>I’ve been watching some of the debriefing from last week’s mid-term election. Political pundits analyzed the results and comedians, like Jon Stewart, made fun of the whole media circus. There were speeches from the president responding to the change of leadership in the House, defeated candidates succeeding to the newly elected, the potential new Speaker of the House… The theme of all of the elected and re-elected Republicans was, “Now, we can do what the people want.” I don’t have to review speeches from 2 years ago when the Democrats took control of the House, Senate, and White House to say that the message was the same. Two years ago, President Obama campaigned for change that matters and voters showed they wanted changed. Now, voters have once again shown they want change.
Between the last election and last Tuesday, how did the politicians know what the people wanted? Between now and the next election, how do politicians know what the people want? Well, other than a change.
I regularly write elected officials regarding issues that are important to me. I typically get a form letter in return stating his/her stance with an explanation. It is a letter written well before s/he heard from me about what I think. But, I am not the only one contacting that official letting him/her know how I, as a constituent, wish the official to represent my city, district, state, etc. That’s the beauty of a democracy. My voice is one of many, nonetheless, my voice is heard. And, the majority voice is represented by our elected officials.
Something about the phrases “the voice of America” or the “Christian vote” hasn’t settled well with me in the context of the recent chasm between the Republican and Democratic parties. The phrases connote that if I don’t agree with the popular majority I don’t agree with America. Or, that as a Christian I am expected to vote one way. Those phrases lose sight of the the diversity of voting citizens and the diversity of the Christian faith. Further, the statement, “Now, we can do what the people want” suggests that either what I wanted hadn’t been done and now it will be or what I wanted had been done and now it won’t.
In the current divide, there is an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality. One group focuses on defeating ‘them’ and getting done what the group wants to get done and vice versa. Politics has focused so much on ‘them’ it has cost ‘us’. Perhaps, we can be tolerant of one another when “We, the People of the United States,” remember that we all share the common goal of establishing justice and peace, defending our citizens, and promoting the general welfare of all Americans. Then, we can “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves.”
May God give us the wisdom to find compromise between our political parties that we can achieve our common goals without compromising our shared values,
Quotes from the Constitution of the United States of America. The Preamble states: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”