No, it wasn't my extremely liberal brother-in-law. In fact, it wasn't one of the friends on my "politically incorrect" list at all.
This was one of the deeply Catholic Facebook friends who probably agrees with me on 99% of every issue - and yet was one of the most ardent supports of Donald Trump. It didn't matter what The Donald did or said either - my FB friend found a way to square it with church teaching to such an extent that it required extreme contortion of the body, mind, and will to even get a glimpse at how that point of view could even be considered.
After the Indiana primary Tuesday night, my friend did a lot of gloating and happy dancing, with no attempt at mollification. So I took a look at our mutual friend list, realized that my chances of ever meeting this person face-to-face are slim to none, and decided that for the sake of my peace of mind and blood pressure, it was okay to use my powers of defriending and blocking. So I did.
It was very difficult to realize the my candidate, Ted Cruz, the man who probably best (but not perfectly) embodied the goals and ideals of conservatism was getting knocked out of the race. It also occurred to me that my stinky little governor, John Kasich, had just stayed in the race to make sure that Cruz never got enough delegates. He's dead to me now too. I don't like games like that when the future of the country is at stake.
So now it looks like, unbelievably, to NOT vote for Hillary, I'll have to vote for Donald Trump. I guess I'll be able to hold my nose and do it - might have to have a stiff drink before heading for the polls though.
My new voter, Noah, said he won't vote at all, because neither candidate mirrors his convictions and values. Ah! to be so young and innocent again and believe that you will ever find a candidate running for office that even has convictions and values. But I explained that at least when it comes to the Supreme Court, we don't want Hillary Clinton packing the court, and I think he agreed with me. So he'll probably vote.
I didn't tell him about David Souter or Justice Roberts. He's got decades ahead of him, why smash all his illusions now?
But as I was reading Izzy's government book yesterday it occurred to me that there have been some leaders who looked like really bad choices on paper, and yet did some pretty great things. Cyrus the Great for example - a mighty conqueror who had compassion for the people he conquered. But the name floating around in my head most of yesterday was St. Thomas Becket. This was a man who reached high political and religious rank via the graces of the king who expected Thomas then to continue to do his unjust and debaucherous will. When the weight and significance of his office became clear to St. Thomas, he carried out his duties with the reverence it required and the honor to God that it demanded. His friend the King eventually had him assassinated for it.
Donald Trump has sought a high office. Perhaps, there is a glimmer of hope, that if he indeed does become the President of the United States, he too will will feel the weight and significance of the office and feel the hand of God on his shoulder. To that end, we can all start praying for him now as we head into the July Republican Convention. So that's how I'm choosing to handle this outcome. Prayer for the nation, prayer for the candidate. There is nothing else that I can do that will be as productive - including participating Facebook debates.
Prayer gives me hope - but my defriend and block bottons will give me peace.
Nathan Congleton via Flickr licensed cc.