CONTRIBUTORS NOTE: The Whetstone typically avoids political issues, but given current events I have dabbled in that here a bit. I hope you will excuse the indiscretion and look for the eternal message I tried to communicate.
Do not put trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.
I don’t know what is going to happen in 3 days on election day 2016, but I am willing to make a few bold predictions about what will happen shortly thereafter.
The sun will rise, God will continue to reign supreme, and men and women who aspire to become President in 2020 will begin their positioning. They will assemble teams of advisors who will help them understand the mood of the American people and begin crafting soaring oratory to both inspire hope and to instill fear. And they will promise, promise, promise. They will commit to acts of daring bravery and they will pledge to remain steadfast and bold. And they will commit and pledge, they will pledge and commit. Words and speeches. Talk. Nothing.
They will also assemble teams to harass and attack anyone who speaks out against their worthy and desirable pledges and commitments. Anyone who speaks against the enlightened candidate is not simply wrong, they are bad. For the Chosen One is here to nourish and protect you. Therefore, anyone else is here to harm you and take from you. As it has been said by our elected political leaders, you are either with us or you are against us.
What we have here is politics as religion. And as in religion, each denomination has its zealots and its critics. We no longer decide right versus wrong, but in our modern-day political religion we decide good versus evil. And, as in religion, each political denomination must deify its leader. They speak infallible truth no matter what they say. They act only of the purest motives, no matter what they do. It becomes the role of their followers not only to support them but to help zealously proselytize the approved message.
Understanding politics as religion helps us explain the dogmatic approach and visceral reactions we witness in American politics today.
This is a natural reaction for a people who have lost their foundation, who have lost their sense of purpose. They will cry out for leadership and guidance from something, someone. Too often the recipients of this attention are the false prophets and charlatans of our time. The hope of these lost souls is placed on our false gods, adding greater momentum to their deification.
I know this makes me unpopular, but these self-proclaimed gods are just people. They do not deserve our praise and adulation — they deserve our ridicule and scorn. Many of them are contemptible, and some of them are miscreants of the highest order.
JRR Tolkien had it right when he said, “The most improper job of any man is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.”
Our political leaders are no more able to take care of the fundamental problems that confront our world today than a blindfolded monkey throwing darts at a dartboard. We have years of evidence and our own common sense to know that they don’t actually desire to solve any problems. More importantly they are simply unable to solve them in the first place.
In JD Vance’s wonderful new book Hillbilly Elegy, he describes the problem of home instability for the rust belt society he grew up in. “In France the number of children exposed to three or more maternal partners is one in two hundred. In Sweden (second highest) it is about one in forty. In the United States the figure is a shocking one in twelve, and the figure is even higher in the working class” (emphasis mine). He goes on to point out that this is a vicious cycle, where instability leads to greater instability. And of course we know that other social problems follow such cycles, like violence, poverty, substance abuse, and unwanted pregnancies.
I ask myself, what are any of our Wise and Anointed Ones able to do about such a thing? On such issues they are impotent and pathetic. Even if they could find agreement on how to address such a problem (a miracle unto itself), they are too encumbered or otherwise ill equipped to actually pull it off. No, the answer will not come from these empty suits. The answer lies in us.
I can’t solve the world’s problems, but I can help my neighbor. I can serve my community. I can be a servant leader in my home. I can ask for the Holy Spirit’s help, because I know “’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” (Zech 4:6)
And collectively, as a nation of Christian Brothers and Sisters, we can do the Lord’s work during our limited time on His Earth. And in doing so we can make a difference. And when we do so the simple-minded, self-serving, lunacy-riddled ruling class will take credit. And we should let them do so, for we know that He is the Lord of all who reigns supreme.