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Whenever I seriously consider the Nov. 3 election this year, there is one thing that I tend to agree with coming from both major political parties: This is one of the most important elections in decades with its results portending tremendous changes. Depending upon whom you talk with, those changes may be good or bad for our country, no matter who wins.

I recently had the privilege of traveling to Oregon to perform a wedding ceremony for one of my wife's nephews, and it was interesting to engage people with their thoughts about which candidate for president they liked. It appeared to me that most of the people in that part of Oregon were strongly against Donald Trump and planning on voting for Biden. On the other hand, almost all of the people I talk with around here appear to be strongly for Donald Trump and are planning on voting for him. That may be a microcosm of our entire country.

Because I care deeply about our country, I have read rather extensively various books about what has been occurring in our country during the past few years. The last one I read was Bob Woodward's book called "Rage," a term suggested by President Trump. Although I am not sure why any president would want to expose himself to a journalist as President Trump did with Bob Woodward, he granted Woodward 17 interviews over a period of seven months, most of them recorded for accuracy. Woodward's book is illuminating.

In conclusion, Woodward says: "I thought back to the conversation with Trump on February 7th when he mentioned the 'dynamite behind every door,' the unexpected explosion that could change everything. He was apparently thinking about some external event that would affect the Trump presidency. But now, I've come to the conclusion that the 'dynamite behind the door' was in plain sight. It was Trump himself. The oversized personality. The failure to organize. The lack of discipline. The lack of trust in others he had picked, in experts. The undermining or the attempted undermining of so many American institutions. The failure to be a calming, healing voice. The unwillingness to acknowledge error. The failure to do his homework. To extend an olive branch. To listen carefully to others. To craft a plan."

He continues: "Mattis, Tillerson, and Coats are all conservatives or apolitical people who wanted to help him and the country. Imperfect men who answered the call to public service. They were not the deep state. Yet each departed with cruel words from their leader. They concluded that Trump was an unstable threat to their country. Think about that for a moment: The top national security leaders thought the president of the United States was a danger to the country. Trump said the intelligence people needed to go back to school. The generals were stupid. The media was fake news."

Now, I don't want anyone to think that this article is totally one-sided. Joe Biden also has a long record of public service, some of it good and some of it bad, depending upon whether you happen to like him or not. He certainly is not the dynamic speaker Trump is, and there have been times when he appears a little confused. Add to that his age, and the possibility of Senator Kamala Harris becoming president, and the outcome gets a little scary. In addition, there are some who feel the real power behind Biden's candidacy is the leftist people in the Democratic Party. Of course, much of this is speculation, but people tend to vote their feelings rather than the facts on any issue. Joe Biden is not a perfect presidential candidate.

There is real power in the ballot box, especially this time around. Far be it for me to tell you here for whom to vote; you have to figure that out for yourself. However, let me assure you that every vote counts, and to point out the obvious: If you don't vote, you don't have a voice in the outcome, whether it's good or bad. VOTE! And may God bless us with the right outcome!

Robert Box is the former chaplain for the Bella Vista Police Department and is currently the Fire Department chaplain. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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