If you were to search for the least politically-minded woman in the known universe, you'd probably end up with me. I cringe when the talk turns to politics because I've distanced myself (at least until lately) from the topic as though it were a deadly supervirus. As a result, I am nearly useless when it comes to debating my views because I'm awash in the garbage that passes these days as campaigning and frankly, my views aren't particularly popular with a lot of people.
I wasn't always like this; there was a time when I believed everything our president or senators, representatives, and their staff members told us. After all, they were chosen by the voters to do what was deemed best for these United States. Why wouldn't our members of Congress be truthful, honest, God-fearing, and true to their oath? After all, they promised the following:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
See? When they accepted the office to which they were elected, each senator and representative promised to defend the Constitution, bear true faith and allegiance to it without mental reservation or evasion, and to faithfully attend to the duties of his particular office.
And then they said, "So help me God." Not "So help me Groups of Lobbyists"; not "So help me some other god/idol/favorite constituencies/people I owe." No, when they took that oath, they said to God Almighty, "I'm promising to do this, God, and if I fail to do what I'm promising You I'll do, I'm guilty of lying to You and deserve punishment by You."
So what happened? Apparently, some of our government's leaders either don't understand the seriousness of the oath they've taken or aren't worried about promising God something they have no intention of actually doing. To say that I'm disillusioned with United States politics is akin to saying it's breezy inside a tornado and my disappointment is a drop in the proverbial bucket compared to God's.
I'm sure the majority of our elected officials don't ignore their oaths of office, nor do they all take bribes, misuse funds, play favorites, cheat on their spouses, trash-talk one another, or (and this is a big one) vote along party lines merely because they fear the backlash from their fellow __________ (fill in the blank). Granted, some of this is just the nature of the nasty political animal, but remember, God gave man dominion over the animals. Let's start dominating.
So what happened?
Well, for one thing, I (and millions like me) grew up. When I was a child, we held the President of the United States in absolute awe. He was above reproach and no one would dare think badly of him (at least in my circle of 8-year-olds). I'm sure presidents back then also were reviled by a segment of the population, but without 24-hour news coverage on television, uncounted political radio programs, and the faster-than-the-speed- of-light internet, most things died down before they had a chance to gain momentum. Only the most important issues remained. Nowadays, the Plain Yellow Tie Advocates cry foul when he wears a tie endorsed by the Green Striped Tie Advocates. That's the second thing that happened--the world shrank, technology grew, and our awareness (whether we wanted it to or not) grew exponentially.
Even so, I was remarkably adept at remaining ignorant. I've done my level best to be a member in good standing of the huge number of Americans who feel they have no say anymore, who leave the decision-making (aside from voting, which was usually done on a "lesser of two evils" basis) to those who liked that kind of stuff.
And then my friend, Jonathan Wakefield, wrote a book that changed all that. It's called Saving America: A Christian Perspective of the Tea Party Movement. Tomorrow I'll be reviewing it on this blog. I hope you'll read Saving America, recommend it to anyone you know who even remotely cares about the future of our country, and even more so to those who really care. Tell young people, who have a bigger stake in this than any of us who can remember JFK; tell old folks who want to preserve this country and its Constitution for their kids, grandkids, and generations beyond that; recommend it to book clubs, Bible study groups, your pastor, your kids' teachers. Contact your senators and representives and show them not only what is WRONG with today's government, but how we can fix it.
It is my sincere hope it affects you in the same "ice water in the face" way it did me.
Until the next time...