I am soon to enter my 50th year of life. For all of my voting history, I have called myself a Republican. This year I became officially “Non-affiliated”, or more specifically, a “Republicrat”.
The more I attempt to understand the differences the more I see that both parties, contrary to the media, have much to admire and much to apologize for.
For a solid
Then as every responsible and privileged citizen of our country, I got to the polls, agonizingly inked my oval and begged God for His mercy.
In the violent discord that has followed, my mind continues to cycle through repulsion and relief over which oval I inked November 8. The truth is, both figuratively and literally, we all lost at some level and I am so saddened by the hatred that has ensued.
So for my self-therapy, I offer this political essay, in the hopes that it might bring reconciliation to someone at some level even if it’s just my own circle.
Many Americans have come to define our form of government as a democracy ( “a system of government by the whole population or in which all eligible members of individual states make laws, typically through elected representatives”). In reality, the United States of America was designed to function as a Constitutional Republic ( a system of government in which elected representatives, and an elected “Commander in Chief”, make laws within constitutional limits).
Most local and state governments have the right to give voters a voice in passing laws, while on a national level those laws are strictly passed by the officials. Citizens have no way to directly make laws. At the inception of our nation,
2016 has been a pathetic display of the continuing undoing of the founders’ best hopes for America, running the campaigns with bullying and ending them with riots.
Do you know what demagogue means? I didn’t!
“A political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than rational argument”. No wonder many of us were sick at the polls.
Demagogue vs. demagogue…and it was about as ugly as it gets and has removed the feeble finger of political correctness from the dam of public prejudice,
Every day they infiltrated our homes and our minds and our relationships.
But anyway… can we maybe agree on a few points?
The Republicans are not all heartless, bigoted, supremacist nationalists. And the Democrats are not all immoral, irresponsible, atheistic anti-Americans.
This is what I have come to appreciate about both camps:
I appreciate the hearts of my liberal/democrat friends. They are impassioned to help the poor, the suffering, the alien, the marginalized…and not just here in America, but all over the world. My “L/D” friends have hearts that absolutely amaze me in their compassionate, inclusive
AND I appreciate the common sense of my conservative Republican friends. They have an incredible ability to connect the pieces, let history inform our present and future, and seek to restore dignity to people through work and personal responsibility. The C/R’s in my world are impassioned to keep America solvent and effective in the world. I am so thankful for their voices in my life and in their realms of influence. Theirs is a battle to remain “one nation under God” and protect “liberty for all”.
But be careful
Honoring both and offending both…I will now go by “Republicrat”. Because I want to live with a heart for people that empowers but does not enable. I want our family to continue to reach out to the needs of the world but not ignore the needs in front of us. I want the freedom to funnel the resources we’ve been given to the causes we care most about. And I want to live with the courage to share our thoughts and life experience without mocking others for theirs.
I want the heart and mind of Christ.
Given the strengths that both sides have to offer…I wish the Demagogues would stop politicizing, propagandizing, defaming each other and exploiting the American public. If only the parties could replace their oppositional defiance disorder and filibustering and begin dovetailing their strengths into leadership that is effective for the American public and spilling over into helping the world.
I wish those of us who call ourselves Christians would stop looking at each other in disbelief and spewing the accusatory “How can you call yourself a Christian and vote for…?”
Is God Himself not liberal in His love and forgiveness (Ephesians 2:3-5 “Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath, but because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.”) AND a God who sets limits in the way to freedom and truth? (“Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life” John 14:6
I wish we could recognize God’s heart for and His image in every human being (however hidden we consider it to be), and appreciate what it brings to our world.
I wish we could forgive and pray for those who (often due to a lack of love in the church) are running the other way when they hear us call ourselves Christians.
I wish we would take out the log in our own eye.
My wish for Millennials is to be able to give thanks for the blessings of being American. Obviously, millions of others are anxious to live here.
My wish for X’ers is to keep the faith and smell the roses.
My wish for boomers and busters is to have peace and not fear the future.
God is on His throne.
But what I am describing is legitimately impossible without God’s work in our hearts…
Forgiveness and reconciliation begin and end with Him.
And that is
Republicrat for now and His child for always.
“What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
“It is for freedom, that Christ has set us free, stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery”.