As many of you know, I declare no political affiliation. I am however incredibly interested in politics. I suppose I lean left on some issues and I lean right on others. Where I am from, most of the people are blue-dog democrats. That doesn’t make me one, but at least you know the influence.
I have been taking notes on two things lately. Politics and people. Blue-Dog Democrats, as you know, are conservative. Now, we have moved to a more traditionally “red” part of the state. So I have long observed conservative people. We also find ourselves at the beginning of an election year. I have tried to pay close attention to the Republican primaries. Here are my notes (thoughts, ideas, questions) about Politics & People.
Politics #1 – “The People” do not actually produce a candidate. I am incredibly interested in how “the people” produce a candidate. Some difficult questions arise here. Democracy is suppose to be about the people producing their own leadership that is representative of them. But it seems to me that we now choose between 3 or 4 that can afford to run. In other words, we do not produce anything. We choose between what is presented to us. Sorry people. That isn’t democracy. We do, however, have a democratic election. That is, I think, good. But it doesn’t mean that the entire process is democratic. So I can’t help but wonder, what would it look like for a people to actually produce a candidate from among themselves today? Is it possible?
Politics #2 – Politicians can make whatever claims they want to and no one holds them accountable for lying. We don’t make a big deal any longer of untruth. It leads me to ponder this question – ‘What if, when a candidate told a lie about another candidate it disqualified them from the election? 1 strike and you are out. No liar can lead a country.’ Think about that. The candidates would be so worried about saying anything about each other that is false, they would vet their claims before they ever open their mouths (which is about the least a decent person could do, to say nothing of moral people.) This morning I listened to a candidate speak. He said nothing about himself. He told us a hundred things wrong with the current administration. But nothing about why he should be president. In fact, he said this, “The main reason why I am running for president of the United States is because Obamacare is a game-changer for America.” Well… that’s interesting. Believing that healthcare reform is tragic qualifies you to run a country? I also think that the bill is tragic. I am not running for president! My point is simply that if it were illegal to lie about other candidates then platform focus would shift from “this is what this other guy thinks… don’t vote for him..” to “this is what I will do… vote for me.” It would also make Television a more enjoyable experience during election cycles.
People #1 – Politically/Theologically conservative people have basically good lives. I am really neither. At least not fully. As I said, I lean right and I lean left depending on the issue. (I refuse to accept entire platforms based on one issue – that applies to Theology as well as Politics). But I have noticed this alignment of conservative thought with a basic good life. They tend to be frugal with their money, so they don’t have as many financial problems. They tend to be morally cautious. To whatever degree one can call this “good” is not clear, but at least they do not “give the devil a foothold.” This eliminates a lot of potential danger in their moral lives – especially in their marriage. I could be wrong about this observation. It is just one that “seems” to be true. (By stating this about Political/Theological conservatives, I do not mean to insinuate that liberals do not have or lead good lives. I have several incredibly liberal friends, all of whom lead rather quiet and peaceful and good lives.)
People #2 – Politically/Theologically conservative people have difficulty with paradigm shifts. This is both good and bad. It is good because, unlike their liberal counterparts, they are not suspect to being tossed about by every passing wind. It is bad because when the tide actually does change they usually do not heed the warning and end up getting hurt or left behind.
Politics & People – Regardless of our political affiliations, we must stop with the hateful rhetoric. Here is the bottom line. If you are a Christian, you have absolutely no business saying ANYTHING hateful about another person. None. I don’t care what you think is at stake. It’s wrong. It is immoral. It is against God’s will. I am not talking about truth-telling. I am talking about hate-speech. I am talking about trashing people for political gain. People come before politics. Your political enemy is someone God loves – someone created in the image of God, just like you. So, if your speech is seasoned with hateful rhetoric about your political enemy, then stop it – it. is. a. sin.