Politics As Usual

During election years in the United States (or other democratic societies), there are things to be thankful for and others to be grieved about. Living in a country where you are able to choose your leaders is a great privilege. It does give people a voice.

However, the process can be exceedingly painful. What candidates do to each other leading up to the election is sometimes nothing short of character assassination. It appears that nothing is sacred. Often a candidate’s campaign staff hunts for something juicy on the opposing candidate and offers the morsel up to the media. It is patently obvious that such a search has taken place when supposed indiscretions reach all the way back to childhood or high school.

The candidate cannot get away from his history, but he also has to be extremely careful about every word he says. So many comments have been taken out of context that “damage control” is a common term used after a candidate has made a speech.

120px-Obama_W&J_College_4-15-2008Many times a candidate’s approval rating has nothing to do with him, but everything to do with the political party he is associated with. The political party itself has a reputation. In the United States, the Republicans are known as conservatives and the Democrats are known as liberals. Mike Huckabee recently said, “when a Republican changes his mind, he’s a flip flopper; when a Democrat does it, he’s evolving, and showing courage.”

Johnny Carson was the host for the Tonight show for thirty years. Many politicians came and went during his tenure. Johnny Carson did not want to be identified with a political party. He must have been fairly successful at that attempt. A television special on his life indicated that no one could really tell whether Johnny was a Democrat or a Republican because he poked fun at both of the parties and its members equally. Johnny Carson said, “unlike communism, democracy does not mean just having one ineffective political party; it means having two ineffective political parties.”

It all comes down to a matter of trust. Seldom can we imagine that a politician is really doing something just because it is the right thing to do. The nature of politics is that people question the motive of the politician. Many times the words they say and the actions they take are so that they can get elected or reelected – politics as usual.

God, on the other hand, is totally trustworthy. He is in control. He says what He means, means what He says and does what He says He will do. Examine His background and His reputation stands true. Love is His motivation behind all His actions.

In fact, even though when I vote, I often am just choosing the lessor of two evils, I don’t really have to worry about the damage that politicians do to each other and ultimately to their constituents. The best choice we can make is to elect to trust God, serve Him and pray for those He allows to be in authority for a short time. Ultimately, God is in charge and He will make all things right.

I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NAS).

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