Marines.Together We Served

Monday, January 16, 2017

Day of Celebration

Roots in Ripon
Chuck Roots
16 January 2017

Day of Celebration

          Regardless of where you fall out in the political machinations of our nation’s exercise of Constitutional privileges, January 20th every four years is a time to celebrate!

          There is a plethora of reasons why a voter may not like a particular candidate. Or in the case of the most recent presidential election, the voter may not have liked either of the major party candidates all that much. But the election is over. The clear winner is Donald J. Trump, and he will be inaugurated this Friday as our 45th President. This is as it should be. If Hillary R. Clinton had won, I would say the same thing. At this point, whether my candidate won or lost becomes moot.

          It is ridiculous for liberals and Democrats to refuse to attend this peaceful, time-honored transition of power. Such petulance belittles the blood-bought right of every American voter. Our rights as outlined in the Constitution are provided by both God and man. I think of all the young men and women who have given their lives in service to our country, sacrificing the last full measure of devotion in some far-off village you and I are likely incapable of pronouncing. It has been my solemn honor and privilege to have laid a number of these patriots to rest. These are the eighteen, nineteen, and twenty-year-old’s who would have loved to have returned home to their families and continued to participate in the cherished freedoms we celebrate as Americans. But such was not the case for them. It falls upon us to carry the torch of freedom by exercising our blessed rights. By so doing we honor the memory of these brave warriors.

          Let me further say that if I were the one directing the Inauguration Day events, Hollywood’s elite would be waiting a very long time for an invitation to perform. There are a few who are honorable, but most of the rest can sit around their multi-million dollar mansions in Beverly Hills sipping lattes, and having their personal chefs prepare them their favorite comfort foods. In the meantime, the rest of America will celebrate this special day, and then get back to work!

          Instead, if I were directing the Inauguration Day events, I would search far and wide across the fruited plain for the latent talent that resides in every town and berg in these 50 states. I would invite folks who have a special talent, but more importantly, I would invite those who love America.

I was delighted to see that one of the first people invited to perform was Jackie Evancho. This 16-year-old classical vocalist performed on America’s Got Talent (AGT) when she was 11 and absolutely blew everyone away. She finished in 2nd place, but her career took off. She has recorded several albums and is in constant demand. When the Trump Team asked her to perform, she agreed right away. This immediately put her in the cross-hairs of the liberals who hate Trump. They ridiculed Jackie because she didn’t come in 1st place on AGT. They said Trump was using wanna-be performers. I had to laugh. If you’ve ever heard her sing you know what I’m talking about. Her voice and talent are heavenly. Plus, after she was denigrated by the media, her record/CD sales went through the roof! I love Americans!

          The primary reason we as Americans should be celebrating the inauguration is it marks us as a people who recognize and respect the Rule of Law and that we play by the rules. I believe the Founding Fathers had this in mind when they crafted our Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. I yet marvel at the prescience of these patriots who dreamed of a land where power was in the hands of the people. Nowhere else did such a country or nation exist at that time, and that enjoyed such an abundance of freedom. It was just such freedoms that caused the Founders to wonder if the United States would survive. When a lady approached Benjamin Franklin after the Constitutional Convention had agreed on the Constitution, she asked him, “What sort of government are we to have, Mr. Franklin?” His reply: “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

          Throughout human history peaceful transitions of power is virtually unheard of. Kings, monarchs, despots, potentates, emperors, sovereigns, dictators and the like used the power of their position to rule and keep order. Nothing like the United States with its power vested in the people, has ever occurred before. Those who ruled in other nations typically viewed the people they governed as “unwashed rabble.” Many of the Founding Fathers were men of strong Christian faith. Others at least respected the those of Christian character. This is why the precious documents of our nation focus on a strong belief in God, and particularly the God of the Bible. A study of the Constitution will quickly reveal that such a document of law only works with a people who acknowledge the Divine.

          It falls upon us, then, to do everything in our power to preserve our freedoms and our way of life.

          Every military person, and every elected official takes an oath swearing (or promising) to protect and defend the Constitution against anyone who would attempt to destroy it.

          My prayer is that God will continue to raise up patriots who will serve Him and us.

          Fly your American flag proudly! And may God bless America!

Monday, January 09, 2017

It's My Stuff

Roots in Ripon
Chuck Roots
9 January 2017

It’s My Stuff

          Sitting in my man cave, aka the loft, I grow increasingly more concerned about my stuff. You ask, “What stuff are you talking about?” Well, in answer to that staged question: Everything!

          At age 68 many of you will say something like, “You’re still a baby!” Compared to some of you, that is true. But, the reality of the situation is I have far more years of life behind me at this point than I do in front of me. This always gets me thinking: What about all my stuff?

          “Stuff” is a euphemism for all those things that are mine which I have acquired during my lifetime. Very little of it has any value in dollars and cents. In fact, most of it is sentimental at best, and easily disposed of. And, to be perfectly honest, I’m an inveterate saver. It is hard for me to get rid of anything. Even old tennis shoes.

          As I reflect on my stuff, I envision the day when I leave this world behind and step into heaven, only to be confronted by a sober-faced Saint Peter, wagging his head from side-to-side, tsk-tsking me in that classic parental look of disapproval. “Look what you’ve done!” he says to me. “You have left all your stuff for your wife and kids to dispose of. What do you think they will do with it? Is this how you want them to remember you?” I stand there duly chastised without a word offered in my defense. I’ve known for a number of years that I should have taken care of all of my stuff by disposing of it in an orderly manner. But, as yet, I haven’t.

          Think about it! I may not want to part with my stuff just yet, but I do have it on very good authority that I will not make it out of this life alive! This means that if I don’t divest myself of my accumulated stuff, someone will have to do it.

          For instance, my clothes closet. Mine is small by comparison to my wife, but even at that, I have way more clothing draped on hangers than I could ever need in my remaining time on earth. I must have 25-30 golf shirts hanging up. And nearly that many dress shirts mixed with other types of shirts that are not golf shirts. Then there are the slacks neatly hanging awaiting my use of them. But since I am retired, my normal attire each day is either a golf shirt and shorts, or blue jeans and a T-shirt. I still have several suits waiting for Sunday church, but otherwise, they just hang. And neck ties. Lots of neck ties.

          Then there’s the clothing that is special. What I mean by special is clothing that falls into the category of military uniforms. I enlisted in the Marine Corps 48 years ago. I still have those uniforms – even my camouflaged uniform from Vietnam! Later as a naval officer, I accumulated yet more uniforms, retiring in 2008 with 34 years of service. Once or twice a year I may wear one of my uniforms for a military event. I even have a flack jacket, “deuce gear”, helmet, and back pack, plus other paraphernalia that is no longer used because it has all been replaced in the military supply system.

          I also have costumes and dress outfits hanging in the guest closet that are part of my involvement in singing in two barbershop choruses. The white tuxedo jacket looks great on stage under the klieg lights, but where else would you wear it? Or a costume depicting a peon or esne from the Middle Ages. It fits the part when everyone else in the chorus is dressed in period costuming, but otherwise, it looks stupid. Well, maybe I’d fit in in certain parts of San Francisco!

          I have so much other stuff! For instance, my collection of books. As a minister, I have a wide variety of religious themed works that can all be found on the Internet now. Even I use my iPad Bible app in church! That’s nearly enough for me to be declared an apostate! I have a vast number of books on the American Civil War. I love my books! But I don’t need them so much anymore, even though I still try to convince myself otherwise.

          Then there’s my lifelong collection of coffee mugs acquired from traveling around the world. Who wants this? And my pile of military “challenge” coins. These are really cool, but may mean absolutely nothing to anyone else. A number of these coins were given to me by high ranking officers (generals and admirals) and various government officials whom I have served with or met, along with challenge coins others have graciously given to me from all ranks throughout my time in the military. Each has a story that resonates with a time and place in my life. Oh, and T-shirts. Man, do I have T-shirts!

          Ah! How could I forget the stuff on my “I love me” wall! Certificates, awards, plaques, academic accomplishments, special photos, a shadow box, etc. Those of us in the military jokingly refer to these personal items as the “I love me” wall. Perhaps a few of these things will be saved by family members. Perhaps.

          But the pièce de résistance would have to be my exercise equipment. I have hundreds of pounds of barbells, dumbbells and other devices for bodily torture sitting in my personal gym, otherwise known as the garage. There’s the punching bag, the jogging machine, the Roman Chair, the bench press and leg-lift equipment. I figure all this will probably disappear in a garage sale.

          In reflection, it’s all just stuff. But it’s my stuff. At least for now.

          But I really should begin getting rid of a lot of this stuff. After all, I want my wife, children and grandchildren to have fond memories of me when I’m gone. For them to have to help truck a bunch of stuff out of the house may tarnish my image a bit.

          Being a life-long procrastinator, I’ll start on getting rid of my stuff next week!

Monday, January 02, 2017

Victories and Defeats

Roots in Ripon
Chuck Roots
2 January 2017

Victories and Defeats

Looking back on the year 2016, several events jump out at me in the way of victories and defeats, or wins and losses, however you prefer to label these things. Like so many of you, I love to root for the underdog. We do that as Americans.

To begin with, a classic Super Bowl took place between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos last February. You have Cam Newton, the young potential superstar quarterback for the Panthers going up against the aging Peyton Manning, the quarterback for the Broncos who is retiring at age 39 whether they win or not. Clearly a Football Hall of Fame candidate, Peyton is considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. His father, Archie Manning, was also a pro quarterback, but never won a Super Bowl. Peyton’s younger brother, Eli Manning, is a two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback with the New York Giants. Until the 2016 Super Bowl, older brother Peyton had only one Super Bowl victory. No one really expected the Broncos to make it to Super Bowl L (50) with a somewhat battered quarterback who was finishing his 18-year pro career, hoping for one last victory. The oddsmakers all had the upstart Cam Newton and the Panthers rolling over the Broncos with what everyone believed would be the first of many Super Bowl victories for Cam. One problem in all of this: Someone forgot to tell the Broncos! Instead, the Broncos came out and outplayed the Panthers, sacking and chasing a hapless Cam Newton repeatedly, finishing with a score of 24-10. What a great way to end a career!

Second on my list, which is chronological, would be the Golden State Warriors of the NBA (National Basketball Association). As reigning champs from 2015, the Warriors went on a tear in 2016, setting a new record for the most wins in a regular season. They won 73 of their 82 games. On top of that, superstar and 2-time MVP Steph Curry, set a ridiculous record for the most 3-point shots made in the season, finishing with 402! In the finals, they were up against Lebron James and the Cavaliers for the national championship. The Warriors went up 3 games to 1 in the best of seven. But the Warriors simply ran out of gas, losing their final three games, which gave the Cavaliers the championship. But the Warriors are at it again. Their record of wins and loses is the same as it was this time last year. Can they win the championship this year? Many are doubting they can do it. Just don’t tell the Warriors!

My third selection comes in the arena of Olympic swimming. This past summer we witnessed yet again, another awesome display of swimming prowess by none other than the force of nature known as Michael Phelps. After the Summer Games four years ago in London, Phelps declared he was done swimming in Olympic competition. But with the Rio Olympics in 2016, he just couldn’t pass up the challenge. And at 31, with his fourth Olympics in his cross-hairs, he believed he still had more medals to win. Many had already written him off, saying his best days were behind him. After all, competitive swimming was for those in their teens and early 20s. Someone forgot to tell Michael. Six more medals, as it turns out, with five gold and one silver. He is the most decorated athlete in Olympic history with a total of 28. Of that number, 23 are gold. We were privileged to witness athletic greatness. You may never see the like again.

Then there are the perennial losers, baseball’s Chicago Cubs. The Cubs last won the World Series in 1907, and again in 1908. The drought lasted 108 years. Baseball teams play 162 games in a season. To win anything close to 100 games is considered a phenomenal achievement. The Cubs racked up 103 wins in 2016. But could they win the World Series? Or would they choke, or have something weird happen so that they would lose again? The “Cub Faithful” held their collective breath. No one thought they would actually win. But no one told the Cubs. They then entered the playoffs, defeating all comers. All-around utility player, Ben Zobrist, was picked up by the Cubs at the end of the 2015 season. Zobrist had previously been with the Kansas City Royals when they won the World Series in 2015. He was also chosen as the World Series MVP that year. His contract was up, so the Cubs nabbed him. The 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians was a barn-burner, and the greatest World Series I’ve ever witnessed. It went all the way to the seventh game, but the kicker was the Cubs, down 3 games to 2, had to win the final two games in Cleveland to win the Series. Adding to the tension and the drama, the Cubs got a bunch of runs early, making it appear like a runaway win. The Indians weren’t willing to go away quietly, tying the score in the ninth inning, sending the game into “extra innings”. In the top of the 10th inning Zobrist drove in the go-ahead run. They added one more run for insurance, which was fortuitous since the Indians scored a run in the bottom of the 10th inning, falling one run short of tying the game again. The Cubs are World Series Champs after 108 years! And the MVP? Again, Ben Zobrist. Two years in a row, with two different teams. Incredible!

My final selection for victories and defeats goes to President-elect Donald Trump. This brash, arrogant, self-aggrandized billionaire had no chance of becoming the Republican nominee for President of the United States, let alone actually winning the race to the White House. Out of 17 Republicans vying for their party’s endorsement, the most unlikely of the wannabes was Trump. Despite his ill-advised and rude remarks aimed at anyone who opposed him, he survived to become the nominee. Of course, he was never going to win the presidency, because Hillary already had that locked up, right? That’s what everybody said! Somebody forgot to tell Trump. His victory over Hillary Clinton was stunning, to say the least. His final Electoral College vote count was 304, easily eclipsing the 270 needed to win. And he will be our 45th President in three weeks!

So, what are the impossible/improbable odds you’re facing this year? Too hard, is it? No chance, they say? I’ll bet someone forgot to tell you!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The War on Christians

Roots in Ripon
Chuck Roots
26 December 2016

The War on Christians

Please bear with me on this article. I have wrestled over writing on this particular topic for the simple reason that it can easily be misunderstood and misconstrued.  

What I am about to present is not new. In fact, it is an old story dating back to the persecution of Jews (Hebrews) several thousand years ago. Many Christians would like to believe such persecution of believers is only occurring in isolated areas around the world, but certainly not here in America! The truth is Christians are an ever-growing target for all sorts of groups.

The Islamic faith makes no bones about being at war with Christians, as well as their intent to wipe out all Jews and Christians. While in Bahrain in the Persian Gulf on military assignment, I decided to request a visit with a Muslim cleric (an Imam) in order to hear about their beliefs first hand. We discussed many things during the hour or so that we met. The cleric gave me several books on Islam, which included a copy of the Koran in English.

Later, when I had time to study the Koran without interruption, I discovered that there was a very troubling verse in the first Surah. These seven verses are to be memorized by every Muslim, and is recited during the calls to prayer. Verses 6&7 reads, “Guide us to the Straight Path; the Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace (those who follow the Prophet Mohammed), not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).” This was taken from, The Noble Qur’an, an English translation of the meanings and commentary. I have three different copies of the Koran, so to be fair, the only version that pinpoints Jews and Christians in the footnotes from the seventh verse is the version the Imam gave to me. Muslims believe that they are to conquer the world for Islam. Make no mistake: This is their goal.

Another group that is targeting Christians is atheists. To be clear, atheists are often defined as, “People who do not believe in God.” This is incorrect. Atheists don’t believe in God (or any god) because a true atheist believes there is no God to believe in. The word atheist is a Greek word literally meaning: “No God.” These folks are organized and are working very hard to disrupt any expression of the Christian faith, specifically, so as to cause people to see Christians as hateful, intolerant, bigoted, and a host of other negative descriptions in an attempt to discredit those who would follow Jesus. Much damage has been done by atheists in the academic, political, and medical fields. There are attempts, some successful, in removing any reference to Christ or the Christian faith in the founding of America and the subsequent emergence of the United States from school books and text books. In the medical field, the value of human life has been assaulted – particularly the unborn. Abortion is the tragic outcome of reducing humans to animals, instead of recognizing that each one of us is the handiwork of God.

And a third group that is at war with Christians are those who typically look for a scapegoat to blame for the ills of a nation or the world. The finger is frequently pointed at Christians as the culprits for whatever ills are being experienced in a country or across the globe. This was a common approach by the Romans in their quest to rid the Roman Empire of Christians and their witness for Jesus. The Emperor, Nero, had Rome burned, and then placed the blame on Christians, who were rounded up and thrown in the arenas for sport. Today, you can hear on the news how Christians are being blamed for the troubles America is having with Islamic terrorists. “If only Christians wouldn’t be so exclusionary,” these accusers say, “then we could all get along with Muslims, and they would like us.” If only that were true! The fault for the recent attacks by Muslims across Europe and here in the United States is laid at the feet of Christians. This is simply a “Roman Redux.”

So, here’s my antidote for all this Christian blaming. First, stop being so surprised when you’re attacked for your faith in Jesus. Did Jesus not say this would happen? Yes, of course he did. Second, be open about your faith in Jesus. Nothing is more powerful than a solid reason for your faith. The church in America became rather timid following World War II. There was a concerted onslaught against our secular and religious beliefs from the Mainstream Media, Hollywood, and a Democrat Party that has clearly lost its way. I mentioned a few months ago why I could not vote for Hillary Clinton or any Democrat. My differences of belief with Democrat positions and policy notwithstanding, I was appalled to witness the Democrat National Convention in 2014 vote to exclude God, or any reference to God, from their Platform. I watched this travesty in fascination and horror, as thousands of Democrat delegates, by voice vote, let it be known that God was not to be included in any of their doings.

Speak of your love for Jesus up with a holy boldness, telling others how much Jesus loves them, and what Jesus has done in your life. After all, you are God’s messenger.

The war on Christians will last until Jesus comes back. As a follower of my Savior, I am instructed from his Word, the Bible, to use the weapons that are spiritual in fighting back in this war. Those spiritual weapons are Prayer and the Word. Train hard, Christian!

Monday, December 19, 2016

You Should Celebrate Christmas

Roots in Ripon
Chuck Roots
19 December 2016

You Should Celebrate Christmas

I suspect you are asking yourself the question, challenging my titled statement above, “Why should I celebrate Christmas?”

Granted there are innumerable reasons why some folks choose not to celebrate Christmas. I will list a few to which you may add many more. “I don’t believe in Santa Claus or Jesus.” “It has become too commercialized.” “Christmas is just the Christian religion’s attempt to have a religious holiday to counter the ancient Roman celebration of Saturnalia with its riotousness and orgiastic behavior.”  And then there are those grumpy, curmudgeonly, Scroogelike characters who respond to a cheerful greeting of Merry Christmas with “Bah! Humbug!” However, that is not the focus of this article. Instead, this article is about why you should celebrate Christmas.

Man is religious by nature. What I mean by that is human beings function in such a way that they must and will find something or someone to worship; to focus their love and attention upon. We really can’t help it. Our first objects of love and affection are our mothers and fathers. Because they shower us with nurturing and care we freely show them our pleasure with smiles, cooing, and a constant display of happiness. As growing children, we still want and need the attention of parents and their involvement in our lives. Parents who are loving and compassionate do more to open the eyes of their children to the possibility of accepting the belief in God than anything else. If that element is missing, the child will then search for something else to focus on. That can be a school teacher, a coach, a youth pastor, belonging to a gang, or, worst of all, becoming self-absorbed. There is no more pathetic individual than a person who becomes narcissistic. Other people are of no importance to this person. This person worships themselves above all else.

Man adheres to the principle of fairness. This value alone emerges practically from the moment we emerge from our mother’s womb. We don’t like being thrust into this new environment. I’d rather be back in my close, warm cocoon. And so it goes when they are hungry, or need a diaper change, or want to sleep, etc. Crying is their way of telling parents that they are falling down on the job. It’s not fair the way they’re being treated. Then comes the time they realize a sibling may get preferential treatment. When our girls were small, they would complain that the other one got a bigger slice of cake. I fixed that problem by having the older one cut two pieces of cake. Then the younger one got to pick which piece she wanted. It was hilarious watching them measure out the slices to make sure one didn’t get one crumb more than the other. Throughout life we lean strongly toward this issue of fairness.

Man yearns for justice. Once again, this is something we humans long for. Life is so full of uncertainty and evil doing that deep within our soul there is the anguished cry demanding justice for the wrongs that have been done. We create more and more laws to push back against those who would disrupt our lives with bad behavior. In an attempt at fairness for everyone, we require those who do bad things to be held accountable. Whether it’s being sent to our room, or being sent to the “Big House”, some action is required to satisfy the need for justice. Even with a death penalty in place and the wrong-doer is executed, the egregiousness of their action is not satisfied even with their death. Ask any family who has had a loved one murdered, or violently assaulted. To assuage this need for justice, Texas has had a law on the books for a long time. It’s called the “He needed killing” law. It was a defense for those who took the life of someone doing severe harm to another.

At this point you may be wondering what all this has to do with Christmas. Well, everything!

The focus and purpose of Christmas is God responding to these three basic concerns of man: 1) We will worship someone or something, 2) We demand fairness, and 3) We cry out for justice.

It is God who knows we have fallen well short of our potential as being created in his image and likeness. Sin has marred and distorted our perception of worship, fairness and justice.

It is this next part that staggers my thinking. God chose to correct this problem by becoming a man just like us, living amongst us, exposing himself to the dangers and sinful thoughts and actions of men. Any cursory reading of Jesus’ life on earth in the Gospel books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John will clearly demonstrate that Jesus was no mere mortal. As God’s son, he worshipped the only person or thing worthy of such a reverence. As God’s son, he endured the unfairness of life as meted out by evil men, including his death on a cross. And as God’s son, he promised there would be a day of reckoning when all wrongs would be made right. I don’t know how that will be done, but God says he’ll do it, and that’s good enough for me.

So regardless of arguments against celebrating Christmas, this much I know. God loves you and me. He sent his son into the world to pay the price for our sins and man’s fallen condition. And he’s promised us that by placing our faith and trust in his, we will live forever with him forever, far removed from what we have experienced in this world.

So, I say, “Thank you, God, for sending us your Son!” This is why you should celebrate. This is why it is always a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2016

One More Time

Roots in Ripon
Chuck Roots
12 December 2016

One More Time

Well, the events following the presidential election last month come as no surprise. In fact, I mentioned in one of my articles leading up to the election that there would be a call from somewhere in the political hallways of Congress to repeal the Constitution’s establishment of the Electoral College vote in favor of the more popular “Popular Vote.”

Sure enough, the dust hadn’t even settled from the November 7th ballot counting and already members of Congress were squawking about the unfairness of the election. A political commentary from CNBC trumpets, “Democrats and Left Wing activists are loudly calling to repeal the Electoral College.” The argument that has been put forth goes something like this: Hillary has won the Popular Vote by two-and-a-half million votes over Donald Trump. Therefore, she should be the next president. This same approach was touted by Al Gore in his failed bid for the White House in 2000, garnering more Popular Votes than George W. Bush.

The U.S. Presidential Election has never been a Popular Vote at any time in our 240-year history. Hopefully it never will be. The Founding Fathers intentionally steered our new republic away from popularity voting. High school class presidents were almost entirely about the popularity of the individual running for office. Our Founding Fathers thought this to be a bad formula for electing the president of our country.

The question is still asked, “Why do we have the Electoral College?” The answer comes from a clear understanding of the Constitution.The founding fathers established the Electoral College in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.”

In a rather clever word picture attempting to show how the Popular Vote works, it is likened to two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. In a Popular Vote (used in a Direct Democracy) the wolves win every time. Whereas in an Electoral College system (used in a Representative Republic) the vote of the lamb is intended to offset the majority vote (50.1%) by leveraging their vote and the vote of the wolves through a representative which is designed to balance out the direct power of majority rule.

If the two candidates running for president had been solely interested in garnering the highest numbers in the Popular Vote, then they would have spent their time in densely populated areas, like Chicago, New York, City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and so on. Folks in Wyoming, Montana, the Dakotas, and generally throughout “fly-over country” would have little to no influence on the outcome of an election. The reason Hillary Clinton has been ahead in the Popular Vote by a couple of million votes is because she won the five boroughs that make up New York City. The boroughs are: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island (A borough is an incorporated municipality smaller than a city). The sheer numbers of people living in this cramped and congested area ballooned her Popular Vote numbers past Trump, giving her the clear edge in the overall Popular Vote.

But consider this: Hillary won the District of Columbia and only 20 of the 50 states. Now, furthermore, if you want to break this down into who won more counties, then the comparison between Hillary and “The Donald” becomes very clear. There are 3,141 counties in the United States. Donald Trump won 3,084 counties. Hillary Clinton won 57 counties. Did you get that?

Here is why the Electoral College is critical to our nation’s political system. If you believe that every person’s vote should count, then the Electoral College system established in the Constitution deserves to be vigorously defended against those who would throw it out, only to be replaced by the Popular Vote.

For instance: in Loving County, Texas, the population is 82. That’s right! A mere eighty-two people. In Los Angeles County, California, the population is 9.8 million. Each county has an equal vote.

Do you see why Hillary with 20 states and 57 counties nationwide has won the Popular Vote? She managed to succeed in the most heavily populated areas of urban America.

When you cast a vote for your choice of president, you are actually voting for an elector, a representative, to vote on your behalf. “There were no political parties when the Constitution was written. They soon developed, and the party organizations in each state began proposing a slate, or list, of electors who were pledged to vote for their party's nominee. Voters no longer choose individual electors. Voters choose between party slates. Political parties want winner-take-all elections for electors. This means that the slate that receives the most popular votes wins all the state's electoral votes. All the states except Maine use this winner-take-all system today.”

The Electoral College has a total of 538 electors, consisting of the number of delegates to Congress from each state. Each member of the House of Representatives, and each states’ two Senators cast a vote. The first presidential candidate to reach or surpass 270 electoral votes is the new president-elect.

Next time you hear someone complain that their vote doesn’t really count, you can show them that it really does count. In the 2000 election, George Bush won 271 electoral votes, to Al Gore’s 267. That means a few votes in a couple of counties may well have made the difference.

The Founding Fathers were brilliant in developing this never-before election system. It must be protected if the United States is to remain the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.

God Bless America!

Psalm for the Day