This election cycle has been one of the most interesting in modern history. Most observers agree that the nation was split down the middle on their opinions of the character and vision of the candidates. Without assigning blame, I would like to ask the question: How is it that a campaign of Hope and Change has resulted in such division?
The answer is as simple as the question is puzzling. Our primary division stems from two things: justice concerns among minorities (Blacks, Hispanic, and Asian) and a very liberal agenda concerning personal liberty, energy strategy, and foreign policy. These are questions, according to President Obama, about the foundational values we want the nation to be built upon. It seems to me that whites in the nation are still leaning slightly more toward conservative values. Unfortunately the GOP minorities (blacks, Hispanics, and Asians) who represent almost 1 out of 4 voters, feel that there is no place for them in the Republican ranks.
For years, I have presented the fact that many African Americans and Hispanics have voted on justice issues such as poverty while evangelical Christians focused on righteousness issues. Rush Limbaugh is wrong when he said that the divide in the nation has to do with those who believe in “Santa Claus” and those who don’t. Rush’s rhetoric sounds good but is not based in reality. The Obama campaign forced the nation to look at several “moral issues” that were based on a different kind of grid. If the GOP had spoken a concrete vision concerning revitalization of urban America, systematic immigration reform, and a unifying vision of the support of traditional marriage; they would have won with a landslide.
In a very real sense the presidential race was about choosing what kind of foundation the nation will rest upon for the immediate future. The administration masterfully played on the fears of minorities and the desires of half a dozen liberal agendas - the radical green movement, gay marriage advocates, etc.
The 2012 presidential election is very important because of the profound directional decisions the president has before him. This president will likely choose at least two Supreme Court justices, determine the size of government, set the direction of foreign policy in a post Islamic spring era, and decide the shape of our national healthcare system for a decade beyond his term.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.