“No American politician is ever as great as his most ardent adulators say or as bad as his most vitriolic detractors say.” – Carson Holloway
For better or for worse, the presidential campaign of Donald Trump has certainly disrupted the Republican Party and the Conservative movement. While it is hard to step away from the emotion and frenzy of the election, there are some interesting and important conversations happening.
Here is a list of the most interesting articles I have read regarding Donald Trump. Some are pro-Trump, quite a few are anti-Trump, some are ambivalent. Some of them are quite lengthy. Some might be offensive.
In sharing these I am not necessarily agreeing with or endorsing what any of these authors say. But I do think that it is valuable to consider the best arguments from disagreeing sides.
The world is full of problems. Serious problems: poverty, crime, injustice, corruption, disease, violence, bigotry, terrorism, and on and on. It always has been. And it is natural for people to want to fix all the problems– or at least all of the problems that affect them personally. But people also disagree about how the problems ought to be fixed.
Society is complex and fixing one problem often causes other, unintended problems. So many of the solutions people want are really just an exchange of one set of problems for another set. And the set of problems you are willing to accept in exchange for fixing your current problems is often not the same set that your neighbor is willing to accept.
The devil you don’t have to deal with yet sometimes seems more bearable than the devil that vexes you now– even if they are both devils. Continue reading
When Jesus enjoined his followers to love their enemies, he didn’t simply mean that they should stop demonizing those who they wrongly perceived as enemies because they were different; He wasn’t suggesting that conflict is the consequence of misunderstanding, and that if we would just try to understand those who we perceive as enemies we would discover that they are not enemies after all. He actually requires us to love those who really are our enemies; those whose ideas, desires, and actions truly are incompatible and in conflict with our own. Continue reading
Tagged: charity, christian, convert, crush, Enemy, Hate, Jesus, lds, Love, mormon, Persecution, persuade, punish, save, sin, Sinner, subdue
The blanket rejection of black and white thinking is itself a form of black and white thinking– black and white thinking about black and white thinking.
And if black and white thinking about black and white thinking is valid then black and white thinking about other things can be valid too.
So we should reject black and white thinking about black and white thinking and adopt a more nuanced approach that acknowledges that sometimes black and white thinking may be valid.
Because the issue of black and white thinking is not always black and white.
This is an entry in the ongoing General Conference Odyssey project. My previous contributions can be found here. Posts by other bloggers writing about the April 1972 General Conference today are linked at the end of this post. You can also visit the project group on Facebook.
Today we are writing about the Thursday Afternoon Session of the April 1972 Conference.
Over the years, President Ezra Taft Benson’s political views have been a topic of some controversy, and I believe that many people have developed a distorted, dismissive idea of President Benson that creates an incomplete, oversimplified concept of a more complex man. Our culture has become addicted to out-of-context soundbites and easily consumable memes, and so it is easy to see only quotes from President Benson that reinforce our stereotype. When that happens, there is even a danger of imposing our expectations upon anything he says, so that we see what we expect to see when we read anything from him.
As the United States in 2016 works its way through yet another brutal presidential election year, it is interesting to look back more than four decades and read the political thoughts of apostle Ezra Taft Benson, given in the April 1972 General Conference. There are a number of things that he addressed that could seem outdated and foreign today, and yet there are many ideas and concepts that he taught that seem more relevant now than ever before. Continue reading
Tagged: civics, communism, conference retrospectives, conspiracy, elections, government, lds, ldsconf, mormon, politics, revolution