Slouching Toward Washington

QuestionThinkingby Deana Chadwell4/1/16
I’ve lived through and paid attention to elections going all the way back to Eisenhower. Each time, people chose up sides, whacked away at the opponent, and the votes fell where they fell. Then everyone stood up, dusted off their hands, and went back to work. People had conversations about policy and their favorite candidate, but such conversations required either an awkward phone chat or a face-to-face discussion and for much of that time both religion and politics were not considered proper fodder for social gatherings. Societal lids limited the whole election process.

Not so today. People occasionally ask me what I think will happen, assuming I suppose, that the wise old woman will have something intelligent to say. But not so. Even if I had a state-of-the-art crystal ball and a graphing calculator, I’d be clueless.  Variables buzz around this election like mosquitoes in a swamp.

  1. Health issues – Bernie Sanders is 73, the Donald 70, Hillary 67 all hovering around that precarious post-baby-boomer life expectancy precipice. Hillary appears to be tottering on the edge of actual ill health, going into occasional coughing fits and bouts of confusion.
  2. Legal issues – we don’t know what will happen with the FBI probe of Hillary and her infamous emails. If 147 agents are really on the case and since, on the face of it, she shouldn’t have had that email setup in the first place she’s on some shaky ground. And Benghazi is always lurking in the background. Of course we have to add into this the fact that she is Hillary Clinton and therefore not subject to the same laws the rest of us are. We also must figure in the even more disturbing fact that most people left of center don’t seem to care about her apparently pending indictment.  What do we do if she becomes the Democrat candidate (and the “if” here is very iffy) and she’s been charged with a crime? What does the Constitution say about the people electing a felon? Nor do we know what the Obama administration will do about this – there’s no love lost between him and the Clintons, but on the other hand, if he lets her off the legal hook, then he would continue to have influence over a Clinton White House. What a tangle.
  3. Unpredictability issues — Donald Trump is, pardon the pun, a complete wild card. No one knows what he will say next. We can count on Cruz not to utter foul-mouthed personal insults, but we can’t predict what words will come shooting out of the Don’s mouth. Neither can he. We don’t know what skeletons will crawl out of his closet if he wins the nomination. We do know that his rabid supporters will hang on even if illegal behaviors surface. (I don’t know that any will, but given Trump’s take-no-prisoners approach to life, no one would be surprised.)
  4. International issues – we are at war with ISIS. North Korea is rattling sabers. Iran is building a nuke. The European Union is shaky at best. Any blow-ups on any of these fronts and this election could ricochet off in a direction none of us can imagine – like Obama declaring martial law and just staying in office.
  5. Financial issues – our economy is shaky, as is the economy of most of the world right now. That is going to affect this election, but will the effect be a lurch further left in the hopes the government will kiss the boo-boo and make it all better? Or will it wake people up to the realties of economics and the value of a free market? Who knows? And which candidate represents which economic theory? Hard to tell.
  6. Overstock issues – we have from the beginning had too many candidates. A plethora of presidential wannabes has fractured the process to such an extent that the math becomes nearly impossible. Why is Kasich still in this? Why is Bernie? Neither has a realistic hope, so do we assume that insanity is part of this election’s algorithms or do these men just want to muddy up the works? And if the latter, who’s paying them? What will the Bernie supporters do when Hillary walks away with the convention? Will they bail to Trump? Swallow hard and vote for Hill anyway? Or will they stay home? With Kasich still in the Republican race only Einstein could do the math and he’s dead.
  7. Math brings us to the delegates. Delegates are just people; they aren’t automatons programmed to vote according to the popular vote. They can, after the first vote, change their minds. So who knows what they’ll do?
  8. That’s to say nothing of the snarl of convention rules, which appear not to be longstanding, time-honored methods, but made up as the delegates and party chairmen determine, sort of a fly-by-night, make-it-up-as-you-go, we’ll-cheat- to-get-our-way approach. Republicans could end up with a candidate who hasn’t even been running. The chaos that will cause is hard to picture.
  9. Which brings the next variable: anger. I can’t remember ever seeing people this scared for their country, their families, their futures, and scared people are angry people. Republicans are mad because our elected officials have betrayed us.  Democrats are mad because their socialist dream is a nightmare and they can’t admit that. Angry people act; this is good, but angry people don’t think first. They don’t worry about anything much beyond alleviating the pain of their fury. Worse, angry people are unpredictable. If things don’t go their way will they stay home and pout, or hit the streets and rampage? I used to be pretty sure that my conservative compatriots wouldn’t do anything desperate and dangerous, anything violent, but I don’t know that any more. No one does. We can count on the Bernie-lovers to throw a fit – especially if Trump or Cruz wins the general election, but what will happen if Hillary marches back into the White House? Yikes.
  10. The voter ID issue – we don’t even know who’s voting, whether they are alive or dead, Americans or illegals, informed or dismally ignorant. We don’t know how often each person votes. This issue alone throws the whole thing off.
  11. And last, but most important, what is the will of God in this matter? Looking at this objectively as possible, it doesn’t look to me like we deserve a better president than we currently have. If 50% of the country is happy with either a criminal or a communist what chance have we of maintaining our freedoms? But, God is gracious, and whereas He never gives a nation a worse leader than it deserves, He has sometimes given a country a second chance, (Israel, for instance) so maybe. He does answer prayer and millions of us are praying for the welfare of this nation and all it once stood for. We also need to at least glance at biblical prophecy, which has always been dead on in the past, so it bears looking at now. What will this election look like to our non-Christian countrymen if the Rapture really does take place? Could, you know.

So what do you think will happen? I know one thing for sure – we will be highly entertained for the rest of the year – entertained in the edge-of-the-seat horror movie sense of the word, but entertained nevertheless. There is one blessing in the chaos; I’m very clear about all of this being out of my control, so I’ll not worry, just watch and pray.

Deana Chadwell blogs at and is a writing and speech professor at Pacific Bible College in Southern Oregon.
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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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18 Responses to Slouching Toward Washington

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I doubt a new candidate would be chosen in Cleveland, but a lot depends on whether the actual delegates are party hacks or supporters of the candidates (if not always the same one they’ll vote for on the first ballot, as may especially be the case in South Carolina). This sort of thing has happened before (James Garfield went to the 1880 convention running John Sherman’s campaign, and ended up the nominee), but not in the living memory of anyone here.

  2. Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

    The will of God has never been apparent or discernible in our desultory affairs. Who will crack the whip in the Temple? Trump. Sad but true. At least he has the cojones. Who else? I had hoped for Cruz, but while he’s an excellent person he’s a bad campaigner.

    I’m not looking for entertainment, although it is stimulating.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I suspect Cruz developed his campaign style from public debating. He is very good on a stage i.e. at a distance where exaggerated gestures and dramatic vocal delivery are necessary and work.

      But his style is not good for TV, which is very “up close and personal” and where somewhat understated delivery works.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Cruz isn’t charismatic at all, but he does have an excellent campaign. Trump has a certain boisterous charisma, but a wretched organization. And when things go wrong, his reflexive reaction is to sue whoever got the better of him (e.g,, Cruz for winning unbound delegates in Louisiana). The ability to set up a good campaign organization suggests comparable ability in setting up a presidency, whereas Trump’s behavior (including his bullying bluster toward protest) hints that he would be as tyrannical toward opponents (which could easily include us) as any Democrap.

      • Timothy — excellent analysis. Totally agree. I am grateful to Trump for breaking the ice he’s plowed through, but I doubt he’s any good for long-distance sailing in choppy seas.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          It occurs to me to consider your title in terms of the original source of the phrase — Yeats’s concern about what might be “slouching toward Jerusalem” in “The Second Coming”. Variations of the title have been used by both Robert Bork and Peter DeVries. In your case, is Trump the sphinx slouching to our modern debased Jerusalem?

          • I picture us all slouching toward whatever it is that’s before us. No one is doing this well right now. I find it all so muddlesome that, even though I plan to vote for Cruz, I still can’t say that I feel a rousing Go Ted Go! cheer welling up inside. This is, in part, because I think our troubles are far deeper than just who sits in the Oval Office.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              But that does make a difference. The Obama Gang has pursued schools that refuse to let girly men dress with the girls (even though this will inevitably result in dirty young men pretending to be girly men for obvious reasons), and has made threats to deprive North Carolina of all federal money over the issue. A Cruz administration wouldn’t do that. There are many ways in which the president can assist the Christians in the culture war, whereas Barry Screwtape Obama has thrown his weight into the side of degeneracy.

              • I agree, but what I mean is that I’m not sure that, as a society, we deserve a Ted Cruz.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                To paraphrase Churchill,

                “Never give in, never give in, never give in!”

                Or to go colloquial Texan,

                “Fight the bastards!”

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I started a parody of Petula Clark’s “Don’t Give Up” after 2012. It may be time to finish the song. Of course, as a Texas you have the prior example of William Barrett Travis. (My grade school in Galveston was named after him. It says something that I remember that after nearly 60 years.)

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                The Alamo was and is a powerful symbol for all Texans. Visiting it is something like a pilgrimage. It is holy ground to Texans.

                “Victory or Death” may, once again, become our choice.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              We visited San Antonio while in Galveston, which of course included a visit to the Alamo. That may have been when we picked up the cartoon history Texas History Movies, which disappeared from our home decades ago — but I still remember much of it. Elizabeth and I also visited the Alamo when we attended the Worldcon in San Antonio in 1997. (We also visited the Nimitz Museum after the convention, and the San Jacinto monument the next day.)

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                I’ve never visited the Nimitz museum, but have been to the San Jacinto monument a couple of times. The view from the top is very nice, but the battlefield is more interesting. I especially liked the ferry ride to get to the monument.

                It is also fun to go over to the battleship “Texas”.

  3. Lucia says:

    Fox News reported that Kasich is still in the race because Soros endorsed him. That should tell us something.

    • GHG says:

      Fox News reported that Kasich is still in the race because Soros endorsed him. That should tell us something.

      It tells us that Kasich has no shame, but then I guess we already knew that.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Kasich has also suggested that he might be willing to choose a Democrat as VP. He had a conservative record om the House, but has become increasingly liberal as governor, especially since his own law against public employee unions was overturned by the voters. (The same thing happened to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who tried to get several reforms passed, and then basically gave up after that failed.) And in running, he chose to become the candidate of the synoptic media rather than Republican voters.

  4. Rosalys says:

    “There is one blessing in the chaos; I’m very clear about all of this being out of my control, so I’ll not worry, just watch and pray.”

    Thank you, Deana! This statement doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know and believe – but sometimes I need to be reminded. Bless you, sister!

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