Kobayashi Maru. Two words that you may not be familiar with unless, like me, you are a fan of science fiction movies. Specifically, Star Trek. The Kobayashi Maru is a test that Star Fleet cadets take during their training. The basic scenario is that a civilian ship is stranded in a neutral, or "no fly," zone inside of Klingon territory. The captain of the ship must try to find a way to rescue the crew of the stranded ship, but risks starting a war with the Klingons if they enter the neutral zone. If you saw either Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) or Star Trek (2009), then you know that The Kobayashi Maru is unbeatable. James T. Kirk, captain of the Starship Enterprise, even failed the test twice! The Kobayashi Maru is what is known as a "No-Win" situation...similar to the current presidential race.
The Kobayashi Maru is what is knows as a "No-Win" situation...similar to the current presidential race.
If you have been reading the blog for a while, then you may have caught a few of our past political posts. If not, then I highly recommend "Let Go and Let Gov?" by Zach Ellsworth, and "Hello From the Other Side" by Matthew Wickert. Both are great posts that deal with how followers of Christ view each other in light of our politics and how we view the role of government. I would like to use the following digital space to add my voice into the mix.
Is That the Best You Got?
Seriously, America? Is this really the best we have to lead us? I can't begin to fathom how anyone could actually trust Hillary Clinton to tell the truth about washing her hands after using the toilet, let alone trust her to run the country. I also find it really quite frightening that the same people who would have laughed at Trumps legitimacy as a Republican candidate as little as a year ago are frothing at the mouth to see him crowned king. It is probably just denial, but I can't believe that people are really happy with the choices presented to them. We wouldn't have #NeverHillary and #NeverTrump trending all over social media platforms if they were. So what do we do? I feel as if on November 8th I am scheduled for my very own Kobayashi Maru test knowing full well that the test is rigged against me so that it is impossible to win. I can't help but hope that the vast majority of people must feel like I do right now.
I feel as if on November 8th I am scheduled for my very own Kobayashi Maru...
The Answer Is "C"
If you are familiar with Star Trek and the Kobayashi Maru, then you know that James T. Kirk did in fact pass the test on his third attempt. How did he do it? Creative thinking. He realized that the test only presented two possible courses of action: (1) violate neutral zone to save lives, but die in the process, and (2) do nothing and let people in trouble die and possibly still start an all-out war. Because he "really doesn't like to lose," Kirk decides that since the test is rigged then cheating is fair game. So he finds a way to reprogram the simulation in such a way to let him easily win. He, in effect, chose Option C when he was only presented with Option A or Option B.
What Is Option "C"
What Option C is available to you and me? That's the beauty of it. Option C is whatever you want to do to try and solve the problem. (I recommend that you to only use legal methods that will not cause harm to yourself or others)
The first step is to identify the problem:
- Do you think your political party has been hijacked by outsiders?
- Have the politicians in your party become insiders that are only in it for the power?
- Are you unable to vote for a candidate that believes "X"?
- Is the two-party system to blame?
These are just a few examples of what you may see to be the problem. There are others, but these are the examples I encounter the most. In the political system that we have created for ourselves here in America, I find that there are only a few legal options that can be taken: (1) Run for office yourself, (2) refrain from voting, or (3) vote for a third party candidate. Of course there are others, but I think these are the only choices I can think of that you can actually personally control.
No-Win situations are really great for bringing out the moral relativist in the best of us. If you, like me, have voiced your frustration with the choices presented to you this election cycle, and maybe even dared to ponder any of the above choices, then I am sure that you heard any number of the following:
- If you don't vote for "X", then it is a vote for "Y".
- You have no right to complain when "X" gets elected because you didn't vote.
- You are wasting your vote if you vote third party.
- I know I said I would never vote for "X", but if "X" doesn't win then "Y" is going to destroy the country.
I could go on and on and on and on. What I can't do, is accept any of the above reasons. In most states there will be at least six choices on the ballot for President of the United States of America.
- Donald Trump (Republican)
- Hillary Clinton (Democrat)
- Gary Johnson (Libertarian)
- Jill Stein (Green)
- Write-in Candidate
- No Vote
None of the top four candidates take orthodox Christian conservative stances on social issues that have become as important to Evangelicals as the Sinner's Prayer. What do you do? Hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils, or figure out who you can actually vote FOR? Does that mean that you write in a candidate or refrain from voting all together? I don't know. I'm still trying to figure that out for myself.
There is one thing that I do know, and that most Christians seem to forget or refuse to believe. The God that I know and follow is Sovereign. He is in control. He will put the person in the White House that He wishes. That person does not have the power to destroy what God has made unless it is God's will that it be destroyed.
Vote for who you support. Don't be afraid to withhold your vote if it is the clearest message you think you can send. Decide if you really think that you will change that social issue through that vote you cast and vote accordingly.
In all of it, don't lose sight of the fact that taking Option C is exactly what Jesus Christ did for you and I at the Cross. In Him, we can know with confidence that we can pass the Kobayashi Maru.