Our Political Culture

Love ought to transcend politics and political parties.  Human beings regardless of their classes, creeds, ideologies and races should be viewed as equals.  Whites, African Americans, Asians and Native Americans won’t be just viewed as voting blocks to be wooed, but rather by what they desire, and that ought to be the business of politicians.  Debates about the environment, the role of religion in public life, and the future of families will always be part of the public dialogue.  Health issues, emotional, physiological, and psychological that may cripple us, must be balanced, and these problems addressed.

There are some things we must focus on when considering the elections of politicians.  Listen to what Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick (b. 1983), a soprano, composer and presenter said, “Perhaps we should worry less about judging people for being Mormon or Baptist or Muslim or gay or straight or black or white or Latino or by their religious or political brands and worry more about electing thoughtful, serious and ethical politicians on both sides of the political [a]isle who are willing to work together for progress.”  We’re the voters who make these decisions.  It’s you and me.  Can it be said then that we end up getting who we vote for, and not necessarily the best candidates?

Politicians & Inspiration

Politicians are able to show their positive side when they visit sick people, attend churches, and tour retirement homes.  These are the moments when they touch lives positively.  But when they support unjust wars, face accusations of embezzling funds, and disgraced by having bad morals many of us are turned off by them.  Billy Graham (1918–2018), an evangelical Baptist minister explained, “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”  On the other hand when politicians accentuate the positives of life their statures grow in the public’s eye.

That’s why it’s so necessary for politicians to appeal to their constituents positively.  As Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), a founding father of the United States said, “Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.  Involve me and I learn.”  Politicians must not only present their plans effectively, but they ought to be teachers instructing us about public issues.  Through them citizens will be able to separate “facts” from “fiction,” and “truths” from “half-truths.”  Messages from politicians rely on the timeliness, spontaneity, and the effectiveness of the media.

Doing What’s Right

If politicians fall from grace it’s for them to come clean, and not continue to conceal the details of their indiscretions.  As co-creators it’s for them to build up communities, and protect us from evil.  We don’t want to witness other Watergate experiences in America, or in other societies around the world.  Politicians must be able to talk to us, think about issues, and to legislate sensible policies.  That’s why it’s important that they must be truthful.  When they stress the negatives, nothing is more damning than for people to have negative results – “curses” as opposed to “blessings.”

Tommy Smothers (b. 1937), a comedian, composer and musician said, “The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen.”  Politicians are in positions to present voters with a variety of dishes.  These may be the best political entrees possibly, but it’s still up to the voters to decide whether we’ll taste their offerings.  People will accept what’s right to them.  We who believe in democratic processes hope our decisions are right most of the time.  And even if we make mistakes, the Lord promises that the Holy Spirit will work all things – good and bad, for our good.

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