“It’s not binary—you can be decent and gifted at the same time.”

Steve Wozniak’s words to Apple’s co-founder in one of the final scenes of the movie Steve Jobs are a plea to his friend to be the person he knows he can be. It’s leadership of the best kind: that which calls out the best in others. The kind of leadership that sees untapped greatness in others, and inspires them to rise to levels not previously known to them before.

This is true leadership. It’s what sets apart the truly great leaders from the pretty good ones. Seeing the greater vision and inviting others to participate in achieving it.

Steve Jobs had that ability when it came to products. Steve Wozniak seems to have had it with people—at least with his friend. Elon Musk has that vision with his innovations. The Wright brothers had a vision of people flying like birds. George Washington had visionary leadership in guiding his men into battle, and our country into an independent future. Abraham Lincoln had a vision for a free people of all colors. John F. Kennedy had a vision of walking on the moon and leading the world in the space race. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a vision of equal rights for all.

These people may have been angry about the status quo. Some were probably anxious and fearful about what could have been if they had failed. But they weren’t fundamentally driven by anger or fear—at least that’s not the vision they cast or the legacy they left behind.

Each had naysayers, telling them their dreams were impossible. But they pushed ahead anyway, believing the best possible outcome was only achievable if they believed and inspired others to believe and join their cause.

I believe we should aim higher, dream bigger, and try to be the best versions of ourselves. In every aspect of life, if we have a choice, why not choose the best?

Yes, this is my answer to the question: What will you do if our choice for president is between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?
(Part two of two in the case against Donald Trump. Read part one now.)

I realize many people will think I’m naïve, unrealistic, a dreamer. That’s okay with me.

I think we should think beyond this election cycle—this battle, so to speak. We should decide who we want to be. As people, as families, as communities, as a nation.

What if we believed we could be better? What if we would start believing we deserve better than to be represented by a career politician lacking in accomplishment but awash in scandal, or an angry crony-capitalist obsessed with belittling and bullying anyone he decides is a loser?

Here’s an idea: We can be better. We are better than that.

It’s not binary. Let’s choose to be great. And let’s choose to be good.
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I agree with Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio that this election is about the character of our nation and that we should be hopeful and optimistic about our future.

I want my children to inherit a better country than I did. And because I believe the United States is already among the best countries in the world, I know that’s a big vision.

I don’t think playing election politics and trying to pick “the lesser of two evils” moves us toward that vision. That strategy only ends one way: with evil. And while that may be what we end up with, we can certainly choose not to be complicit.

So when I vote this year, I don’t plan on sacrificing core values in order to help one political party defeat another. My loyalty is not to a party. It is to God, my family and my country.

If Donald Trump becomes the Republican Party nominee, I will continue to be engaged. I will keep learning as much as I can about the candidates for senate, congress, council and school board on my ballot, and I will vote for the best ones. I will cast my votes for the candidates who will uphold the values our country was founded on. The people who will fight to reduce spending and restrain the growth of our federal government.

I may for the first time in my adult life not vote for a presidential candidate. Or I may vote for a third-party candidate whose policies I could support. I may even write in a person’s name that I feel confident supporting.

Some may call this naïve while others may suggest that I am shirking my civic duty. And I understand that means it’s more likely one of the two candidates I could never support will win. But I won’t have to look my kids in the eyes and explain that I voted for Donald Trump—despite my firmly held convictions—because “we” had to win an election.

In the short term, that may be the losing choice. It may not make sense now. But I believe a bigger story is at play than all the immediate, election cycle politics. Though I may not understand His plan or His ways right now, I believe God has established our governing authorities.

The last eight years don’t make sense to me, except for the fact that millions of Americans are paying more attention and learning about who we are and where we came from. The fact that the Tea Party movement was mocked and ridiculed when it started in 2009, only to go on to change the face of congress, and to have three Tea Party-backed senators winning delegates in this year’s presidential race, seems to suggest that even bad circumstances can have good outcomes.

I don’t claim to have all the answers. But I don’t have to. God does. So I won’t just study candidates and write blogs informing my friends and neighbors about the pros and cons of particular people. And I won’t just cast my vote. I will continue to pray throughout this winnowing process known as an election.

I pray prayers of gratitude for the part we get to play in choosing our representatives. I thank God we don’t live under the rule of a king as so many civilizations before us have. I pray we will seek to become more informed about the people asking us for the sacred responsibility of representing us in government. I pray for our elected officials and the heavy burden they shoulder on our behalf.

And I thank God that He is in control, that He knows better than we do what we need, and that even if we get it wrong, He will work all things together for good.

With that in mind, I leave you with these words, believed to have been spoken by a philosopher who visited a fledgling new nation known as the United States of America in the nineteenth century:

“America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

In order to “make America great again” we have to first rediscover our goodness as a nation. And that starts with the individual choices we make in our daily lives—including who we vote for (or not).

It’s not binary. Let’s choose to be great. And let’s choose to be good.

3 thoughts on “It’s Not Binary

  1. I agree with most all of what you shared except I’m struggling with the choice to opt out of the presidential vote. This is something I’m not sure is the best choice. It is a fact that not to vote is to vote giving more weight on the scales to whoever your vote would have hopefully fought against. While personally I’m unsatisfied with each of who we have to choose from, I feel I’m settling for the best of the worse and I fully agree, thank you, dear God, that You are truly the ONE in control. I pray to be obedient to Him in how I will proceed in the voting booth. Love you Tim!

  2. I have never NOT voted in a Primary or General Election. I believe that it is our duty as a citizen of this great nation that we cast our ballot. It is also a right that many countries don’t allow their countrymen to do. It is also a privilege to have my small voice heard. So, I will vote in the coming election and I will support the Republican nominee. I just cannot sit back and not vote. I also cannot vote 3rd party. Although, I can do as your are doing, PRAY.

    I firmly believe that God is in control. I don’t always understand why things happen or don’t happen, but I still know, and am very thankful, that He is in control. It has been an interesting 8 months as I am nearing the end of the BSF study on the book of Revelation. It has often referred to God as being in control. God has been and will ALWAYS be in control. He has a plan. He has a purpose.

    We know this by these words in Genesis 2:2-3: “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

    John 19:30 “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

    Then there will be That Glorious Day when this is said, Revelation 21:6: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.”

    Praise Be To God who has ALWAYS been in control and will CONTINUE to be in control until He is ready to say “It is done.”

    I too, love you Tim!

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