Wednesday, November 05, 2014
America Turns Right
I'm not suggesting that America has righted the ship of state---but we have certainly taken a huge step in the right direction in yesterday's election.
And that step certainly reflects a heart felt desire on the part of the citizens to rise from the squalor and chaos of our current state of affairs and seek a better way.
Yesterday we Americans made the best choice we could make given the theater of modern day politics---and that can be difficult, because elections in our time have often become more theater than reality.
By regularly promising the impossible, political candidates often give the dangerous impression that cultural salvation is only a bill or a policy away.
We have come to understand that most political promises are hollow, and at no time more than during the past 6 years.
This has led to many of us being better informed on the Seahawks or the Mariners than the issues that will impact our lives and that of our children and grandchildren.
Does that make us bad people?
But it can make us bad voters. However, it appears there was a majority in many places in our country who chose a different way yesterday.
Now, having chosen, we must hold accountable those in whom we have placed the trust of our vote.
Arthur Milikh, with the Heritage Foundation, has written an article that reflects on this matter.
His article, "We Have Become Bad Voters. How Can We Change?" speaks to what James Madison and Alexander Hamilton knew when they authored the Federalist Papers.
Their understanding of voting and elections was different than ours today.
Milikh says, "They understood voting as an exercise in elevating citizens minds above the concerns of their engrossing private lives."
They had a sense of higher calling---higher purpose. Destiny.
Now that the election is past, it isn't over. It is just beginning.
The federalist observes that citizens must "take the most effectual precautions for keeping [Representatives] virtuous, whilst they continue to hold their public trust."
In an environment of secular progressivism with "evolving truth"---no absolutes, no higher law, a diminishing value on life, marriage and family with no seeming awareness of consequences, we seem to have fallen in love with promises, rather than performance.
Milikh says, "Our elections have become a playground for our imaginations."
Having voted, we must now decide if we will hold our elected accountable.
James Garfield said, a century after our national birth, "If the next centennial does not find us a great nation ...it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces."
He said the people will get what they demand of their elected leaders.
About a hundred years later Ronald Reagan defined these same ideals and responsibilities to his generation.
Of all his memorable speeches, it is his first national political speech that is most often remembered. In his speech on October 27, 1964, titled, "A Time For Choosing," he brought a rare clarity to his generation.
I strongly recommend you read the text of his speech.
It was in this speech that he famously said, "You and I have a rendezvous with destiny."
He said, "We'll preserve for our children this the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness."
Reagan's candidate didn't win in 64, but Reagan's message did, because it was not hollow---it was heartfelt from deeply held convictions.
His convictions were based, not on transitory progressive ideas, but on the very enduring values upon which America was founded.
The "day after" question is not so much about how the GOP pulled it off, but, "What will we do with the victory?"
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Bold. Be Blessed.