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Friday, April 10, 2020

Life after Caucus

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Aleese Kenitzer
Aleese Kenitzer
Aleese Kenitzer serves as the pastor of Shepherd of the Cross Church in Muscatine.

As I sit down to write this article, we are five days away from caucus day in Iowa, and by the time this article goes to print, we will be two days post-caucus. In many ways, nothing will have changed in that time. The day after caucusing, I’ll still get up and eat the same thing for breakfast and my day-to-day priorities will still be the same.

So, if that’s the case, why put so much time and energy into campaigning and caucusing? Well, for some, it’s because they are captured by the movement of a new leader. For others, it might be because they’re given something to believe in. And still for others, it might be because they’re given a hope of a different tomorrow.

Suffice it to say, no matter how “political” we deem ourselves to be, what ends up happening is that we pay attention to those people that give us some sort of hope to hang onto. And in so doing, we start taking sides. Literally, if you caucused on Monday night, you may have found yourself on different “sides” of the room. Some of you may have found yourselves in a corner that belonged to Biden, others of you in a corner belonging to Warren, and still others on the opposite side belonging to Buttigieg. Whoever it may be, many of us have likely started taking sides, confident that “our” candidate – or “our” party – will be the one to fulfill all our hopes and dreams.

But, as much as we might be tempted to look to one person to fulfill everything that we need, the simple truth is that no one person can do everything. Each presidential candidate – on both sides of the aisle – may offer something different to move the needle forward on various issues. But no candidate, no matter how perfect he or she may seem, is able to make everything “perfect” again. Indeed, the moment we begin to believe that any one person has the potential to be our savior, fixing all our problems, is the moment that we must all be careful.

It’s true that any one of us could choose to give our allegiance to a certain leader, in hopes that everything will be made “right” again. And while I, too, choose to follow certain people as leaders in this country, at the end of the day, the only person that I give my whole self to is Jesus Christ, my leader and my savior. For each of us, who we choose to follow – or even if we choose to follow anything or anybody – might be different. But it doesn’t negate the truth that when we look to human leaders who promise some sort of change, we also must be realistic, knowing that any one human being can’t move a mountain. Instead, if we desire change in our community, or in our world, it takes all of us.

So now, post-caucus, what’s next? We still might not agree on who should be the 2020 presidential candidate. And we might not agree on who – or what – we should follow. But even so, I urge us to do one thing, live together. Why? Because if we desire any sort of change, it’s going to take all of us working together as one.

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