Beliefnet
Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

As a woman, as a Christian and as an American, I’ve been reflecting this morning on last night’s election results. And what I’ve concluded is that yesterday, ethics and decency took a back seat to dollars.  The man we have elected has made crass comments about women, he has judged people on the basis of their ethnic background, and he has intentionally made false allegations about our current president’s birthplace.  Yet we elected him to hold the highest government office in our country.  Why?  Because he promised that if he became president we would all become “winners!”  And he promised to singlehandedly make us rich.  (If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.)  And yesterday people checked their basic ethics at the door and voted for someone who promised them a couple of extra dollars.

The problem with yesterday’s election result is that there is more to being an American than making money. We are a country that is supposed to believe in the highest ideals of liberty and equality.  We are supposed to be a beacon to the world for what it means to live in a society in which you are not judged by the color of your skin (or your gender or religion or your sexuality) but by the content of your character.  Yesterday, we said, “Forget all that,” based on a charlatan’s promises of cash.

We did not vote our values. We voted our wallets.  Unfortunately for us, our president cannot make us money.  Nor can Congress.  Nor can any particular legislation.  There is only one way to make money: Hard work.  There is no quick fix.  There is no president who is going to absolve us of the basic requirement that you have to work hard to make money.  And no matter how rich or poor your parents are, you have to hustle to move ahead in this world.  Success and achievement are not handed out on silver platters to anyone.

Our president is supposed to reflect our values. He or she is supposed to be our mouthpiece by which the world understands what we think about right and wrong.  That person is supposed to espouse the values contained in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The individual we have elected does not represent those values.

So where does that leave us on November 9th?  We need to make a decision that this election does not reflect who we are.  And our soon-to-be president does not reflect who we are.  And we have a responsibility to be more vocal than ever about the rights of women, children, minorities and the poor.  We cannot simply sit back anymore and think that racism and sexism are issues of the past.  They are alive and present, and for those of us who truly believe in the those “truths” contained in the Declaration of Independence, it is the time for us to be more vocal and active than ever before.

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