My Take: Ways to spend the post-presidency years

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When Rosalynn Carter died recently, a number of articles were written about how she and former President Jimmy Carter have spent their post-presidency years. Their most well-known endeavor is probably working with and for Habitat for Humanity. Pictures of them wearing hard hats and wielding hammers are common. In retirement, former President Carter also taught, authored several books, worked on eradicating infectious diseases, established his presidential library, worked on peace negotiations, taught Sunday School, and the list goes on.

Other former Presidents have gone off into the sunset — Ronald Reagan to his ranch in California, George W. Bush to his ranch in Texas, and still others have founded and worked for humanitarian causes around the world. And then there’s Donald Trump. He has spent his entire post-presidency denying the reality of Biden’s election and trying to make life as miserable for him as possible. In the beginning, he seemed like a just-off-stage puppeteer who pulled the strings of others to get them to do his bidding. In recent months, emboldened by his poll numbers, he is telling Republicans in Congress what to say and how to vote. The most egregious example is his attempts to doom the bipartisan legislation aimed at fixing the border. He wants the border to remain “broken,” a crisis, so he can use it as the prime example of why he should be elected.

Trump’s “platform” seems to consist of getting revenge on his enemies. He repeatedly says, “I don’t get angry; I get even.” He apparently doesn’t have enough self-awareness to recognize that anger is the root emotion for the desire to “get even.” Although he once selected Nikki Haley to be his UN Ambassador, he now calls her “a birdbrain.” How many of us would allow our children to talk to another that way?

As a Christian, I feel most frustrated when seeing so many Evangelicals continuing to support and embrace Donald Trump. I assume they read the same Bible I do and know about the “Fruits of the Spirit” that should be exhibited in our lives — Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. Does Donald Trump exhibit even one of these traits? If I have to choose between an older man with character but some fluency issues and an older man who has left a trail of corrupt behavior and more lies than can be counted, the choice is not difficult. Although Joe Biden is accused of hiding in the basement and taking long naps, I see someone who is working tirelessly to improve the quality of life for the “common man and woman.”

As people are beginning to fear, there doesn‘t seem to be a good outcome possible in November. If Trump does not win, he’ll claim the election was rigged and his followers will “respond,” perhaps in even worse ways than on Jan. 6. If he does win, the aftereffects are unthinkable, not just for our country but for our allies and countries like Ukraine that we have been trying to help stand up against a war criminal like Putin. Hopefully, people will vote anyway and from a moral and ethical position consistent with their faith.

— Sherrie Wolthuis is a resident of Holland.

This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: My Take: Ways to spend the post-presidency years