Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Election

(Originally posted on CoM in August 2012)

I don't mean Calvinism vs. Arminianism. I mean that Tuesday in November every four years where grossly ill and uninformed, emotionally-driven people (on all sides of the spectrum) go to the polls to elect a President.

For the record, I won't be voting for ANY of the candidates this time around, just as I didn't in 2008, even if for slightly different reasons, as personal things had me somewhat consumed (to put it mildly) in 2008. I'm a registered Republican. I consider myself a fiscal conservative (as in we shouldn't spend money we don't have), and socially, I consider myself somewhere between centrist and libertarian (as in we should live and function as a community while respecting personal liberties). While it used to be true of me to an extent, I no longer vote for the jersey, but prefer to consider the make-up of the individual wearing it. This proves difficult when our primary process grinds the honesty and integrity completely out of our candidates (assuming they had any to begin with), and when the majority of our candidates care more about the jersey they wear than about the good of the nation. It also leaves me in a minority when most voters care more about the jersey (for a myriad of emotionalistic and religious reasons) than the Constitution and foundational liberties of our nation, and, more about the jersey than the foundations of their faith. Bold statements? Perhaps, but I'd bet the farm on them.

I feel considerably estranged from my political party. This ain't your Daddy's GOP. The extremists control it, and if they can't wrestle the nomination for one of their own (which they couldn't this year), then they sabotage the hopes of the nominee to make sure that they still control the party's fortunes. Without their support, no GOP candidate can win a general election, so the candidate is left with no choice but to surrender their integrity (which means they had little to begin with) and give in to many of the extremists' whims. I've been saying for a few years, only half-joking, "this Tea Party crowd's gonna be the end of us all", and especially as the religious right has melded into them and largely taken the TP over, it looks even worse. In 2010, the voters elected perhaps the most stupid, extreme, and ignorant Congress in the history of our nation. All from misguided emotion and religion, with an assist to the color of Barack Obama's skin.

I was watching a clip recently, an interview of Ann Coulter by Piers Morgan, and I could hardly believe my ears. You know how the rallying cry of the Tea Party crowd (particularly the religious zealots) is about "taking American back" and restoring it to what our founding fathers envisioned? When Piers Morgans questioned Coulter about the Tea Party and asked her if they compared favorably to the French Revolution (which was primarily an uninformed mob taking over with an emotionalistic mob mentality), she resisted that comparison, saying that they compared more favorably to the original Tea Party, and added (get this now), "the founding fathers weren't especially fond of the original Tea Party". O.M.G. And she was defending the Tea Party. Defending them. Yep. So the founding fathers didn't really like the first batch. What do you think are the odds they'd like this current group? Slim and none would be my guess.

We've viewed ourselves as "elite" for so long, and for all the wrong reasons, that we haven't even noticed the rest of the world passing us in just about every key area - education, life expectancy, infant mortality, we're the only industrialized nation in the world without a national health care system - and if you dare assess and address any of these issues honestly, the word "socialist" starts flying around. We have inane laws and regulations coming out of our bungholes, to the point that pretty much every American, technically, is a lawbreaker, a criminal. Unwittingly, of course, in most cases, but still lawbreakers. We lead the world in the percentage of our citizens incarcerated. We've become the elitist snobs of the world, when we really don't have anything to be snobbish about anymore. Our freedoms? About 95% of the countries of the world have our freedoms. We've fallen behind. We need to get our heads out of the sand.

We have a HUGE segment of evangelical Christianity that, aside from being clueless about their own faith, think that America is in some kind of national covenant with God like Israel was in the Old Testament. This goes beyond a basic misunderstanding of the old covenant and the new covenant into pure emotionalistic stupidity. Every four years, this group measures ALL sin and Christianity by three issues alone: 1) abortion 2) gays 3)Israel/Islam. They're convinced that God will judge our nation because of these issues. Jeez. If God were going to judge us as a nation, I think "The Bachelor", "Big Brother", and "Real Housewives" would make for better starting points. Christianity, with fundamentalism leading its charge, has just become SO shallow in this country. It literally diminishes its adherents, yet we think that we have some kind of national patent on Jesus Christ. No wonder we haven't noticed the rest of the world leaving us in the dust. There are a good number of international readers here, from every continent save for Antarctica, and in their emails to me even they've noticed that American Christianity is an entity all it's own, something they, as Christians in other countries, view with fascination, bemusement, sometimes confusion, and often see as generally bizarre.  

We have an enormous segment of fundamentalist Christians who declare, with utter absolution, their commitment to the infallibility of the bible, and their own determination to live by it, including the "Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus" part, who speak of their anticipation, anxiousness, and excitement for Jesus to return and rapture them prior to a tribulation...and then they go to the polls and seemingly try to delay it for at least another four years, this November placing their Christian hopes in a Mormon to delay the tribulation rather than in the guy who professes faith in Christ. Seems to me that if theyreally wanted Christ to return, they'd vote for the candidate most likely to speed up the process.

I won't be voting for Obama. Not because he's a Democrat. Not because of the color of his skin. Not because of his religious affiliations or lack thereof. I won't be voting for him because, unlike a JFK, a Reagan, or a Clinton, I don't think he has a strong enough leadership personality to overcome an opposition party that hates him (for many reasons, including the color of his skin) and desires his failure, therefore desiring the failure of our nation. They want him to fail MORE than they want America to succeed, because in reality, they'll only be happy with America's success if it happens on their own (usually religious) terms and conditions. 

I won't be voting for the other options because they aren't better options.

For those of you voting solely on the abortion/gays/Israel-Islam issues, that's your right, but let me ask you these questions...

  1. What position did Jesus take on abortion?
  2. What position did Jesus take on gay rights?
  3. What position did Jesus take on Israeli politics and Islam?
  4. What were Jesus' views on American politics/the Republican platform and the Democratic platform? 
If you can answer those honestly, in Jesus' words (not Paul's or any other biblical character), without tying a rationalized knot in your rear-end or speaking on behalf of Jesus, then you hold your head up high, march proudly into your voting booth this November...and vote for a Mormon like a good Christian should.

Hypocrisy and stupidity abounds. Politics+Religion=We're Screwed.

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