what is it with evangelicals and politics?

Posted by PeteEnns on November 5, 2015 in Evangelicalism politics 51 Comments

imagesI blog, with great fear and trembling, on politics every so often, a couple of times year maybe, when it intersects with matters of the Bible or Christian faith that I feel strongly about.

And each time before pressing “publish” I ask myself, “Do you really want to do this? Don’t you remember last time?” But I do it anyway. (Which reminds me to make an extra appointment with my therapist.)

Without fail, nothing, and I mean nothing, comes close to the animosity, ill will, and flat out meanness generated by political disagreement—including from evangelicals. And if my sample size means anything, I would say especially from evangelicals.

Not evolution, not inerrancy of the Bible, not even the Trinity, divinity of Christ, resurrection, or atonement. But politics.

You’d think the world was about to end, Jesus was coming back, and his first act of judging the living and the dead was about our views on the flat tax and global warming.

Just over 3 years ago, before the 2012 election, I blogged on this phenomenon of evangelicals losing it every time a presidential election is near, and so—with fear and trembling—I thought I’d post it again (slightly modified).

I could have changed the names or the issues, but no need. The cast of characters is different but not much else.

********

Before we get going here, let’s be clear on what

I.am.saying.

and what

I.am.not.saying.

This is not a cynical, “I’m above it all,” anti-political rant.

I am not saying all candidates are the same.

I am not telling anyone not to vote.

I am not suggesting we stop arguing about politics and coming to strong convictions. Have at it.

I am saying that getting so worked up about politics that you become really angry and spiteful, or you actually “fear for our country,” or are thinking of moving to Greenland or cryogenically freezing yourself if “that guy” gets elected, you may need to step back and think about what’s happening inside of you.

We all can and should be genuinely concerned about health care, our economy, terrorism, gender equality, and many, many other issues.

But, listen for the rhetoric in others and in ourselves.

If you fear for your way of life, that if the wrong person gets elected all is lost and you simply don’t have any hope for your future or the future of your children—if that is your rhetoric, you have accepted what we like to call in the theological industry a “rival eschatology.”

All political regimes have a utopian agenda. Communist, socialist, fascist, monarchic, and yes, even our democratic system.

All of them.

They all make promises to be the ones who will deliver the goods. They all promise that, without them, you are lost. They all claim to have “arrived,” to represent the culmination of the human drama, to be the true light, a city on a hill, that which brings you and all humanity true peace and security. Many even claim in some sense to rule by divine right.

That is what “eschatology” means—not an “end of the world” cataclysm as in some video game apocalyptic scenario.

Eschatology means: “Rest and be still. Things are now as they should be—or they soon will be. Now, truly and finally, you have reason to hope. Trust in us. Fear not.”

Eschatology means believing to be in that place where the human drama has come to its fullest expression.

They all say that, in one way or another.

When we fear, or rage, or are depressed about politics, it means we have invested something of our deep selves into an “eschatology”—into a promise that “all will be well, provided you come with us.”

Christians can’t go there, because Christianity is an eschatology.

And it accepts no rivals.

Christians should not adopt the rival eschatology that this or any political system or politician is of such fundamental importance that the thought of an election turning sour or the wrong laws being passed mean that all hope is lost.

There is a huge difference between saying, “That person would make a horrible president for the following reasons,” and “If he/she is elected, I just don’t know what I will do, where I will go—how we can carry on.”

The Christian never says the latter, because, regardless of where things play out politically, we believe that no political system is worthy of that level of deep trust to make the world right and just.

This is what the first Christians were taught about the Roman Empire, which promised its citizens peace, grace, justice, protection from enemies—all of which was called “salvation.”

The Gospel offered an “alternate eschatology” to that mentality. 

Not an escape from the world or some future doomsday scenario, but a present reality, where the promise of peace, grace, and justice were kept—through the suffering and enthronement of King Jesus, not through the power of the state.

Hence, the rhetoric of that anti-empire book of Revelation: the paradox of the slain lamb of God (Jesus) exalted above every earthly power.

Hence, St. Paul’s claim that our “citizenship is in heaven”—not “up there somewhere” but the kingdom of God come to earth now in the crucified and risen messiah, which is never caught up in political systems, but stands ready to work with them or deeply critique them depending on what is happening at the moment.

This entire line of thought goes back to the Old Testament prophets. They preached, harassed, and annoyed Israel’s leaders not to fear the nations around them, nor to trust that the any of them will make things right and give Israel lasting peace.

They were at times much more critical of Israel’s own leaders when they set up a “rival eschatology,” promising to deliver the goods through military strength or savvy political alliances rather than following God’s path. The prophets said, “hope is elsewhere.”

Many Christians on both sides of the aisle work hard in the world of politics to bring about justice and with deep conviction (even if Christians disagree strongly on how that should be done). This is good and right. I support it. But this post is about something else.

If you are watching political ads, speeches, or debates, or if you reading blogs about an election, and your blood begins boiling and hatred rises up and spews out of your mouth or onto your keyboard, that may be a sign to you that you are harboring a rival eschatology, that, despite what you might think to be true, your peace comes not from the gospel but from the state.

Your deep allegiance may be misplaced.

At least it’s worth a look.

[Please be patient as your comment is in moderation. Comments are normally posted within 6 hours but may take as long as 24—longer if you’re annoying.]

  • https://friendsofjustice.wordpress.com/blog/ Alan Bean

    When we rant and spew it is because we see Christianity as an essential ingredient in the great American stew, along with prosperity, a strong military and football. Like football and the veterans of foreign wars, Christians expect to be lauded as pillars of the Republic, not demoted to the status of one religion among many. We are being demoted, and one political party says they’ll fix that, and we believe them.

    • Pete E.

      i appreciate that angle, Alan.

    • Thurman8er

      This is such an interesting comment to me. My view of Christianity and the Bible revolves so much around peace and giving that it sounds odd to put Christianity on the same plane as prosperity and a strong military. (I’m sure that putting it on a level with football was tongue in cheek.)

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

    This is a great post, Peter and I agree up to a point. The vitriol that is flung like dung from both sides is shameful. The blame game is exhausting. But, for some of us, there are people running for power who could strip us (once again) of our basic humanity, even to the point of mortal danger. The fear is not always hyperbolic, ya know? Love your work, friend!

    • Pete E.

      I agree with you, actually. And I think you are illustrating what I think is a good and necessary dimension of Christians being involved in the political process: justice and human dignity.

  • Pete E.

    I am not saying elections don’t matter. I even said the opposite. I believe there are many things on the political sphere worth fighting for. But what if bad things happen rather than good? What if things don’t go our way or our children’s way? Where then (and O Lord, I don’t believe I am actually going to say this)–Where then will our heart be?

    • forlinianslip

      Yes, I added the edit. I guess, I’d like for us to say that in a democratic society, elections really, really do matter as we await the consummation. I guess I’d encourage the writing of the blog post that urges Christians to run for office and to salt politics with Christian grace.

      You seem, Prof. Enns, to be disconcerted by Christians who express outrage or offense over politics when they feel some important value is at risk. I offer my comment to counter the opposing problematic attitude that politics don’t matter.

      Again, politics is often more important than who our boss is, or who controls hiring and firing at our university or seminary. Imagine the blog post telling us not to get all worked up about what is happening at WTS, on the basis of Christian eschatology. It’d be true enough, but it would have the net effect of promoting the status quo, when we’d like to see change for the better.

      Thanks for the opportunity to elaborate the point. Jim Leonard

  • crunktastic

    As an African American (Christian) woman, with left, feminist, politics, I’m pretty clear that state-based calls for political transformation won’t save us. But I do kind of read your post as relying on a bit of false equivalency. In my estimation, right-wing politics are incredibly dangerous for the material lives and conditions of the least of these, namely women, racial minorities and sexual minorities. So while I hear you on not putting all our trust in political systems if we claim to be believers, I must admit that I do frequently wish I could escape to other places that were safer, for instance, for Black people. And I do think that a lot of the dishonesty that we see on the right about racial politics in particular, are legitimately alarming and fear-inducing. For me, honestly, the question I always ask is — do I serve the same God as those on the right serve? Because I just can’t see how they can hate the poor, hate women, and be stridently anti-black in terms of social policy and believe us to be worshipping the same Christ. And while i imagine that many of them think something similar, there is the pesky matter of facts to discredit that point of view. I think one’s politics are a credible indicator of one’s theology and I think the politics-cum-theologies that I see issuing from the right are not only wrong, and are not only ideas I disagree with, but also that those politics are actually materially dangerous for folks who look like me and for folks from my own community. And that is not hyperbole.

    • Pete E.

      I agree.

    • ClaraB43

      crunktastic: Hi. Middle-aged white lady here, agreeing with you completely on these false equivalencies and the objective danger of right-wing policies.

  • http://thecuttingledge.com/ Phil Ledgerwood

    This is a good article. I think it’s viable and noble for Christians to consider issues of justice in their respective countries and, if they have a voice, to use that voice to promote justice, which in the case of the USA at least means voting for the candidate (if there are any) who will also promote peace, justice, and the good things God tells us good rulers do.

    The problem is as you pointed out: for a lot of evangelical Christians, it isn’t a matter of choosing the candidate on the grounds of doing good for all the people – it’s an ideological commitment to a theocratic notion of America as God’s Nation, and if the right people don’t get elected, then America will slip from its lofty moral perch and incur the judgement of God. We have to “take America back.” Take it back from whom? The godless heathens, of course. Evangelicalism has (generally) aligned itself with conservative politics and economics for the sake of “morality” with very little thought as to whether such ideologies actually capture the heart of God. Or maybe that’s just how they think of God.

    In any case, they feel like the destiny of America, and their own personal destiny to this extent, is riding on the right candidates getting elected, which is in fact a rival eschatology and loyalty to a rival kingdom. The notion that America is also a government that will be shattered by the rule of Christ is unpalatable. That’s what will happen to all those other countries because of their infidelity. In a sense, it’s evangelical soteriology applied to an entire nation.

    Sorry for the rambling.

  • Dylan

    For a lot of vitriolic political comments I see, it’s “your peace comes not from the gospel but from the lack of the state.” They’d wholeheartedly agree that their peace doesn’t come from the state, that the state and the idea it should provide peace is the problem, and thus the only other option is the gospel (which happens to line up perfectly with their vision for what the state should be).

    Of course that’s all still in a sense peace from the state. It’s peace from the state of the state.

  • Wayfaring Michael

    When I was still teaching U.S. history, I explained it this way. When we dream, and sometimes when we think about ourselves on a good calm day–with certain important exceptions, like war and money in politics–we are Jeffersonians, or, at least, followers of the good Jefferson, the guy who wrote most of the good parts of the Declaration of Independence. But then when we wake up and have to decide on anything that impinges on our money, rights, or safety, we become Hamiltonians, that is, we focus on Machiavellian economics and political power, which is pretty much the same thing. And if its a bad day, like say, every day since about 1974 or so, but especially after 2001, we add more than a touch of Ayn Rand to our Hamiltonianism. But somehow we manage to reconcile the contradictions and just go on like everything is under control, when its clearly not.

    (Its kind of ironic, because it was in about 1794 or so that our two dominant political factions emerged, and they keep having many of the same arguments about each other and the world, over and over again…)

    Churchill was right when he remarked that “democracy” as he called it was the worst form of goverment, except for every other form of government that had ever been tried. It would be nice if there was a better system than democratic republicanism, but there isn’t.

    It would be nice, however, if our politicians were a little more grounded in reality, on both sides of the congressional aisle.

    It would be even nicer, moreover, if we had an independent press and an independent intelligentsia that honestly called our politicians on their lies, damn lies, and statistics.

    Thank God, literally, for those wild and crazy and uncredentialed poets and prophets Walter Brueggemann helps us to understand. We desperately need not just the Desmond Tutus and Rowan Williams and the Pope Francises, but also the Walter Rauschenbusches and Simone Weils and Dorothy Days and Abraham Heschels and Martin Luther King, Jr.s to let us know when our elected and appointed officials are not doing what they should be.

    In a way, this post relates to the one about Ben Carson. This one is about, in other words, political hermeneutics and exegesis. But its just as important, and its all the more complicated precisely because of how in this country especially, political thought and rhetoric is so often entwined with and dependent on how people think, feel, and believe about the Bible. Someone who believes that the United States is the successor to Israel in God’s unfolding plan for this world, and that this world will pass away VERY soon looks at politics in certain ways.

    It would be funny, of course, except that one of these jokers is going to be president of the United States soon. That has real world consequences.

  • David Denis

    Christ the King Sunday is coming up in a few weeks, for those of us who follow the lectionary. I do believe this post will be making it into the sermon. The concept of the “rival eschatology” is powerful and incisive. Exposing idols. Thanks for the help.

    • Gary

      If it’s a rival eschatology, why then do Evangelicals lead with “God has a plan for your life?” With Christ the King Sunday, isn’t the end of ordinary time that “God has a plan for the cosmos?” The labeling seems–to we not in the theological industry–backwards. It is paradoxically a hope–grander than self’s–that *rivals* common Christian eschatology. Is Christianity what Jesus of Nazareth perhaps believed as well as a few very rare oddballs? Or is Christianity what Christians actually believe?

  • MKulnir

    In the U.S., we have the opportunity to elect our leaders. It is our responsibility to our children and our neighbors to be informed and choose wisely. To do otherwise is not really loving others, just being lazy/slothful.

    • Pete E.

      I agree. but I’m not saying or implying that.

  • Ross

    One of the reasons I’m not particularly impressed by any politicians (well, what we call politicians in the UK) is their dishonesty or ignorance. They all seem to say, “let us in and we’ll fix it all”. When an honest politician comes in and says “well actually there’s just a big old mess here and we’ll try and sort some of it out but we can’t fix everything” then maybe I’ll treat them with slightly less distaste.

    It doesn’t matter from what part of the political spectrum they come from, they all seem to be cut from the same cloth. My view is that we have no democracy till there is a “none of the above” box on ballot papers, additionally anyone who wants power is probably unsuited to being given it.

  • Jeremy

    I liked the article Pete (enjoyed a couple of your recent books and others articles also). Yes, following Jesus is following a Way that is very different, just about completely opposite of Political Empire. But it seems much of Christianity has been confused by the use of Imperial language and sees itself as a Political option. The use of language like “Kingdom”, “Lord”, “Prince”, “Throne” etc is not understood as a subversion. It’s not understood as an expression of Ideals using familiar language (Imperial) to communicate a method of amelioration that rises above the pitfalls inherent to Empire. Instead, much of Christianity takes the language absolutely literally and seeks to become (or get back to being) an Empire. For some strange reason, there is a fervent, passionate, bullheaded drive to accomplish this prevalent in Evangelical circles. Advancing the “Kingdom of God” is understood as ascending to Political power rather than rising above the whole oppressive system.

    • Pete E.

      Excellent point. I’m stealing it.

  • Henry

    You totally had me. I wanted to post this to Facebook, scream it from the mountain top, print 1000 copies and hand them out to all my Christian friends who await the coming of the (small “m”) messiah every four years, but then… then I read your “about” page. Found out you are a Yankee fan. Crushed. How can a Yankee fan…?

    In all seriousness, thanks. This was excellent.

    btw, you may know my niece, Maddie, who graduated from Eastern last year.

    Cheers.

  • Jim Moore

    AMEN! I was sitting with an older politician one day and he looked at me and said, “Jim, if we don’t stop them America may not be the number one country in the world any more!” In my head I said to myself, “so what.” That’s when I realized that he viewed it has his Christian duty to make sure that didn’t happen. This Jesus Follower had totally missed what Jesus was calling us to.

    Right now I am seeing my friends on the more progressive side make all of the same mistakes I saw my friends on the conservative side make 30 years ago.

    Ultimately we are being called to something much bigger and more important than winning elections. Jesus people are being called to service to the world. Anytime you see anger you know you are attacking someone’s “god” and true savior. On the other hand be careful because in our dualist political world enthusiastic support might be because the supporter is assuming you are endorsing their “god.” You’re right to feel trepidation.

    • Pete E.

      Jim, I’m flying by the seat of my pants here with a full plate, but I’m reading your comments and appreciate them. Maybe more to come.

      • Jim Moore

        Thanks you’ve been very helpful to me in recent years. So it’s nice to get a chance to say thank you.

  • Gary

    But ultimately some of just might believe that the victorious *IS* the cruciform.

  • Matt MacDonald

    Watch Rob Bells take on the word “evangelical” http://youtu.be/Wc7wEfL6aSI

    • Ross

      All right… all right… but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order… what have the Romans done for us?

      • charlesburchfield

        I’ll take what…made the world safe for plutocracy?… for $100 alex! */:D

        • Ross

          I must admit that I was being more tongue in cheek than forwarding any political agenda but I’d prefer a benign plutocracy over a malevolent democracy. Personally I’d support a total anarchy for me but don’t think anyone else is up to benefiting from it. Maybe we should have a chocolate-icecream-acy. where we all stay at home and eat the proverbial.

          • charlesburchfield

            there would be a plague of diabetes. */:((

  • ronnie

    Why change the meaning of eschatology?

  • Chris Bourne

    One not so small small point perhaps…

    The competition between eschatologies should not be a surprise if these eschatologies are merely the promisary notes of a huge mythology that in itself competes for allegiance. I am thinking here of the nation-state as myth-with-divine-aspiration, in the way that Cavanaugh, Macintyre and Millbank might describe it. For example:

    “The modern nation-state, in whatever guise, is a dangerous and unmanageable institution, presenting itself on the one hand as a bureaucratic supplier of goods and services, which is always about to, but never actually does, give its clients value for money, and on the other as a repository of sacred values, which from time to time invites one to lay down one’s life on its behalf. . . . It is like being asked to die for the telephone company”.
    Alasdair MacIntyre, “A Partial Response to My Critics,” in After MacIntyre: Critical Perspectives on the Work of Alasdair MacIntyre

    • Gary

      Replace “nation-state’ with “Protestant church.” After “telephony company,” put “if not Alexander Graham Bell.”

      Ecclesiology has been overridden by Westphalia and then wrung through the Industrial Revolution. And there you have the contemporary American Evangelical mythos. Absolute truth.

      Exposure to Radical Orthodoxy, at least for me, makes churchgoing and, even more so, silently listening to Christian friends and family all the more disillusioning.

  • Ross

    Re-reading the post I wonder why Pete seems to be so concerned about why “Evangelicals” are so concerned about politics. Obviously it is concerning, but I take the whole thing as part and parcel of what “Evangelical” now means.

    “Evangelical” is not a synonym of “Christian” and never has been, It is the title of a sect within what-ever “Christian” means. “Evangelicalism now is not what it was 100+ years ago. Because of the emphases of what “Evangelical” is now loudly represented to be, I am definitely not an “Evangelical”. I would also add that I have moved to becoming an anti-inerrantist and wonder why any thoughtful person would want to identify as an “Evangelical”. Unfortunately the meaning of words is important, but it does shift with time, no matter how much we like to be specific.

    It is my own personal feeling that to truly follow Jesus, calling myself an “Evangelical” is counter-productive, as would be believing in any politician of any sort. In our liberal democracies we only have the option of voting for the best of a bad bunch and supporting political parties strongly is more than a little of idolatry.

    From “over the pond” it seems that both major American parties stand for various parts of the Gospel, but neither seems to be that far towards having a monopoly on it, though most people “over here” just can’t understand or identify with Republicanism and just view American “Evangelicalism” with incomprehension and distaste. I can’t see any option than to support any party with any sense stronger than ambivalence.

    • Gary

      To truly follow Jesus, perhaps the label “Christian” is quite culturally counter-productive. I could be wrong, but I think if he were around today there would quite limited overlap of belief, emphasis, and hope between Him and those who take his Name. Often Evangelicals have a know-it-all Jesus of extremely high Christology. I would like to think kenoticallly He might share much of your incomprehension.

      • Ross

        I also tend not to use the term “Christian” for myself, but it’s an easy shorthand at times.

        • Gary

          Personally, I think the label “Christian” would make a better modifier of behaviors than persons. I think that responses, decisions, questions, statements, and actions can be Christian, that is, in the way of Christ.

          • Ross

            I think the term means too many different things to too many people to have anywhere near a single meaning. I’m not sure these days how many people relate the term to a person, Jesus of Nazareth.

            One reason I am a bit wary of the term is how it sounds to Jewish people. For many the term “Christian” is a reminder of 1800 years of persecution and “Christ” can be alien to “Moshiach” or similar spellings for Messiah.

            It also seems to be a synonym for “white Anglo Saxon” in some people’s minds. It can relate to a person who is good or perceived as bad.

            As I said, I find it occasionally a reasonable shorthand, but Jesus was never a “Christian” nor were his followers in the first days. I often wonder whether the happenings at Antioch were when it all started going wrong.

          • Gary

            It’s putty.

  • Preston Garrison

    It’s all Constantine’s fault. :)

  • charlesburchfield

    manifest destiny dunncha knaw!? */:D

  • hoosier_bob

    As much as evangelicals like to tip their hats to biblical fidelity, I’ve come to disbelieve that we really care about it. I’ve long suspected that our “biblical worldview” rests more on economic, social, and political assumptions than on anything biblical. Inerrancy was merely our post hoc way of assuring ourselves that God agreed with our economic, social, and political assumptions. It gave the added benefit of assuring us that those who disagreed with us were not merely wrong, but were also evil. Besides, it can’t be mere fortuity that the “biblical worldview” looks remarkably similar to the worldview of conventional morality of white middle-class America at the very time when modern-day evangelicalism took shape.

    I suspect that that’s why politics are a big deal to evangelicals. Through the messed-up theology of Carl Henry and Harold Lindsell, we’ve implicitly baked our economic, social, and political opinions into our view of what God desires. Hence, the rival nature of that earthly eschatology isn’t apparent.

  • crunktastic

    Thanks for the link. I really enjoyed the read.

  • Bryan Whitaker

    Everyone keeps saying that America is a democracy. It’s worth noting that we’re not. We’re a republic. Here’s the difference.

    A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the Constitution). A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority (mob rule). A Republic recognizes the inalienable rights of individuals while democracies are only concerned with group wants or needs (the public good).

    America was founded by men who best understood how this nation should function to protect the rights that God has blessed us all with, by simply existing. And it’s worth fighting for. I engage in polite political debate every day. I do this so people can better understand the intention of the founders and how our constitution protects the rights noted. So, if you’re not involved in politics, I’d say vote for the party who promises the least. Because there can be no Utopia. Everything will NEVER be alright. We can only be more free. I vote for that.

  • Pete E.

    “. . . if we become emotionally invested in something, we must view it as a potential cure-all that can supplant out long-term goal of salvation.”

    False.

    • Matthew Kilburn

      Not sure if you read me right, or if I’m reading you wrong. I DO NOT believe that being emotionally invested in something means we see it as a potential cure all or a substitute for salvation. But it seems to me that your article is suggesting that being emotionally invested in something (politics) means we believe it could be the solution to every problem we face, in place of a need to focus on God.

      • Pete E.

        I understand. I am saying your quote, which claims to zero in on the main point of the post, is a not at all what I am saying.

  • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

    Dr. Enns, are you a fan of Jacques Ellul? At your presentation on Sunday in SF, your bit about “The Christian faith and power don’t go well together” (I recall you saying something awfully close to that) made me think of both Ellul’s The Political Illusion and his The Subversion of Christianity.

    • Pete E.

      I do like him, Luke, though I pieced that together all by my self just from living and breathing :-)

  • Sam

    My mom and dad married despite their families coming from opposite ends of the political spectrum. One of my grandfathers was a career politician. Nevertheless, those things were not a problem for my parents. Each voted as they thought best, and neither ever voted a “straight ticket,” at least not until the November 1960 election.

    My mother’s relatives always had a big family dinner the Sunday before election day. Those dinners amounted to political/religious rallies. We avoided them like the plague. Like a really bad plague. Just before dark on the Sunday afternoon before the 1960 election, someone knocked on our front door. Only salesmen knocked on the front door. We ignored it, which brought about louder and prolonged knocking. My dad peeked out a slit in the curtains, then whispered “It’s a carload of your relatives.” We all knew what that meant. We still did not answer the door. They would not leave. “Come on. Answer the door. We know you’re in there.” Reluctantly, my dad answered.

    As we had guessed, we were in for an outrageous political/religious lecture. “You can’t be a Christian and vote for ______. Vote for him and the Pope will be running the country.” (Wikipedia the 1960 election if you need help filling in the blank.) That was followed by two hours of more of the same.

    When my dad came home from work on Tuesday, my mom asked him if he had voted. “Yep, voted a straight ticket. My first time ever.” Mom’s conservative Evangelical hyper-religious, hyper political relatives had succeeded, but not in the way they had intended. And little did they understand that just as my father strongly disliked being told how to vote, so do I. I remember them and their ilk every election cycle and every time I vote. Just in case you’re wondering, we never heard a word from any of those folks, never ever, when their candidate became the first president in US history to resign (in disgrace) after he eventually succeeded in winning the position (but not in 1960) that he (and my mother’s relatives) so coveted.