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  • Writer's picturePeter Bai

Post-Election Reflections

Here are some of my reflections from this year's election. I don't pretend to understand any better than anyone else, but I believe in valuing everyone's perspective. Here is mine.

1. Everyone needs to feel being heard. Many people have said since the election that the one group of people everyone didn't understand adequately was the "White working class" especially from the Rust Belt. Yes, we can go on and debate passionately whether their concerns and demands are legitimate or even moral. But, the one clear learning from this election is that the fact that their voices have not been heard over the past several years (if not decades) is an undeniable oversight by everyone. I personally don't know this part of our society very well. I know I have heard jokes about them, but did I ever pay attention to what they might have been going through the last few decades? Did America as a whole? Again, one's "difficult" life story does not permit one to be angry or harmful to others. But, as for individuals, you can't really wish for a group of people to be constructive and helpful to others if no one first attempted to understand where they are coming from. Many of the ethnic minorities have voiced their concern of being voiceless over the years (I'm a strong proponent of this and we certainly have a long way to go still). Perhaps, one positive gain from this election is that we realize more profoundly that ever that we all are on the same boat. We, including WWC, all need to be heard.

2. Media drives our culture more powerfully that we would like to admit. Media is about ratings. Some individuals still report/write for the sake of objective news reporting. But the industry as a whole? (It's starting to feel like celebrity gossip news). Of course, we knew this. But if not careful we can get sucked into it very fast and become the very reason the media becomes even more sensationalistic and provocative. It's hard enough to discern what to read for objective news, but now we have to even be mindful of "how much" to consume news. Yes, we've been taught the value of "being informed." But, how much is enough? Are we being informed, or being consumed by consuming it mindful-lessly. When things go ever more crazy and chaotic, who is the real winner here? The left, the right? The public? How about the media.

3. Christian community has to ask deeply what our attitude toward politics should be in today's world. Needs to be more engaged, or less engaged? Church should seek to affect the politics more, or stay away from it more? Of course, history tells varied stories of this uneasy relationship between church (religion) and state. Perhaps there is no one right way (for God commands us to both live out our faith in every sphere of life AND to focus on his primary calling of spreading love and truth while "giving Caesar what is due to Caesar"). However, it seems to be a pressing time for the church that we ask honestly, openly, and deeply what exactly is our best way of being involved yet not be overwhelmed. Being a good witness of God's love without compromising truth. Taking on the role of peace-makers more than that of fighters. It's not an easy thing to be able to do what Jesus did so well. But, we need to, at the least, remember to seek after the model he has left for us to follow. More than the politics, I can imagine Jesus saying, it's the people, stupid (well, not in those exact terms)!

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