When people talk about our Presidential campaign process it is usually with a mixture of dismay and disgust. How did we get here? The word most frequently used to explain the chaotic turn of events is “anger.” Voters have become so angry with what has and has not been happening in our government that they latch on to candidates who seem to share their sense of anger. It is happening on both the left and right sides of the aisle.
But watch out! Anger is understandable, but rarely a reliable starting place for developing effective solutions. They say, if you want to win a fist fight, make your opponent angry. In his anger he will make mistakes. If we vote for those who simply sound angry, we will likely have to live with their mistakes.
Anger is frequently caused by feeling misunderstood. Trouble is, anger also leads us to stop listening to one another, to less understanding and then to more anger. That is why so often in our, so-called, debates, more than one candidate shouts at the same time, neither one listening to the other. Without listening and genuinely seeking to find common areas of understanding, it is impossible to work together toward solutions.
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. – (James 1:19–20 (NIV84))
Instead of voting for someone who merely sounds angry, what about voting for someone who thoughtfully listens and then seeks a real solution to what has made you angry?