Last night, Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, calling the November election “a moment of reckoning.” She made history as the first woman to be nominated for the White House by a major party.
Last week I analyzed Donald Trump’s nomination from cultural and biblical perspectives. Let’s do the same today with Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
How did she defeat Sen. Bernie Sanders? The Wall Street Journal has analyzed their race, with fascinating results:
• Clinton won nearly four million more votes than Sanders.
• She won 75 percent of the African-American vote and evenly split the white vote.
• She and Sanders evenly split the “very liberal” vote, while she decisively won “somewhat liberal” and “moderate” voters.
• She won voters sixty-five years of age and older (71 percent) and all education categories (from less than high school to post-graduate).
• She won in all income brackets and in all types of counties (from big city to suburban).
• The only groups she lost were independents (63 percent voted for Sanders) and voters seventeen to twenty-nine years of age (which Sanders won by 71 percent).
What factors explain her success?
One: Preparation. A Gallup poll showed that 62 percent of Americans believe Clinton “has the experience it takes to be president.” After serving as First Lady, US Senator, and Secretary of State, it’s hard to imagine how she could be more prepared for the Oval Office.
Two: Gender. According to a CBS News poll, 72 percent of voters (including two-thirds of men) say they hope to see a woman president in their lifetime. Four out of five American voters say the US is ready to elect a woman president, twice the percentage that said so twenty years ago.
Three: Continuity. According to a Pew survey, three-quarters of Donald Trump’s supporters believe life in America has gotten worse; only a fifth of Clinton’s supporters agree. The demographic groups who supported Sanders are those who want to see change; those who voted for Clinton want stability.
To summarize: Hillary Clinton’s supporters want to make history (by electing a woman) while maintaining the present (by electing the continuity candidate). Clearly, Americans want practical hope. In a day of global terrorism and economic stagnation, they want someone to make a difference.
That’s where you and I come in. The first Christians met the physical needs of their community, earning the right to meet spiritual needs (Acts 4:32–34). Today’s Christians must do the same.
Consider this example: Mission Arlington celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this Sunday. It started “taking church to the people” when Tillie Burgin began a Bible study in an apartment complex in Arlington, Texas. The ministry has grown to reach an average of 3,200 people every Sunday in 349 locations; it also operates medical and dental clinics and a host of other programs.
My wife and I have known and loved Tillie and her family for three decades. We have seen firsthand how God uses their servant hearts and practical grace to advance his Kingdom. To observe their milestone anniversary, they ask simply that people pray for them.
Tillie was once asked why she works twenty-hour days and gives herself to others so selflessly and tirelessly. Tears came to her eyes as she said simply, “I just love Jesus so much.”
Let’s love Jesus enough to love those he loves.
NOTE: Nick Pitts, our Director of Cultural Engagement, is reporting this week from the Democratic National Convention. For more, see our Facebook page.