeed.

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    1. John, absolutely agree that “too much divisiveness surrounding the election are stifling civility and progress, and as a country we need to seek solutions and work together”. This is why I’m laying the blame at both Trump and Hillary supporters. Move on. Govern. And run again in 2 and 4 years.

      I’m pretty sure you and I don’t agree on everything (political or theological), but I think the conversations we’ve had on this site have been part of the dialogue and discourse I so desperately crave.

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  6. John –

    Call me anything but “ambiguous.” I am anything but! I am well-aware of Graham’s political persuasions; he thinks he knows mine, but he does not. Nor do you, for that matter. What I bring up here is light chatter at sites I visit daily. The campaign has long been over for all but those who 1) can’t believe what happened, or: (2) generally gripe and complain about anything or everything with no specific goal in mind. That he decries that Obama or Hillary are still being discussed, has nothing to do with the election, but that both are 1) under investigation for breaking the law and 2) both have “come out” with big splashes in the news again, and with their sights aimed at the President. If Graham is calling that an election hangover, then he needs to re-educate himself. I would ask – name the individual who was ever elected to the Presidency that wasn’t a flawed individual. Calling one or both “seriously” so is a subjective judgment.

    Graham likes clicks and comments. He should not confuse those with matters substantive. This is his site – I have said that to him any number of times, and if he does not prefer having me counter some of pap I read, then that is perfectly fine with me. I can no longer assume Graham is looking for specific answers, but rather, dialogue and chat. Again, I have no problem with that, Be they political or theological, the other sites I visit and comment on as a regular – when a question or proposition is put forward, it is both common courtesy and expected that one will have source material behind what they say, and make a cogent case for their position, and not descend into ad hominem before the 10th comment.

    So – if Graham wants me to no longer comment, he needs only say the word to me. In fact, I probably wouldn’t need much prodding at all. If we cannot engage in civility here (which I have been) without being accused of being or becoming “burdensome” (where did you come up with that one?), then the issue is not really me at all.

    Pax – jb

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    1. Jeff, I’m making no presumptions to know your political persuasions. As one who fits no traditional political mode, I don’t think you are ambiguous. To that end, I greatly appreciate your input and chatter. Your insight is always appreciated on this post and others. So, please don’t go anywhere (even if we disagree!). I welcome the banter!

      As to the flawed nature of Hillary and Trump, I concur, no candidate is perfect. I’m not suggesting any are. But I do think one can argue that this year’s nominees were particularly flawed. Their negative opinion numbers were off the charts. And this continues even today (for both of them). I wouldn’t make this claim had any other Republican or Democrat been nominated. Trump and Clinton were unique in that fact. And this is obviously a subjective argument, as are most political judgments on subjects like this.

      As to the Republicans continuing to bring up Obama and Clinton, I’m simply suggesting that doing so takes the focus on what Trump and/or the Republican Congress is doing. I’m suggesting that they make the narrative about what they are doing and not what Clinton or Obama did/may have done. I thought the same about Obama who belittled Bush 43s administration for years.

      I’m not sure what other sites you visit or comment on, but I think we do a pretty good job here of engaging the topic at hand. I just noticed that my post from last week has 99 comments. How can that be anything but healthy dialogue?

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  7. Interesting and well said, just one tiny issue…as a lifelong registered Republican….Trump is not a Republican! I know he used our party, but the reason he won (in my humble opinion) is because he didn’t do what Republicans did for the last 20 years always seemed to do. Populist? Maybe, and no doubt the people around me feel like for the first time in a long time this politician is for the people rather than an agenda, and ideology or God forbid a PARTY! Thanks for a very balanced view. Let’s get you back to the parish where you are needed!

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    1. Marc, absolutely agree that Trump is not your typical Republican (if he’s one at all). Other than his Supreme Court pick, I don’t think we really know much of his true politics or how he will govern.
      As for the parish…well, the Lord’s will be done!

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