In order to present the fourth false god of American culture, it is necessary to review some American history over the last 40 years.
I was raised in a conservative household in the era of Ronald Reagan. The optimism that I perceived in my small corner of the world was probably greater at that time than at any other point during my lifetime. Respect for the president among the people was common even among average citizens who disagreed with him. Even then, the leftists and the political establishment were vocal in their whining and complaining, but they could not be too uncivil due to the popularity of Reagan and the total failure of Jimmy Carter.
During George H. W. Bush’s presidency there was an active paradigm that is still in effect today. In this paradigm the Democrats propose new legislation that is socialist and unconstitutional, at the same time telling us the world will end if this legislation is not adopted. After hemming and hawing and getting skewered by the press, the Republicans agree to a watered down version of what the Democrats proposed. In this way, the two parties essentially began to support a similar agenda nationally and neither party was representing more conservative voters.
As “conservative” leaders betrayed conservative voters on numerous issues, such as taxation, environmental policy, and health care, conservatives began to tolerate this behavior more and more over the years. In fact, as a George W. Bush supporter in 2000 and 2004 I was convinced that only the Republican party could prevent disaster for our nation. This was in spite of the fact that many Republicans already had the reputation of running as conservatives only to betray their supporters once they got to Washington.
After 2004 my perspective began to gradually change and I began to see how the differences between the parties was narrowing. At the same time, every election was touted by both sides as the most important of all time and the division and animosity in America ratcheted up. Although I voted for McCain and Romney, like many, I held my nose while doing it. Finally, I sat out of the 2016 Presidential election, mostly because I thought we had reached the point where the two candidates weren’t much different at all.
After watching Trump at work during the first year and a half I see I was wrong. He is a different kind of leader who has the potential to break the current paradigm. It is no secret that one reason for his election is that he was perceived as an outsider who won’t accept that paradigm. Unfortunately, he is a 70 year old man with a ton of baggage. Undoubtedly there have been bright spots during his presidency and certain aspects of the paradigm appear to be vulnerable, but in truth it is unwise to put too much hope upon one aging millionaire.
Yet as we go into the mid-term election I still hear how devastating it will be if the other party wins. In the case of the Democrats, they argue that electing them is the only way this buffoon will be burned at the stake. The Republicans say voting for them is the only way the hero can be saved. My warning to you is not to believe any of them.
Placing one’s hope in a politician or a political party is the most hopeless kind of idolatry. The Bible says “There is no righteous man. No, not one.” Everyone knows that a trustworthy politician is rare. How many times will you watch the promises of a politician be forgotten, ignored, or broken before you realize that you are placing your hope in a worldly system that is corrupt and has no interest in your happiness?
Not all politicians are bad people, you say. You are right. There are good men and women who are trying to make a difference out there. What prevents them from successfully doing so most of the time is pragmatism; the need to make compromises and do stuff that is bad in order to maintain power so maybe someday they can do something good. This kind of behavior may make sense on a certain level, but more often than not the strategy backfires. Once that politician obtains the power to make a difference, he or she has compromised so often that they are damaged goods. This only further demonstrates the corruption in politics.
I will never again vote for a candidate that is the lesser of two evils. At that point, all you are doing is rewarding the evil by giving them your vote. My proposal is to stand for righteousness and stand against evil, as much as possible standing with people who share the Christian world view. You may assert that I am handing over the reins of the nation to the bad guys. That may be true today, but I prefer to take a longer view. I will trust God to provide the outcome. He ultimate has control anyway because He is sovereign over all things. As a believer I can have peace because Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Don’t place your hopes in a political ideal that will never come to pass. Placing your hopes in political leaders will only lead to depression when they disappoint you. Placing your hope in Jesus Christ will lead to joy and peace regardless of the political outcome.