I tend to be a cynic when it comes to politics. I get frustrated with the two-party system and all of the in-fighting that it has birthed over the years. I hate Washington gridlock and partisan agendas, and I only pick a party to register with to ensure I can vote in the primaries – and I would switch parties in a heartbeat if I felt like my vote would be more effective at that time.
Needless to say, this past election cycle was particularly challenging for me. I generally don’t trust politicians anyway, and the cream did NOT rise to the top in 2016. Unless the “cream” is being untrustworthy, in which case it did. I was so disappointed by the choices we had. I liked many other candidates along the way, and could have tolerated almost any of the other options much better. But we got what we got, and not for lack of me trying to make a difference with my one small vote.
And then a new president was elected. I made a promise to pray for him, and I do. But the political machine never stops whirling. I’m not surprised that our current president has a lot of scrutiny. The last one did, too. In an era of social media (the irony that I’m writing this in a blog post is not lost on me), our leaders are under a microscope more than ever before. Along with that comes the plethora of questionable “news” sources – this is true for both republicans and democrats. Even before the election really got going, plenty of “news” would be shared on Facebook about random events, some in politics but others that just followed the agenda of whatever organization was posting it. We’ve become a generation of gullibility, and it scares me. We believe whatever we read, or watch, or hear. What happened to checking things out for ourselves?
I’m also disappointed by how many people follow their political parties blindly, without stopping to assess. Is it true? Is it what I agree with? Why is this being talked about? Who is benefiting from this? Who is being hurt by it? I think we ALL need to start examining what happens with the lens of wisdom.
I would love to challenge everyone who aligns with a particular political party to think about this:
- Is there anything the current president could do/has done that is good in your eyes?
- Is there anything the previous president did that was good in your eyes?
- Is there anything the current president could do/has done that you will admit is bad?
- Is there anything the previous president did that you will admit is bad?
Don’t answer the questions that are easy. Look at the ones that are hard. I’ll give you a hint: If you’re a republican, #2 and #3 are for you. If you’re a democrat, look at #1 and #4. I don’t need answers to these questions. I just want you to answer them for yourselves. For me, I can answer yes to all four of them. I think that every man who has ever held the office of president has done some good and some bad. I had concerns with the last administration but also liked some things that they did. I have concerns with the current one too, but have also liked some things that have been done. I believe as a citizen and a Christian it is my calling to pray for our leadership but also to question the choices being made; to respect them and speak well of them, but also hold them accountable.
Who’s with me?