While I spent time in my old hometown, I had the chance to watch a ton of Tonight Show reruns featuring the late, iconic Johnny Carson. Each night, the show that that the oldies network showed focused on several elections that occurred during the time Carson hosted the Tonight Show. In particular, Johnny focused on the elections of 1980, 1984, and 1987 in his nightly monologue. The majority of his monologues included material on the 1980 election. Watching these reruns reminded me that we have faced a number of difficult elections in my lifetime. It was also eye-opening to recall the 1980 Presidential Election.
Deemed one of the most poloarizing elections in American history, the 1980 Presidential Election featured incumbent Jimmy Carter battling against Ronald Reagan. The 1980 Presidential Election also included a serious launch by John Anderson, a Republican who decided to run as an Independent after failing to win the Repbulican Party nomination.
In 1980, the economy was terrible, the 1980 Summer Olympics were boycotted, the Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan, and Iran held over 50 Americans hostage. The world was in a tough spot, economic ruin and nuclear armageddon threatening not only democracy, but the survival of humanity.
In addition to Anderson, a number of other candidates from several other minor parties made a legitmate showing in the 1980 Presidential Election, although they may not have made more than a ripple in the discussion of who should be the next American President. In addition to the major debates, there were even debates held between the candidates of several of the minor political parties. The Second Debate between Carter and Reagan, held on October 28, 1980, remained the most-watched debate in history until the 2016 Debate between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton.
All in all, reflecting back on past election seasons provided me with some much needed comfort as this election cycle has been super-stressful for most of us, regardless of who you’re supporting. COVID-19, the economy, societal unrest, and environmental disasters have all added to what would be a contensious election anyway. We know that after Tuesday the world will go on. Life will proceed, even though the status quo is surely going to be flipped on its hindside. The present season is tumultous and turbulent. No problems will be magically solved after Tuesday. But, it is a great thing to consider that free people will make their voice heard. That’s pretty cool, I think.
Listen, I don’t know who will win the election. I only know that they will have a lot of work to do in order to heal our divisions. What divides us will not fade away November 3. Neither will the problems that we face as a nation and as a world. Perhaps, after Tuesday we can turn our eyes from what separates us to what we share in common. Maybe, we can actually start solving problems rather than bickering about them without reaching any solutions.
While I don’t know who wins Tuesday, I do know that God is control today and He will remain in control after Tuesday.
Yes, 2020 has been a difficult year, but I remain optimistic and hopeful for our collective future.
- How has the Election season impacted you?
- Do you and your family have any Election night traditions?
- How are you coping with the multiple stress factors we are grappling with in 2020?
- Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?
Father God, I pray for this nation and for the upcoming election. I pray that peace will prevail and that unity will overcome strife. Help us find common ground and viable solutions to the problems we face. Heal us from COVID and from all that ails us. Help us be better listeners and set aside our differences, as You, Lord, have listened to us and provided a way for us to be reconciled to You. I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ and for my fellow men and women with whom I share Planet Earth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
How can I be praying for you?
May the Lord shower You with His grace and mercy. May our God continue to bless you in many ways and for many days. Thank you for reading this post and for joining me in prayer.
The Devotional Guy™
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I believe that in order to experience life the way God intended, you and I must receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ, God has made this gift available to all who ask.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Will you personally receive the gift of eternal life so that you can experience the total forgiveness from your sins that come through believing in the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”