In late September, I announced that I was going to publish a blog post each day during the month of October. I had undertaken that very discipline one year ago and found it to be both gratifying and exhausting. I attempted a similar schedule during Lent this past spring but ran out of steam before the end of that 40-day marathon.
I am today suspending my blogging for at least a month. This will be my last post until sometime in November. The reason for this decision is not that I have nothing to say. I had already drawn up the schedule for all 31 posts. Rather, I decided to “go dark,” both here and on Facebook, because I want to extract myself from any further conversation that relates to the 2016 presidential election.
I did not address issues related to the presidential race, either here or on Facebook, during the 2012 campaign. I intended to follow that pattern this year as well. Then, last winter, when most of the country still thought the entry into the race by one well-known reality-TV personality was a joke, I made a few comments to that effect. As his candidacy became more and more likely, while at the same time more and more unthinkable, I posted my thoughts on that matter fairly frequently.
I can’t say that I regret anything I said, since I spoke only to matters of the candidate’s lack of character and qualifications for the presidency. I did not engage in partisan political activism. Still, I have reason to believe that my comments in that sphere diluted the impact of my posts on other, more substantive, issues. Readership of my blog has taken a nosedive in recent weeks.
There has never been a more divisive figure in American politics in my lifetime than the Republican presidential nominee. His influence on the American psyche has been corrosive and destructive. It will take decades to recover from the damage his candidacy has inflicted on our nation.
Here’s my prediction. I think there is a real chance the Republican nominee will drop out of the race before the election. If he does not, he will lose by a significant margin. In the process, the Democrats will regain the majority in the U.S. Senate. But November 9 will not bring the end of this sordid and painful chapter. The Republican nominee will claim the election was rigged, and his supporters will use that as a reason to de-legitimize the new president. The pain will continue.
I need a break from this. For that reason, I am going dark for the next four weeks. I’ll pop back on Facebook from time to time for personal items. For example, I’ll be speaking in chapel at Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, VA, on November 10, two days after the election. I’ll come back with some reminders as that date gets closer. It will be a quick trip to Virginia, but we hope to see some old friends—as well as some new ones—while we are there. The chapel service, which begins at 11:00 a.m., is open to the public.
And then, I will be back with blog posts after mid-November. At least that’s the plan at this time. If that changes for any reason, I’ll let you know.
I do appreciate all of you who read my posts, here and on Facebook, either regularly or from time to time. I hope you’ll find that this time away will serve to enrich the quality of what I write when I return.
Oh, in case you are wondering, my movement away from conservative evangelicalism and toward a more progressive understanding of how to follow Jesus continues unabated. It has cost me a good many friends, but it has given me immense peace of mind. No second thoughts there.
See you in November. Peace.