By Tim Spiess
November 1st, 2016
Many people are very discouraged at their choices in this political race for the U.S. Presidency, and rightly so. If “mud” in the context of political races means unkind, mean-spirited, slanderous type things being said about each candidate, then this election is nothing short of a Mt. Everest of mud. Sadly, this only proves the point that neither candidate has a good enough character to even start to ‘fix’ the problems the U.S. is facing. The sad reality is that even if one or both of the candidates did have exemplary personal character, they still would not be able to fix the problems with the United States. In a fairly deep way, the two candidates for President DO reflect perhaps the majority of the people of the U.S.A. despite all the statements to the contrary.
The U.S.’s problems cannot be fixed by politics alone. There must be some UNITY on basic perspectives about what is right versus what is wrong, what is valuable and what is not, for people to successfully work together. It seems that everyone can agree that they want more money, but when two of those people are working together and real life stuff comes into the mix, that ‘unity’ on wanting more money is not enough. If, for example, a worker’s daughter gets pregnant and her dad believe she should carry that developing human being to term, and yet his co-worker believe she should have the baby aborted and communicates that to that man’s daughter in some way, will there be unity in that workplace?
In other words, without a unifying morality or ethic that binds people together, no group of people or body politic will be successful, especially not those using a democracy. Without a strong cultural ethic, people will divide and divide and divide again, and as the Light of the world observed some two thousand years ago, “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” The ‘house’ of the U.S. and its people politic is divided against itself, and thus, it will not stand. If you cannot see this, then you cannot see…it is right in front of your face in the presidential election. For the first time in history, supposedly ‘objective’ news journals are picking sides. The major mass media outlets are biased and picking sides. Where do you think this will end…in peace and unity???
People like to characterize issues into at least two areas in the U.S. political realm, ‘real important stuff’ and the implied lesser ‘social issues’. The ‘real important stuff’ has to do with money and usually means the economy (material security), national defense (physical security), jobs (material security), etc. The ‘social issues’ are considered not as important, and that is a very foolish judgement, as the U.S. culture is experiencing great division on those very issues. In fact, the ‘ethical state’ of the average U.S. citizen is revealed by their support of two candidates who clearly have personal ethical problems. Ethical people do not support non-ethical people. To remain in the position of attempting to defend the persons of either “Trump” versus “Clinton” is to be ethically bankrupt.
Politics reflect beliefs people hold about how things ought to be, and thus it is a sensitive topical area for many people. The cultural saying of, “Don’t talk about politics or religion at social events” exists because doing so will result in people revealing more deeply held beliefs that people get defensive about discussing. And having heating discussions at social events is an etiquette taboo, in general. This sensitivity and defensiveness is particularly evident when the two political parties are very far apart on both ‘real important stuff’ as well as ‘social issues’, and this is exactly the state of the current U.S. politic.
Now that the facts and truth have been stated about the upcoming U.S. presidential election, you still might want to vote to ‘participate in the U.S. democracy’, which is a good motivation. Democracies are only as good as those who lead them…oops, sorry! Well, what I should have said is that democracies can only function well under two required conditions. First, that people participate, and second, that people have a unifying ethic to bind them together on moral issues.
As has been noted in the mass media, most people will be voting against a candidate rather than voting for one. This is both sad and pathetic and still reveals the reality that this presidential race is a personality contest…it is just an anti-personality contest. When people turn away from sound principles upon which to govern people, things fall apart. So little has been said by the two candidates regarding the principles upon which their parties say they stand. Instead, it has been personal attacks as the norm and shallowly stated party principles as the exception. And instead of clearly stating party principles, the ‘principles’ stated have come in some form of, ‘just trust me, I will fix it’.
Here is my suggestion. Vote for the principles that each party’s proclaim. How can you know those principles? By reading the party platforms here https://prod-static-ngop-pbl.s3.amazonaws.com/media/documents/DRAFT_12_FINAL-ben_1468872234.pdf (the Republican party platform principles) and here https://www.demconvention.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Democratic-Party-Platform-7.21.16-no-lines.pdf (the Democratic party platform principles)
The idea here is this…instead of voting for a seriously flawed individual, vote for the principles their party is espousing. Most people have not read those party platforms, which is another sign of fast food politics and U.S. citizens who just want things handed to them. How about you? If you are putting your hope in ‘fixing America’ in the hands of the politicians and the government, then should you not know well the principles that those you put your hope in say they stand for?
As you read those party platform documents, you will see two very different perspectives of what is right and wrong; and what is valuable and what is not; and how things ought to be. On THAT basis, you should cast your vote. Vote for the party based on their stated principles, unless of course, you don’t care about the principles due to being like most Americans who make decisions on emotions and feelings instead of truth and principles. While it is unlikely that the two candidates will adhere to their party’s principles – this is what is so bad about having poor character – that does not mean that others who will get into positions of power will not.
I leave you with this thought. As things spiral downward in the U.S., a good and smart person will look for solutions and will look to help and solve the problems. The problems are not primarily political, rather, the politicians and the body politic who put them there reflect the problem. The problems are not primarily religious, although religion provides a counterfeit and placebo and justification for more division. Rather, the problem is ethical, moral and spiritual. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Go, find the Way to build a new house and start building it instead of looting the existing house as it crumbles!
As was pointed out above, people don’t like to talk about politics and religion because they are afraid to reveal what they think about important matters and thus expose themselves and their views to critical evaluation. People who have a lot of self-pride do not like being shown they are wrong. With the United States clearly having some serious problems regarding unity, perhaps it is time to find the courage to talk about religion, and perhaps the best place to start is to have our facts straight about the person who supposedly ‘created Christianity’? Perhaps the answers are found at the source? And there is no better way to ‘go to the source’ than the new book, “The Light of the World: The Life and Teachings of Jesus of Nazareth”.
Book available on Amazon - The Light of the World: The Life and Teachings of Jesus of Nazareth
Or free on this website in PDF here