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When Politics Trumps Principles
Saturday, February 6, 2021 2:03 PM

When Politics Trumps Principles

Saturday, February 6, 2021 2:03 PM
Saturday, February 6, 2021 2:03 PM
 
The peer pressure among teens is nothing compared to the peer pressure among politicians.
 
Good public policy is a result of mature leaders reaching across the divide to devise policy that benefits the whole, not enrich the few.
 
One of the most glaring reasons we find ourselves so upside down in this country is because politicians govern according to peer pressure and social media rather than guided by good policy-making and solid principles.
 
Donald Trump reset the country's agenda by endless incendiary tweets and who was so thin-skinned that clapping back was more important than governing.
 
What has been left behind in his wake, as the smoke of his inspired insurrection cleared, is a dysfunctional Congress with the majority of Republicans having no backbone and a broken moral compass missing its true north.
 
They have religion, just not Jesus; nor, the fortitude to stand on what was once their bread and butter principles. Long gone is any hint of any degree of moral authority.
 
They, like King Saul when God had stripped away his kingdom still want a Samuel (the Franklin Grahams) to walk with them into church so people will still believe they have the moral voice of God. They don't. That's gone. They will never reclaim it.
 
This isn't a criticism just hard truth about hard times in America. And knowing the greatness we historically have been, makes me exceedingly sad to witness where we now are.
 
Far too many members of Congress are so afraid of being "primaried" that even though (giving the benefit of the doubt here) they know the right thing to do, in order to save their political bacon, they do what is politically safe - bowing and trusting in Trump rather than the God they claim. But they can't see it though, that's the thing.
 
Never mind the fallout. As long as they are "safe" at the ballot box they can slink around D.C. and go back home secure in knowing that as long as they have dotted the "i's," talked the "stop the steal" talk and kissed the ring, they can beat their chest, with less chance of getting beaten at the ballot box. What an absolute sad commentary. Hear no evil. Refuse to speak of what is evil. Pretend not to hear evil.
 
We are living in an unimaginable challenging and curious time in America. In my humble opinion? Both the left and right are out of touch with reality.
 
While those on the right kiss the Trumpian ring and play anything but "Christianly" hardball with full support of evangelicals and preachers to back them up, many on the left play kissy-face with progressive socialism with the most extreme left wrestling for control of the Democratic Party's heart and soul. But an insurrection, though? No.
 
It is questionable whether a more moderate Joe Biden can rally the Bernie Brigade, let alone pull together a country in unity that those on the right have all but declared war against. But praise God, the man wants to try. I'm willing to give him that chance. Afterall, I gave Trump the same chance in 2016.
 
So many Americans have been duped into believing what is true is a lie and what is a lie is truth. Satan has white evangelical Christianity in America exactly where he wants it - divided, fearful and angry. Angry and filled with hate, suspicion and they don't know who and what to believe anymore - finding it easier to believe the word of a man rather than the word of the God they claim.
 
What will we look like once we emerge from this pandemic? From the fog and haze of QAnon? The once-powerful world superpower, feared throughout the world? Even that is quickly eroding as America slips on the international stage under the weight of home grown terrorists and the politicians who aid and not abed them, but who are in bed with them. 

Supporters of President Trump stormed the United States Capitol building.Credit...Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post, via Getty Images
 
Abraham Lincoln told a still divided nation in his generation that if America were to fall, it would not be from the hands of an enemy without, but from the hands of enemies from within. It would implode. And January 6, 2021 was the shot heard across the bow of America - from north to south, east to west.

I love this country and it saddens me to see how far we've fallen and continue to fall. We are in freefall as leaders scramble to do what they should have been doing all along - leading and governing with principle and purpose.
 
We in times past would always hold out hope that the next generation would lead us out of the weeds. However, a new generation is not the end all be all. Many of them are lost in the weeds.
 
Far too many it seems are coming into office with axes to grind, a chip on their shoulder with something to prove; or, to "get in where they fit in" - finding their "tribe" and playing to it, forsaking anyone who can't do anything for them.
 
Kissing up and fitting in is the order of the day to keep a seat and this is indeed a sad commentary.
 
Still others have proven little except that they are great "community organizers and activists" not quite ready for prime-time governing and leadership - with little to no interest at all in "paying their dues" or learning what to do and how to do it once they have a seat at the table. They are the right-now generation who feel it is their inherent right, right now to run things.
 
This is where we are. It's not pretty and this I know will be seen as negative, but it's not. It is unvarnished truthful observations. My work demands this. I have neither the time nor inclination to play politics, one side against the other or play like I don't see and know what's going on and calling it out as Jesus did, for what it is. I follow Him, not people. 
 
Politicians more concerned about the next election than they are about the well-being of people is our new reality. They just are, and are more concerned about how well they will fare in the next primary. Rare today are principled public servants who are more concerned about how well the next generation will fare.
 
We desperately need far more principled public servants and far fewer unprincipled politicians.
 
So many great leaders, statesmen and stateswomen down through history sacrificed so much and it saddens me to no end to see what we have become and are becoming.
 
And looking at the dugout, we have fewer true public servants and even fewer "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" types up to bat.
 
When people who are in office are there to curry political favor or prove political points, they will ultimately be proven wrong. History will not be kind to any of them.
 
Long before we get there, the damage will be done and others will be left to pick up the pieces left by politicians who concerned themselves only with enriching the few while sacrificing the well-being of the many on the altar of self-aggrandizing politics.
 
Only true leaders with moral fortitude, courage, steel wills and backs, not more politicians influenced by far right-wing radio talking heads, CNN, FOX or MSNBC or their own sense of importance, can lead us out of this present darkness. They are the darkness and only light can cast out darkness. The light are men and women who understand that they have been placed by God in positions of leadership to light the way. And my prayer is that those who name the name of Jesus Christ will see this. 
 
Political loyalty saves the bacon temporarily but even it will eventually be consumed by political fire.
 
We can do better. Far better.
 
We desperately need far more principled public servants and far fewer unprincipled politicians.
 
Most disconcerting of all is that there is no moral authority on the national stage. None. Neither from the pulpit or pews.
 
There are no more Martin Luther King, Jr. or Billy Graham-types, politically uncompromised faith leaders unobligated to anyone but God who dare speak truth to those who don't want to hear it, let alone be governed by it.
 
King and Graham were not afraid to stand flat-footed, challenging leaders not bowing to them while speaking with biblical clarity and grace. Though Billy Graham would later admit that he regretted not standing stronger with Dr. King and other faith leaders. Yet, I find no fault in him - he was a man of his generation and he still did what many white pastors and faith leaders wouldn't have dared done and didn't.
 
W.A. Criswell comes to mind. He was of that generation as well but he chose a different path than Graham. The path of race and prejudice, not love and grace.
 
Though Criswell would later repent, the Southern Baptist Convention and First Baptist Dallas still bear his indelible marks.
 
We can no longer even look to the church and church leaders in America to lead the way. That not only is sad but frightening.
 
At the rate we're going, it will be neither the politicians nor the preachers that will lead.
 
It will take a fed-up people who become finally fed up with broken promises of unprincipled politicians and elect from the local level up to the federal, those who value principles more than politics and service above self.
 
Barring this, Abraham Lincoln would not only have been President but proved to be a prophet.

Black History Month 2021
 

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