Just Stop, Trump Evangelicals

Yesterday’s events left me stunned, but it wasn’t until I saw the standard conservative evangelical reactions start rolling in that I became fully infuriated.

Take a look:

Aaaaaargh! Years of garbage like this played a key role in what got us to yesterday. You. Are. Complicit.

Your silence in an effort to not “be political” (except when it comes to pro-conservative topics) makes you complicit.

Your careless sharing of misinformation makes you complicit.

Your lack of empathy for the lives of others makes you complicit.

Your “it’s up to God!” excuse for non-action makes you complicit.

Now is not the time for doubling down and sinking with the ship. Now is the time to repent and start humbly listening. Not only has your orange calf been (at long last) toppled, but you’ve found yourself with bloody hands. Start washing.

The New Normal

As we start a new year with (once the death rattle shenanigans peter out) new leadership, it’s tempting to think that things will slowly start returning to normal. For the most part this will (hopefully) be true, but one of the many ripples of 2020 on American society has been a great “Band-Aid ripping” effect that’s caused many slow but inevitable changes to happen years before anticipated.

As a result, a lot of things are never snapping back into place. Here are my predictions for a few of them…

Commuting and remote work: While it’s possible that we start seeing permanent closures of physical offices (for jobs that allow it), we’ll almost certainly see a lot more flexibility for and acceptance of remote work for a significant portion of the workweek. Future generations will find it jaw-dropping that many people once filled a personal car with gasoline, only to drive to another location five days a week, sit there at a computer for hours, then drive back home.

Our interactions with stores and restaurants: Online/app-centered ordering, delivery services, curbside item pickups and digital in-restaurant menus are here to stay. Who knew that QR codes would finally have their moment?

New movie releases: With Warner Bros. already leading the way, we’ll see same-day streaming releases for new movies, with the number of movie theaters shrinking as the theatrical experience becomes more of a “few times a year” social experience. Spielberg and Lucas were way ahead of the curve on this.

Streaming church services, theatrical performances and other live events: Obviously nothing beats an in-person experience, but the convenience and wider accessibility provided by live streams (augmented with text, audio or video discussion rooms) is powerful, and will become a vital leg on the live event/community stool.

The attitude of American exceptionalism: From the massive bungling of our nation’s COVID response to the long overdue reckoning on institutional racism, many people have experience a forced recalibration to their sense of America’s place in the world. Let’s move forward with an attitude of humility and a desire for cooperation.

Long Road Back

I know a good deal of Trump supporters through church connections, my extended family and via social media, and despite how absolutely heartbreaking it has been to watch what’s happened to them over the past several years, I’m not at all opposed to rekindling our relationships in the event that the Biden victory acts as a cold water wake-up from their MAGA fever dream.

I’m not saying that it wouldn’t take a very long time to trust their judgment again (having seen what they’re capable of tacitly endorsing), but I do believe in fast forgiveness followed by slow trust rebuilding if and when someone demonstrates that they’re open to a) learning about different perspectives, b) having challenging conversations and c) spending the time to educate themselves (even minimally) on how to avoid misinformation.

Nobody has all all of the answers (I certainly don’t), and everyone makes mistakes (I certainly do), but moving forward requires contrition, curiosity and a commitment to keep walking the (potentially) long road back.

That’s one option. Or…

…you could follow our fearless current leader right into the abyss with one or all of the following behaviors that I’ve seen emerge over the past few days:

  • Continue to deny the reality that Trump lost this election, and keep spewing deranged conspiracy theories until the heat death of the universe

  • Complain about how mean Biden supporters are being (this is jaw-dropping coming from the “F**k Your Feelings” crowd)

  • Leave mainstream social media for Parler (so you can reinforce the walls of your MAGA information bubble and really stretch those racist legs!)

Time to choose your own adventure!