“If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.” – Abraham Lincoln
Politics runs through all we do. This humanest of conditions is no less admirable nor abhorrent today than ever but it has become a reviled element of society, commonly viewed as beneath polite discussion. However ignored or deified, the consequences of politics and the subsequent political reality still fall on the informed and uninformed alike. Cast into the shadows, as a snowy Denver sidewalk encumbrance, politics evolves. It forms in the darkness for the inevitable prestige.
The human invention of our political system has become a degradation. We cursed ourselves the day rational, passionate, Political belief became a social taboo. Fear and emotional instability have bestowed us with the gift that is our present state of political affairs.
Contradictions abound as the unknown unknowns mount and even those with driver’s licenses don’t vote with any exuberance. Genuine individuality bows to the perpetually offended; disintegrated integrity and the stranger dignity invigorate public discourse and rhetoric. It was simply an inevitability that opportunists like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would move to the forefront of American politics.
Politics demands we get the leaders we deserve.
As the daily attack ads, emotionally-driven controversies and all over jackassery ensue, average citizens engage in the field as would-be political scientists and the truth disintegrates into a subjective force. Emails warn of disarmed militias, women baking again while foregoing careerhood, #alllivesmatterexceptyoursbecauseyouhavestuff, y’all back in chainz, and virtual canine genocide. In the midst of this remember: Obama came, he will go and we remain. For now. And we have the critical task of electing one of “our own” to lead. This person will undoubtedly transform our global future for years beyond the given term(s). Several Supreme Court Justices will surely vacate those seats, ISIS will force a reckoning and the domestic political divide will continue as it does.
And Politics demands we get the leaders we deserve.
Find a presidential candidate that does just that. Presidential activities, leader of the free world and so forth. International relations, global power, military action and foreign policy are dominant at the executive level and these are the activities that require the action of a president. Congress deals in legislation and the president does submit a budget that is regularly ignored. Leadership on a global scale, not the status of local Planned Parenthoods or the activities of the NRA matter to a legitimate Commander in Chief.
Single social issues superficially simplify the process but do not constitute a legitimate cause for concern on a presidential level… for the most part. Abortion, gay marriage, legal weed, gun rights, et. al., etc., etc. As with any third rail of american politics, these issues see various changes at the margins but concentrated interests, the Supreme Court and states rights will drive change. Presidents are rather limited as to the power and, quite simply, time or effort it takes to garner enough support to take our guns, outlaw pot again or see abortion doctors behind bars.
Focus on the iceberg, not the taste of the champagne: an economy subsisting on disgruntled foreign labor, discouraging domestic enterprise while falsely and faultily making financial promises for the future feasibility of me, you and Uncle Sam cannot long last.
Our houses, shops, parks and local amusements, both public and private, are regulated and taxed on a local level much more so than by the good folks in Washington. These bureaucracies employ thousands of workers that you never voted for and yet establish and enforce public policy. Engage with local elections, school boards and the men and women making decisions that affect life on a day-to-day basis; literally in the front yard.
If nothing else: learn who represents you! Local and federal senators and representatives; governor, mayor, Supreme Court, etc.
Because Politics demands we get the leaders we deserve.
Personally, I’ve disagreed with everyone I have ever met on at least 16% of all things concerning life, the universe and everything. Applying that same basic ratio to presidential candidates means that my very best, ideal, perfect, have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too, top hat, friendly joke telling, baby-kissing, karate-chopping, concealed-carrying, Chuck Norris of a candidate would still piss me off about 16% of the time! May not seem like much, but over eight years, that’s quite a bit for someone I “agree with.”
Think on the political parties as teams with ever-changing players. They are no longer established members with a rigid set of core beliefs. Parties tend to start that way then diffuse as the tent expands. Republicans and Democrats need strong, devoted members just as the Broncos strong players. Whether or not we get a one-in-a-million or a dime-a-dozen depends in part on the decisions and focus of the other members of these teams but no matter what happens next year or next season, players and politicians must play ball. Ideology is about ideas, politics is about winning elections.
Political teams are not friendly adversaries. They have and always will exist as ideological rivals engaged in allegorical combat in the realm of ideas for the collective destiny of free-thinking (and unthinking) people everywhere. Active and opposing discourse is healthy and ought be encouraged as soon as children can speak (along with gun safety.) Opposing ideas will be brought forth and a republican-style government will enact or reject reform.
Rational, legal, AND compassionate conversations (ugh!) will occur when we define terms and establish goals. We then begin to address economic issues and potentially avoid our own Greek tragedy.
The system is designed to work slowly, painstakingly at times, in order to avoid sweeping reforms and declarations such as offering mass amnesty to all immigrants or interning lifelong American citizens. The modern politician makes a living off the exploitation of the ignorance of the populace on this very issue. Claims of a “do-nothing congress” or “playing politics” are meant to give the impression that but for the actions of the inept and insane political opposition, the nation would be a better place.
All would be fixed if the plain-bellied Sneetches would do what their star-bellied counterparts know is best.
Come together for the good of the country!
Won’t somebody think of the children?!?
Ideological differences are rooted in fundamentally opposing views on nature and the human condition (see Sowell’s work “A Conflict of Visions”.) Fundamental beliefs on authority and perfection on Earth clash. Clarity and substance fade as rhetoric increases. Each side openly admires aspects of Lincoln, Kennedy, the Roosevelts and Reagan, as leaders to emulate and claim that those historical and ideological powerhouses would support whatever cause du jour happens to be on the docket today.
The nature of human history is penduluminous. All apotheosized feelings of pride regarding enlightened achievement trudge forth, shackled to the omnipresent defects of human character. Such shortcomings then serve as the basis of ideological opposition or critique; and every politically platitudinous bromide. The elephant and donkey enhance the perception of the other as politicians stumble through words to make us believe we need them.
And Politics demands we get the leaders we deserve.
Black, white whatever, Politics is interested in you. Pick a side, join a team and come in for the big win. We need devoted Constitutionalists and the opposition parties. Care about the right, the future and your own place at this point in history, blessed to be a part of the most benevolent of superpowers the world has ever known. Learn about more than the impassioned hysteria of the New York Times or Fox News and know that you will never agree with anyone on everything but that the perfect ought not be the enemy of the pretty darn good.
If you want a candidate that fits all your needs, see a priest. For the good of those of this world however, inform yourself and vote.
“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
– Luke 20:25, NASB