It started out as a strange bit of conversation…Vicky and I were talking politics. We don't do that often, but that was the subject for a few moments last weekend. I turned to her and said, "I'm just about to the end of my rope. This might be the time to simply bail on watching, listening or even caring about what's going on in the political arena." Now, my dear wife is smart and inquisitive and quickly asked why I would consider something so out of character for me…it is not that I love political conversation but I do care deeply about what is going on in the world and I do believe that government has some obligation to "rule" people in a manner that is just, wise and allows people the freedom to be the people God has made us to be. I stand politically where I stand in many issues in life…firmly in the "middle." I am not, will I ever be endeared to any party. My allegiance is, as Derek Webb so well sang in one of my favorite songs of his, to a King and a Kingdom.
Yet I digress…after commenting to Vicky that I was just about to pull the plug on anything that is arguing politics (I might add, some of my favorite shows on radio, the net and television have to do with news and political conversation), she asked why. I said for me it is simple:
1. I can't stand the demeanor of either side of the political persuasion anylonger. They are more than devisive but they are promoting a polarization among people where what should provide the foundation for civil and caring discourse has deteriorated into argumentation, name calling, ridicule and disrepect.
2. There is no foundational frame of reference on TRUTH anylonger. Both sides of the political debate accuse the other of not JUST misrepresenting facts or misinterpreting reality…now it is clear, each side is simply calling each other liars. Here's the point – it is a rather long converstation to get into worldview perspectives and epistomological explanation so let me just say this – people have different frames of reference when interpreting reality. I was telling Vicky last night – I could look at her fingernail color and say "that's red." She looks at it and says, "you're a liar, it isn't red, it's purple." Somebody else could join the conversation and say, "you both are liars, it isn't red or purple is is orange." Now, from each person's frame of reference they are telling the truth and without some objective manner of evaluating reality or some foundational sense of what is reality everyone would be right "in their own eyes (see the end of the book of Judges in the bible for that goodie)." So, here's the issue – everyone accuses the other of lieing and from their frame of reference they may be right. But without some manner of evaluating reality conversation and debate has simply deteriorated into a shouting match of perceptions. No winner in that game…everyone can manipulate perspectives on statistics and reality to look at what they want to look at as truth…since NO ONE sees truth as ultimate anylonger and since no one expects the truth to be told, it is now just a shouting match of accusing others of being liars. I just can't stand that anylonger. Really…
3. Lastly, the issue of boredom. Here's my take – no one is speaking what they really think anymore. Both "sides" have entrenched themselves…everyone has talking points…every one has a script. Honest questions posed by intelligent and inquisitive people don't matter to public servants anylonger…they have to say what "the party line" has told them to say. That means this – you never hear anything different…you never hear something said with humility and forthrightness. Different day – different faces – same "stuff." Everything is rehearsed. Everything is "teleprompted" for people to say. So it doesn't matter what face you see or voice you hear, if they are coming from one party or the other they have to stay "on script." That is driving me crazy. I just want to shout out sometimes, "just tell me what YOU think." But alas, it doesn't matter.
Maybe Clint Eastwood had something really profound to say the other night that had nothing to do with his actual remarks. Maybe we are all staring at empty chairs…maybe every candidate is a "Manchurian Candidate"…maybe everything is staged to a point where the average citizen really doesn't matter anylonger. If you aren't being told the truth, if every candidate wants to marginalize you by pigeon-holing you and me into one extreme or another, if both parties are simply power hungry and not concerned or accountable to actually doing something to make the country more reflective, not just of the will of the people, but of the principles and freedoms given to us as a gift from God then may be it is time to simply ignore the process. I don't know…maybe I'm wrong. But I must admit, I am tired of the whole thing and it is only the first week of September.
I'm sure there will be "more to come"…stay tuned!