Politicians and Public Opinion

Americans love to hate politicians. It is a national pastime. Few topics raise more ire than bringing up issues facing congress. Usually you will hear comments such as “politicians are liars, phonies, sell outs, lazy, obstructionists, and other pejorative comments that we can’t repeat here in a family styled blog.” But I wonder how fair we are being.

The American political system was designed to force compromise. If a politician sticks to his campaign promises, then he is called an obstructionist. If a politician changes his mind and makes some concessions to fulfill part of his campaign promises, then he is called a sell out. How does a politician “win” in this situation? Ultimately, he becomes a kind of umpire in which half of the public hates everyone of his decisions.

So what is the solution? First, the public has to lower its standards and cut the politicians some slack. Rarely are they evil in the sense that they wish ill upon their constituents. Second, I believe they truly wished to fulfill their campaign promises, only to find out when they reach Washington that they don’t have the votes to accomplish it. Now in a perfect world, seasoned politicians should not promise what they know they can’t deliver. But the fact is, politicians who educate constituents about the realities of politics don’t get elected. In fact, I believe that the more a politician lies, the more likely he will be voted for. American’s love liars.
If you doubt my comments, just ask yourself, why did America love President Bill Clinton so much? He is still popular even though he has lied about so many things (many actually very silly things to lie about) that a book was written, titled, “No one left to lie to.” Second, why didn’t America vote in Anderson as president in 1976? Anderson, a rank liberal, told the public the absolute truth. To eliminate the national debt, we would have to raise taxes AND cut social programs. I am not even sure he got 10 percent of the popular vote. Clearly, American’s won’t vote for someone who tells the truth. All people are glad regarding take a look at the web site here writing solution.
What does this mean for Christians? A lot. First, we need to understand that a Christian politician may have to make troubling compromises. But that is okay. He is still a Christian. Second, Christians need to think long and hard about what it means to run a moral campaign. I think we need to really create some standards for what it means to be a Christian and a politician. While they aren’t contradictory, they don’t always mix well. Third, we should pray more for our leaders. Politics is truly a spiritual struggle. Finally, we must recognize that politics can only do so much. The Gospel is what people really need. Who or what party is in power is significantly less important.

© Stephen Vantassel 2007

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