Politics. It’s that other dirty little eight-letter word that never goes away. This day next year, we’ll be going to the polls and voting for the next president. The media will be falling all over themselves trying to predict — and possibly influence — the outcome. Meanwhile, politics in modern America really is just show-business for the ugly (as one radio-host frequently puts it).
As the next election season gets rolling, I’ve already had several people ask me who I’m favoring. Seriously? The election is twelve months away, and the primaries are still several months away! They were asking me as far back as June! Just like Christmas seems to come earlier every year, so do election seasons. At this point, I’m happily ignorant and apathetic with regards to the 2016 election: “I don’t know and I don’t care.”
Needless to say, they’re not satisfied with my answer (which is probably why they keep asking me), and I’m perfectly fine with not having much of an opinion for a change. There’s so many other more important things to spend my attention and time on, such as God, my kids, friends, writing, and new relationships.
I used to be much, MUCH more interested in politics, as several of my books can attest. I was very opinionated and impassioned with the American political system. While I tend to lean conservative on most issues, I’ve been trending more towards the Libertarians lately, particularly with regards to the size and scope of government. However, I’m not nearly as Libertarian as P&R’s Ron Swanson (but I’m getting close). “Mind your own business” seems to be my political motto lately!
In my very humble opinion, we have three political parties in the United States at this time in history: the Dangerous (Democrats), the Stupid (Republicans), and the Unelectable (Libertarian, Green, Constitutional, etc). The Dangerous Party has a fundamental misunderstanding of human-nature, international politics, and liberty. The Stupid Party is somewhat better in that they usually have policies that are more inline with middle American values (and common sense), but they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The Stupid Party refuses to listen to their base, rarely keeps their promises, and surrenders when they’re winning. Both the Dangerous Party and the Stupid Party cannot stop spending money we don’t have and all-too-often get decent people killed. The Unelectable Party in their different flavors and colors is just that — unelectable — and for a multitude of reasons. They make a little noise every few years but are insignificant to most elections.
After the last general election (2012) and especially the last congressional election (2014), I have come to realize the utter futility of modern American politics. Neither party keeps their word and should not be trusted with anything more important than a bake-sale. Without term-limits, Congress will only continue focusing on how to get re-elected rather than keeping their promises and doing their constitutional duties. The Presidency (pick your party) will only continue to overreach and grow the bureaucracy. I can’t recover any of that time, energy, and peace of mind I expended on politics in the past, and I’m loathed to repeat that in 2016 or any other upcoming election year.
Curiously, my oldest daughter is now interested in politics, and while I’m happy to discuss them with her, I don’t get as emotionally involved (ie, upset) as I used to, which sometimes bothers her. She’s a natural debater and actually enjoys arguing (it makes her giddy), and it frustrates her a little to know that I won’t be baited or lured into pointless debates anymore. I’d rather discuss God, grace, and good government with her, but not politics.
Part of the reason for this change was recognizing what politics does to people and relationships (finally!). Politics does little more than falsely unite but more often than not divide and stereotype. Discussing politics seldom builds up and usually tears down. Does discussing politics ever really bring encouragement, contentment, unity, or joy? Hardly! Does focusing on politics make me a better person or a worse person? Does it bring me peace or agitation? Does discussing politics draw me closer to Jesus or make me more like Him? Rarely — and usually just the opposite!
Religious discussions tend to have the same effect as political ones — nothing good typically ever comes from them. In the past, when people would say that it’s not polite to bring up politics or religion, my instinctive response was, “What else is there to talk about: sports, the weather, Hollywood?” Boooring. With that said, I’ll still discuss God and grace with anyone, anywhere, and anytime, but religion or politics? No thanks.
The other reason for this change was the grim reality of America’s current situation — we have become the primary exporter of everything that God abhors. We glorify adultery, violence, perversity, bloodshed, victimhood, greed, and lawlessness. We are quick to shed innocent blood and refuse to defend our borders, sovereignty, natural rights, and private property. We are governed by debased, immoral leaders because we elect them over and over and over again and expect different results every election. That’s the very definition of insanity. We elect cowards, swindlers, and liars and expect them to govern honestly. If we’re brutally honest with ourselves, we elect the leaders who look a lot like us…
Real solutions to America’s problems will NEVER come from the ballot-boxes or the protest-marches but from our prayer-closets and pulpits. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Notice is that the verse says IF not when, and in America today, that’s a very big IF. The responsibility is up to us. Will WE (the Church) repent — will WE seek His face and not someone else? Will we stand in the gap for the aborted, the innocent, and the neglected? Will we keep our commitments and turn from OUR wicked ways?
To make that shoe pinch even tighter, try putting “I” in place of “we” in that verse. Will I humble myself? Will I pray and seek His face? Will I turn from MY wicked ways? Ouch! Maybe we should all focus much more on our personal walk with God and our integrity — something we actually have some measure of control over — instead of petty politics and the pop-culture that we don’t. What if we paid more attention to our own sins instead of those of our politicians and celebrities on the national stage?
Who am I supporting in this election? How about a “Trump-Hillary” ticket so everyone’s equally happy and unhappy for the next four years? Maybe ask me on Nov 1, 2016, but even then I probably won’t tell you! Until then, anything can (and probably will) happen. Dirt will be dug up, mud will be slung, scandals will erupt, and very little of it will really matter except to those in politics and in the media. An October Surprise next year should be no surprise at all! For 99.9% of the time until then, it’s just noise or entertainment — and for entertainment, Netflix is much, much better!
Though we choose our leaders democratically in America, never forget Who rules and reigns over all the earth and all Creation — the Lord God Almighty. We may cast ballots for our leaders a year from now, but He lifts them up and puts them down according to His good pleasure, and we can draw an enormous amount of comfort and peace from that! With just a thought, He could fix Trump’s hair, make Hillary quack like a duck, or make the Obamas eat grass on the White House South Lawn like Nebuchadnezzar — and that would be really something to see!
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him.” — Daniel 2:20-22