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As the dust settles, pray for the leaders piloting this nation

No one should be urged to fail

SHARE As the dust settles, pray for the leaders piloting this nation


The dust has begun to settle in many of the contempt-filled political races of the 2020 election cycle. Some will take days to finalize, others have already been called. Regardless of the winners and losers, American citizens will soon take oaths of office and begin, or continue, to lead. Some will pilot towns, some will captain states and one will be the commander in chief of the nation. You may not agree with any of them, but all of them deserve support and prayers.

No one should be urged to fail.

We’re reminded of a letter writer from Davenport, Iowa, who, in 2017, illustrated that point for the The Quad-City Times.

“I got on an airplane last year with other passengers,” he began. “As I watched the pilot go into the cockpit and lock the door, I realized I didn’t know anything about him. Was he the best pilot the airline had, or was he the worst pilot in the nation?”

None of the passengers got to choose who flew the plane, the writer mused. What if the pilot barely passed exams? What if his or her character was unsavory? The passengers would be stuck with the choice of another all the way from point A to point B. 

“Still,” he continued, “we were going to fly together. So one thing was certain: I did not want him to fail. If he fails, we all fail. ...

“There are no winners in a plane crash, and no winners in a divided nation.” 

The writer’s resolve ought to permeate the hearts of Americans this week. No voter will come out of the election with a perfect scorecard; at some level is a representative who doesn’t act like you or think like you. How citizens respond to a political loss is more decisive than how they celebrate a win.

Supporting leaders doesn’t mean agreeing with them, but it does require the humility to acknowledge they are now responsible for flying the plane, and they need the backing of their passengers.

They also need accountability, transparency and oversight, as does anyone trusted with the care of others. But emphasizing division at the expense of compromise weakens the nation and encases the country’s problems within partisan barriers.

We invite everyone to pull for, and pray for, America’s president and the elected leaders at every level of government, no matter which party they represent. For the good of the nation, America needs her leaders to succeed.