Long post; deal accordingly.
I was reading an article from some guy who says based on the New Hampshire primary results there’s a 99% change Trump will be our next president.
Never-mind the pseudo-science behind it; what interests me more is to examine why that’s even a discussion being had. And lest you think I’m picking on Trump, the thing I want to examine is shared by the drives behind Sanders, Clinton, Cruz, and others.
That reason, that motivator, is passion. More specifically, partisan passion. It reminds me of a post I made on the Project Liberty Bell Texas page almost 3 years ago. In it I quoted Texas Supreme Court judge James Bell, who made a passionate plea to his fellow Texans to stop, look around, think, and avert the coming Civil War.
It was as true 156 years ago as it is today. His words, in case you don’t go read that post, or were scared off by the language of the era, I paraphrase here:
“I look around and I see people arrayed under their party titles. I hear them shout their agreement with political leaders who are solely concerned with stoking the fire. I see armed men standing ready for revolution. I hear the heartbeat of war. I see friend at odds with friend, brother against brother. Across the nation the voice of passion drowns out the voice of reason.
The people have allowed the politicians to not only create the issues, but also to define the way the people will deal with them. They ask the questions and provide the answers, and I am sorry to say that the people listen to and agree with their answers, often without even thinking about it.”
When you shout for border security, do you truly understand the nature, the possible resolutions, and the social and economic costs of that issue? When you talk about socialism as a superior form of society do you truly understand the nuances, the class system, the past experiments and their successes and failures?
No, instead the tendency is to side with whatever news outlet most appeals to your sensibilities and latch on with a fervor that makes cult leaders blush. The people — not politicians, politicians don’t exist, they are just people — who run for office take every media opportunity to stir that fervor even harder. Even those who don’t care about politics have found a way to position themselves on a side and rabidly attack, if not your position, then your desire to even have a position.
This is not an election of issues, but of incitation. It’s not about what they will do, but what they will say. Whether Clinton or Trump win the primary or the election will be a matter of their ability to stir more people to a proper level of hate for the opponent that they will move to the polls.
It was shown so eloquently in that Sandra Bullock movie Our Brand is Crisis. So it is in America. Every person running would have you believe a dark elite has formed to destroy you and your way of life and they will save you from it, be that dark elite those pushing for full legalization of gay marriage or those who seek to wall us into xenophobic isolation.
Stop it. Stop reposting these inane news items that you neither fact-checked nor likely even read to completion. Stop shouting about why this policy or that MUST be resolved by this path or that. Stop tearing down. Stop worshipping death. Stop following the path Satan has called you down.
We have one path to a brighter future. It is the path Jesus walked: the path of reaching out to those who don’t understand your position and seeking to find peace with them to bring them to the light of understanding. Where Jesus had mission to make the Kingdom visible, and thus had positions which were absolute and immovable, we are not so righteous. He was firmly anti-sin. In the political arena there isn’t such clarity. So in the case of politics what I am saying is that you have to open the discussion with peace, not passion, with hearing, not talking.
The first commandment of Christ was to Love God with all that you are. The second was to Love your neighbor as yourself. The unwritten third commandment that He didn’t name, though, is where we’ve fallen down: Love yourself as God Loves you. We speak from such hate because we are cold and alone and scared to face who we are inside. We are selfish, but not self-merciful or self-Loving.
We must resolve to obey the commandments of Christ and follow Him into the Kingdom. All other paths lead to hate, war, and death. Turn away from the stage. Help others to turn as well. It’s never too late, and it’s always our solemn duty.