I cringe every time I hear commentators, especially those who claim to be ‘conservative’, say that we MUST ALL get involved in politics so that we can get our country’s problems fixed. They seem to actually believe that politicians, especially those in the US Congress, exist to ‘fix problems’. And I guess those confused souls believe the politicians do this by writing and passing a multitude of ‘bills’, many of which become law, that provide absolutely no means of ‘fixing problems’ or making things better. These bills mostly do one thing: Add billions of dollars to our burgeoning national debt, but the politicians and foolish commentators obviously do not see this as a ‘problem’ that needs addressing.
For those who are uninitiated in the real understanding of politics, here is my ‘short version’ definition of politics: “The use of underhanded crafty schemes, plots, intrigues and deceitful plans, methods, or series of maneuvers (machinations and intrigue) in obtaining any position enabling one to do or act (power), providing the capability of control, domination or command (control). Contrary to what most people believe, politics is all about gaining ever more control over EVERYTHING.
I did a very careful word search of many of the major dictionary definitions used to define ‘politics’. You can do the same thing if you feel that I am wrong in MY definition.
I can provide my ‘long version definition’ upon request, and it is eye-opening..
Politicians: Problem Solvers or Problem MAKERS?
The function of the people who are elected to represent their constituents in the US Congress was supposed to be to actually represent those constituents, but the truth is that the primary function of politicians in US politics is to NOT to represent the people, but to WIN elections and then to win RE-elections. If any actual representation occurs, it is either accidental or an unintended byproduct of the primary function (winning elections).
Since our nation was formed, there have been thousands of politicians in the US Congress, not all at one time, of course, and thank God for that, since we have nearly been destroyed by the 535 who sit at any given time in their gilded offices in DC, “representing us”. Supposedly these thousands of politicians/lawmakers were there over the last 100 years, possibly much longer, to ‘fix problems’.
Now, I consider myself to be a logical, reasonable and rational person, but logic, reason and rationality would demand that, if politicians really existed to fix problems, the United States of America would be the most ‘problem-free’ nation on earth.
In observing politicians ‘do their thing’ for the past sixty years, I have yet to see any problems resolved by them; in fact nearly every problem facing this nation was a result of politics and has actually gotten worse due to the ‘work’ done by politicians.
I do still believe in the ‘free and impartial’ election process whereby honest, ethical and hard-working Americans can be elected to positions of authority and have an opportunity to make things better for the nation and their fellow Americans, devoting all their time to that lofty goal. But, let’s examine that statement to see what it truly means. First, the election process MUST be free and impartial and that has proven to be a myth for the past sixty plus years—strike one. Secondly, the candidates MUST be honest, ethical and hardworking—strike two. Thirdly, they must, after being elected, devote ALL their time in DC to TRULY working for the betterment of the nation and their fellow Americans—strike three, and…game over.
Whence Cometh That Idea?
I still wonder where folks got the idea that anything about politics is ‘fair and impartial’. It is a far stretch to believe that, unless you’ve spent the past hundred years on another planet and just arrived back on earth. The main drivers of that narrative are those who engage in the political process, especially those desiring to reach the political stratosphere of a high-paying, pseudo-permanent ‘job’ (term used very loosely), ‘representing their fellow citizens in Congress’. Of course, their chances of being elected/reelected are improved if their constituents truly believe they are honest, hard-working and dedicated to the improvement of life for their constituents and all Americans. That last sentence carried more weight when it actually appeared our elections WERE ‘fair and impartial’ (eons ago).
It is nearly impossible to consider that these candidates/officeholders are truly interested in our welfare when they never actually ask us what we expect from them once they get settled in to their positions as “overpaid fundraisers” and NOT true representatives of the people. Instead of asking us for our thoughts, ideas and opinions, they TELL us what they are doing to ‘fix problems’ without ever offering any proof that their efforts accomplish anything in spite of the trillions of dollars spent to implement them. Their unspoken explanation is: Don’t ask questions, just keep paying those taxes.
The first thing most of them are required (by their Party leaders) to do once they are sworn in is to immediately begin raising funds for their reelections. Maybe I’m just an ignorant country bumpkin, but that sounds like a tremendous flaw in the representation process. Should they NOT be learning the processes by which their particular Houses of Congress function, according to the US Constitution? It would be wonderful to know how they justify that stance……oh wait, I remember now, they no longer are required by US to justify any of their positions, decisions or stances. That was something that was taken for granted when I was a wee tyke, but no longer.
Could it be that, in some small way, MONEY has something to do with the changes in the way our representation is handled by those we thought WE elected to represent US? Why does fundraising, especially immediately after entering office, have so much priority for those we thought we elected? Should not we, as the electors, expect that those we place into office focus on learning how best to represent US? Or is there a slight chance that we did not actually place them in office, but they reached that place through means other than our votes?
Perhaps now is a good time to examine the premises under which I have been looking at this issue. If my premise is that I truly expect the politicians who run in my particular area to ‘represent’ me, and I see that the opposite is occurring, where those whose names appeared on a ballot I was given are actually representing other entities, then a contradiction seems to exist. But, as Ayn Rand famously stated: “Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong”. It certainly seems that one of my premises is wrong and in need of ‘adjustment’.
Is it possible that those we (think we) elect to consider our needs and wishes (think represent us) as American citizens actually give their allegiance to another employer, representing THEIR thoughts and ideas ? But, you might say, compared to the average American who works for a living these people are well-paid by the American taxpayers, to the tune of $174,000 per year in salary plus some amazingly good benefits. Why then would they offer themselves and their allegiance to any person or group other than the American citizens and taxpayers who voted for them?
Since politicians discovered they could ‘buy’ political support, no institution in America, public or private, has been the same. The political support they seek is purchased by offering their votes on specific bills to lobbyists who have massive amounts of corporate money to throw at them for the sole purpose of ‘buying politicians’ and reaping the benefit of a favorable vote. The political decisions made as a result of these ‘quid pro quo’ transactions have little to do with any “party ideology” but are, in effect, a part of the transactions that occurred, the money changing from the lobbyists hands to the politicians hands and the casting of the purchased votes. And, this is the “something in return for their allegiance and their votes”: The multiple millions of corporate dollars that enrich politicians on a regular basis.
The quid pro quo that results from their ‘purchased votes’ is unseen money, the price paid for their votes, that somehow magically transforms politicians in Congress from merely well-to-do people to members of the uber-rich class who eventually leave politics as multi or mega millionaires.
While the source of their wealth is NOT from their meager salaries, it IS from doling out, through their votes, hundreds of millions of dollars they neither owned nor earned, to the employers of the lobbyists who actively and shamelessly offer massive amounts of corporate dollars to politicians.
But, why would these ‘lobbyists’ even do that? Consider this possibility: They work for the corporations and NGO’s that have specific agendas and in many cases, the success of those agendas relies heavily on favorable votes from members of the US Congress. In most cases, the success of their agendas results in hundreds of millions or even billions of US dollars in profit. The lobbyists then receive enormous compensation for their part in the movement of the unseen money and purchased votes. The sheer amount of unseen money that enriches politicians, and causes more poverty for the average person, though unknown, would likely stagger the imagination.
During the primary elections that ‘supposedly’ determine who the candidates will be for government offices, excitement runs at a fever pitch and leads many people to spend hours watching and listening to the candidates ‘hawk their wares’ to the voting public. The rhetoric used by them and repeated ad nauseum by the various media causes many to foolishly believe that one or another candidate will be the best for the office they seek. Sadly, very few Americans realize that the candidates they think they are voting for are chosen, not by their votes in any primary elections, but by the corporate and money powers behind the political parties.
What is even sadder is that so many Christians WILL NOT see the truth and would rather believe in the ‘hope of a political miracle’ that promises to bring back fairness and honesty in the process that places men and women in positions of authority and power. Their hope is misplaced.
Until the voting citizens realize the truth about politics, politicians and unseen political money, and refuse to engage in the corruption that IS the heart of politics, no improvements will be coming in our nation and no problems will be solved.
Growing up I heard many sayings that express wisdom and truth in culture. One such was: “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”, another was “You can’t get blood out of a turnip”. Though both of these contain plain, if hidden, human wisdom, there might be a need for other sayings that are more pertinent to our world today. May I suggest the following: “You cannot expect honesty from a politician”. That may sound harsh but if one understands just what politics is and what it does to those who engage in the corruption, it makes perfect sense and accepting it as a true saying could save many people from a lot of disappointment and frustration.
If politicians were honest, they would readily admit they have no real answers or solutions to the problems facing our nation and the world today. But, that honesty would be tantamount to cutting their own political throats and short-circuiting their ‘wealth building careers’ in politics, and few there are in the ugly ‘game of politics’ who will make such a decision once they realize how much wealth they stand to lose by trying to be honest in a totally dishonest game.
History has shown that few politicians will allow a characteristic like ‘honesty’ to interfere with their personal goal of leaving the game before accumulating great riches. Hence, the saying that “You cannot expect honesty from a politician”.
Christians in Politics?
I also cringe somewhat when I hear of people who say they are Christian and are planning to enter politics. Even though they may have some great intentions to make life better for their fellow Americans, unless they have thoroughly researched how the dirty game is played, they have absolutely no idea how to accomplish that lofty goal. Example: Donald J Trump seemed to have the same lofty goal when he entered politics running for POTUS in 2015, but he soon realized that “swimming through the swamp” with no protection other than your good name and reputation is classic futility. The swamp ALWAYS wins.
The ‘Hidden Political Process’
Even though all media outlets, printed, internet and TV, produce a multitude of political rhetoric every day, most of that is designed to distract readers and viewers from coming to any knowledge of the truth, or to push a specific propagandist narrative that reinforces all the previous political rhetoric. Most of it simply is NOT truth, and likely not even factual.
The REAL political news and events occur behind the scenes, away from the eyes and ears of those who will be most affected by the political decisions being made in secret, in those “smoke-filled rooms”. The general public is not allowed to know what transpires in those secret meetings, at least until it is too late to do anything about it.
The Bible has some very explicit language that, to me, would seem to discourage the participation in politics by any Christian. God clearly states that there are things we should never partake of, and the ‘hidden political process’ is one of them:
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light” Ephesians 5:11-13
“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God” 1 Corinthians 4:5
Every problem now facing this nation, and the entire world, is spiritual in nature and is a direct result of the decisions made as a result of the political nature of Satan. At times, when these problems became so great they threatened to completely undo God’s Plan, He stepped in and bought back some order that temporarily ended the chaos and madness. And even though man continually offers what he considers ‘answers to problems’, they are only band aids that mask the true problem: man’s fallen nature.
Bonnie Harvey once stated: “There is no political solution to a spiritual problem”. Until the real problem of man’s fallen sinful nature is dealt with, he can never offer any real solution to any of our problems, whether he be Democrat, Republican or Independent. Until politics is removed as an acceptable process of governance, all the problems we now face will remain, and will likely increase.
Conclusion: Politicians are NOT problem solvers, nor indeed can they ever be because the system of politics itself IS the problem.
Christians, true believers in God and His Son Jesus Christ, are specifically commanded to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness”, and I see no way that Christians, who are described as “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14) can possibly fellowship with those who partake in the unfruitful works of darkness.
The most likely result of such an attempt at fellowship is the light of the Christian life being extinguished, and no desire to “do good through politics” is worth that price.
Will the massive problems of humanity EVER be solved? There IS hope for that based on what God’s word said in 1 Corinthians 4:5, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God”.
Indeed, the REAL problem-solver, Jesus Christ, will expose all the hidden, foul darkness and corruption of politics and politicians; The light ALWAYS dispels darkness and when HE arrives and allows His light to fully shine on the problems, the process of politics will become only a dim memory…..HALLELUJAH!!
Until that time, unless you love to be disappointed, do NOT expect any solutions to manifest via the political process and those who profit from it.
Blessings and Maranatha!
©2023. Bud Hancock. All rights reserved.
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