Monday, December 28, 2015

Stuck in the Middle

Warning: Political post ahead.

Back in the 70s, Stealers Wheel had a hit song titled, "Stuck in the Middle With You." Now, I am not going to refer to any particular presidential candidate or candidates with, "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right." Although, the process of picking a nominee does seem to be a circus.

It seems that politics in the United States has become more polarized over the last thirty years. Both major parties have moved further to the right or further to the left, and the middle seems to be a no--man's land where few dare to go. So many campaigns for public office are telling voters how terrible the candidate on the other side is rather than presenting positive policy ideas. Policy debate often devolves into attacking the other side in order to win.

Politics has become more and more like a war, where one side is trying to gain ground and ultimately defeat the other side. There is little room for working with those across the aisle with a willingness to take the best ideas from all sides in order to actually govern.

What really bothers me is what I see on social media and hear from those who call themselves followers of the King of Kings. I have no problem with Christians being involved in politics, but when you see and hear some of the nasty and unloving things that some Christians say about those who disagree with them, it seems that some have forgotten that their allegiance is to be given to Jesus Christ, not to a person or party. There are many examples of political parties saying what Christians want to hear, and then disappointing those Christians by neglecting to follow through.

I believe there is a middle way in much of what is facing the country today. Many of the problems do not lend themselves to easy answers and could use ideas from many sources. I also believe that this would be a good way for Christians to be involved. Instead of working for the benefit of a party or ideology, maybe we could do the hard work of asking how the Kingdom of God would tackle the problem. Admittedly many things that government does are exclusive to a kingdom of this world, but there are areas where Kingdom values can be brought to bear.

At the very least, we who follow the Prince of Peace can keep our political leanings from causing us to vilify those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ.


KC Bob said...

I am with you Fred. I recently republished a post titled "Life is in the Middle". Sadly these days a lifelong conservative (like me and Paul Ryan) is often called a RINO because they think that compromise is not a bad word. The candidates know this (especially about the base in Iowa) and simply tell people what they want to hear. Hopefully sanity will prevail by the time your states casts b=votes in the primary.

Fred Shope said...

I hope some sanity hits before decisions are made that people will regret.

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