Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I try to be positive... really. I’m Southern enough to follow this guideline “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Usually.  That said, I’m going to say something that is not particularly nice. I am not terribly smart about politics, so please don’t worry that I am going to blunder into this territory ever again... But I really want to get this off my chest: politicians really frustrate me.

I was going to put a painting of St.
Paul with the Pharisees and Sadducees
at the temple, but when I googled it, I got this
phone snap of the Stone Temple Pilots
performing in St. Paul. I couldn't resist.
I mean, in theory, they run for office to be of service to the country, to make a difference... but once they get in, they fight amongst themselves so much that no one is served and no difference is made.

It’s an age-old problem, it seems. There’s a place in Acts where Paul is being accused by the Pharisees and Sadducees, but when he mentions resurrection of the dead (one of the main points of dispute the two groups), they start fighting each other. Then the Pharisees backtrack and take Paul’s side... Their habit of fighting the Sadducees is so ingrained that they forget why they’re there! Anything but risk being on the same side, right? In this case, political infighting actually helped Paul (good thing he knew how to play them!), but how often is the case? 

In his life and in his execution, Jesus, too, was surrounding by all kinds of political maneuverings. The Pharisees wanted to hold on to their power so much that they actually paid one of Jesus's friends to betray him. And Pilate wouldn’t release him because he didn’t want to piss them off... I’m not sure it was a coincidence that the people who saw Jesus for who he was were not the ones in power. Except for Nicodemus, of course... Maybe that’s why I love Nicodemus so much – a politician who didn’t stay for the party!

Maybe it’s not the people themselves that frustrate me – maybe it’s the game. Maybe some actually go in thinking that they can be effective, but get stymied by the system... Maybe I am naive to think that this is why anyone enters politics... Yes, naive is a word that has been used to describe me now and then. 

I have no idea what it’s like to be a politician; I’m sure it’s very difficult. And I don’t know how they can “fix” this – other than to just get over themselves and work together. It’s probably not that easy, though... like i’ve just told an insomniac to “just go sleep.” 

I guess this is partly a byproduct of living in a democracy. Allowing for disagreement leads to... well, disagreement. And if one person is pushing a rock to the left, and another is pushing it equally hard to the right... that rock just isn’t going to move. 

As I said, I know very little about politics, but it sounds like the guys at the S&P are having similar thoughts. Here’s what Reuters said: “The theme running throughout S&P’s analysis is the breakdown in the ability of the Democratic and Republican parties to govern effectively. The agency said that policymaking and political institutions had weakened in the past few months ‘to a degree more than we envisioned.’ This has major implications for the nation’s budget and debt problems.” 

You can tell how frustrated I am by how garbled this blog entry is. I can’t even write straight! I guess I’ve said what I’ve meant to say, though: Politicians are really frustrating.

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