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The paucity of posts I’ve generated in the past few months reminds me of how hard it’s been for me to generate blogs lately. I could claim a lack of time, but I’ve always had to squeeze blog-writing into what are typically very busy days. I could claim a lack of subject matter, but that would be blatantly untrue.

The main problem, I think, has been too much subject matter — of the wrong sort. Our country has surrendered to the worst sort of fear- and hate-mongering, allowing fake news and distorted claims to generate enough hysteria to turn sufficient numbers of the electorate against the best-prepared candidate for president we have seen in years, and toward a man who is not only woefully unprepared, but dangerously unwilling to believe anything that doesn’t fit with his preconceived notions.

It’s a downside of democracy that things like this may happen. Several things contribute to the difficulty of writing about this. One is that the issues seem so obvious that you would think they need no comment, or that a few words of reason would be sufficient to clarify the better options, but many have become so entrenched in the twisted views manufactured for them that reason has gone by the wayside. Another is that feelings have run so high that it’s hard to even talk about the election without offending people I love, some of whom really believe electing Donald Trump as president was a good idea.

hopeI don’t want to offend anyone, but we have to acknowledge that the country is embarking on dangerous territory. The best hope I have at the moment is that, when you elect a completely egocentric individual as president, perhaps he will recognize that his own reputation will rise and fall with the fate of the country. So, if for no other reason than to build a positive legacy, one hopes that he might heed good advice from all quarters and truly seek what is best for all who call this nation — which has never stopped being great — our home.

And so, though I still find it hard to put the words “president” and “Trump” together, I will pray for him and hope that the weight of the office will somehow forge his largely unhinged past into something resembling steady leadership.

In the meantime, I look for other things to celebrate. I’m blessed with good health, good friends, and an amazing wife who makes every day special. I managed to turn 65 while feeling at least twenty years younger, and with no thoughts of retirement. I have the privilege of teaching a whole passel of amazing students at Campbell University Divinity School, and of writing Bible studies that help me connect with thousands of readers. I evan managed (with the help of a YouTube video) to fix the shift key on my Macbook, at least for now.

Life is good for me, and I am grateful. I hope our country can do as well.

Tony Cartledge

About Tony Cartledge

Tony W. Cartledge is contributing editor of Baptists Today, in addition to teaching Old Testament studies and various ministry courses at Campbell University Divinity School. He formerly served as editor of the Biblical Recorder, newspaper of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, and as a pastor for 26 years. Tony is a graduate of the University of Georgia, Southeastern Seminary and Duke University, where he earned a Ph.D. He is the author of several books including the Smyth & Helwys commentary on First and Second Samuel and Telling Stories: Tall Tales and Deep Truths and several Bible study books for Nurturing Faith.