For the many years I’ve been writing this column/blog, I’ve tried to avoid being political, and I intend to keep trying.
But I feel oddly at peace with making occasional comments that stand a good chance of making everybody—conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, red or blue, right-leaning or left-leaning, or just leaning half a bubble off of any kind of leaning—mad.
A recent Gallup poll shows each of the two main presidential nominees coming in with an “unfavorability” rating of more than 50% (52% and 62%, to be precise; you can guess who wins the contest for most “unfavorability”).
An Internet search will net a bunch of stats, but one poll shows that “one-quarter of voters” dislike both candidates. Still another confirms that “most Americans dislike” both. “Record-breaking” is the term used to describe the numbers reflecting, well, Americans’ level of nausea when they consider presidential candidates they evidently consider to be far less than presidential material.
The wry wordsmith G. K. Chesterton almost 100 years ago now penned a little poem (“Ballade of an Anti-Puritan”) poking fun at the quality of the knights being “dubbed” to preserve grand old England.
“Prince,” he opined, “Bayard [the faithful and chivalrous French knight of old] would have smashed his sword / To see the sort of knights you dub— / Is that the last one of them?”
And accurately taking the measure of the new “knights,” he just hangs his head and begs, “O Lord / Will someone take me to a pub?”
I won’t be advising drunkenness, but viewing our present choices, I can well understand the temptation to and serious need for some sort of potent anesthetic. Whichever way this circus goes, the pain-killer may need to be of a long-acting, “sustained release” variety.
If you have a choice on a difficult Monday as to which you’d prefer—a root canal or a colonoscopy—on Tuesday, I suppose you’d have to admit that it’s a real choice. But I wouldn’t blame you for being a tad depressed on Sunday. And no surprise that either one would be a lingering pain in the tail section on Wednesday.
And that, my friends, pretty much sums up my feelings about our 2016 incredibly un-presidential presidential choices. In two words, utterly appalling. If I trample on your political position, my apologies. The polls, however, show that, on this rare occasion, my opinion is the majority opinion and, if it were an option, “None of the Above” would be elected to the presidency in November by a landslide.
This mess is hard to swallow. That this great nation can do no better than this boggles the mind. But a reminder to Christians that we are citizens of a kingdom with one all-powerful and all-loving King, and that the universe is not a democracy, is not without its blessings.
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Copyright 2016 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.