Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Make America Great Again

I enjoy politics. I like following it. I like reading as much as I can about it. I suppose I even like the theater of it.

I hate politics. I hate arguing about it (with some exceptions). I hate the vitriol with which politics are wielded. I hate the way it divides people on ideological lines.

The last, of course, is the problem. Because the issues in this county are not party dependent. The problem is the system. And what too many people don't realize, or care to acknowledge, is The System is a private club. You are not in it (this assumes there are no billionaires or Senators reading this). You will never be in it. Furthermore, the primary way The System ensures you are not in it is by pushing your buttons and inducing your froth to attack "The Other Side." As long as The Other Side is the enemy, those in charge of administering the country are safe.

That and the ridiculous sums of money people give them to do their bidding.


You live in an oligarchy. Not officially acknowledged, but that is the case. The side you support is propped up by billionaires, who are also propping up the other side. They, unlike you, do not discriminate. They do not want to pay taxes. There are armies of accountants gaming the (absurd) tax code to protect those billions, the savings of which they use to buy politicians and write policy. There are people charged with spending your tax money whose sole goal is to curry favor with the moneyed interests--Defense Industry, Wall St.--for the purpose of securing a high-paying gig in those private sectors. 


Mexican immigrants are not the problem. Married gays are not the problem. Obamacare is not the problem.

Pride, greed, gluttony...now you're talking.

Some people don't want their tax dollars going to the poor. Others would prefer not to foot the bill for illegal wars. Most would not choose to contribute to a $2.7 billion dollar surveillance blimp program that still doesn't work. We can all pick the things that irk us. Freedom! 

More often, the candidates set the agenda, legions of campaign operatives looking for the hot button, the soft underbelly of the opposition, all in the name of winning. Americans love a winner. One must grasp the idea that none of these people are working for you. They are out for themselves. And the billionaires.


I have no personal preference for any of the candidates. I find some more odious than others. Their issues are not mine. Theirs is a performance of obfuscation and false promise. Division over inclusion.

That's my deal: inclusion.

It's God's too.

"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this:'Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your sould and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this" 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:29-31)

You want to be a Christian Nation? Then you love and take care of everybody. Mexican immigrants, Syrian refugees, poverty-stricken citizens, Obama...

You want to do God's will on Earth? 

Give freely without begrudging it, and the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. Deuteronomy 10:15

You want to live a Kingdom-driven life, be "in this world" but not "of this world?"

The the King will say to those on His right 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepare for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and gave you something to drink?' And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the lease of them, you did it to me.' Matthew 25:34-40


There is such a disconnect between compassion and politics. Helping the needy (and the helpless and the humble) is not politics. It is one of the two most fundamental tenets of the Bible. America lacks a compassionate heart. America's heart is too easily turned to anger and exclusion. It's Us against Them. And Them. And Them. Anyone who doesn't look, act or think like us. Those are exactly the people you are charged to bless.

The System has hardened our hearts against those that are broken. Winner takes all. Mandates. Walls. That is what has to change. The heart and soul and spirit of America. A full transplant. 

Repealing Citizens United wouldn't be bad, either.


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