In Favor of Unity

I remember how I felt shortly after the election when Barak Obama was first elected President. It was not a pleasant feeling. It was downright confusing how so many people could see this man’s agenda as good or even appropriate. It was disheartening when his opponents were sometimes demonized as racist. It was ridiculous when some of his allies treated this new president as a political messiah. These feelings were made worse by the immediate and foolish actions which served to press his agenda, but divide the nation. I am still angered today by such, now famous, words as “elections have consequences” and “we will have to pass it to find out what is in it.” These manifestos of control divided the country in even deeper ways.

All across the urban areas of this country, people on the other side of the political spectrum are now feeling the sting that my conservative friends and I have felt for the past eight years.

So what should we conservatives do next?

We could retaliate now that we have control. We could pass every piece of legislation we want in a frenzy, we could speak out our own manifestos of control, and we could label our opponents as obstructionist, libtards, and whatever other term we find useful.  But this would make us just as divisive as the worst of our opponents have been.

Or we could look for ways to genuinely cooperate and move together.  No doubt legislation will be passed, but do so under normal rules of order, including healthy debate. No doubt proclamations are going to be undone, but don’t replace them with our own proclamations. Instead allow these ideas to weather the tests of congressional scrutiny and be passed as laws.  Instead of furthering the divide, let’s demonstrate that operating within the constraints of constitutional guidance works well without the need for creative interpretations of the document.

This work of reunifying our divisions is our most important challenge.

Many have pointed out that national debt is a huge problem. Obviously there is some unknown limit where the debt is beyond our ability to overcome.  Beyond that point our nation would lose its economic footing, be forced to default on loans, and our failure would affect not just our country but the whole world.

Similarly there is a limit to how divided we can be as a nation before the problem becomes unrecoverable. If we cause that to happen, or allow it to happen while blaming our opponents, the results will be even more disastrous.

Absolute Truth and the Constitution

Our world is changing, and I believe it is changing faster than ever. Social ideas are shifting quicker than at any time in history. The rate of change is not just because technology is moving forward and accelerating our progress. In this case, it also connects to world view changes. Let me explain.

If you looked at society a hundred years ago, the predominant world views included the concept of absolute truth. Perhaps as a part of a Biblical ideology, or by those who rejected Christianity the absolute truth was couched in what they called higher law. In both cases, it was a perspective that right was right all the time and was unchanging. In the time frame since, absolute truth has been replaced by relativism.

Back when absolute truth was accepted by the majority, people were morally anchored to their idea of truth. In theology, this meant they looked to the Bible for answers and accepted it as authoritative. In politics, absolute truth affected how they utilized the constitution. Ideas were brought before the Supreme Court to be argued based upon their constitutionality. At the time, the decisions of the court were evaluated based upon the assumed intent of the original authors of the document.

When people began to reject the idea of absolute truth, they also began looking at the Bible and the constitution differently. Instead of asking what the document says, they now looked for what the documents allow. It is no longer a question of what the authors intended, but instead whether the document could be interpreted to allow the desired outcomes.

This change in how decisions are made by the Supreme Court, fundamentally changes the court’s role, and makes it by far the most powerful branch of government. Formerly the court was severely limited in what it could do, because its decisions had to be visibly based on the founding document. Now the court is able to make decisions based on interpretations of the constitution rather than its original intent. This ultimately gives them power to do anything they want, including actions previously limited to other branches of government. And don’t forget the justices are appointed to a life long term.

With the increased power the court now has, stacking the court with judges of a certain perspective is far more important than who is elected to the legislative branch or who sits in the executive office. It doesn’t take a whole lot of thought to know that this tyrannical power given to the court was not originally intended by the Constitution, nor is it what the average American wants in terms of how our nation is governed, but it is the logical outcome of rejecting absolute truth.

Government and The Media

When I was a kid in school they made everyone take a class in US Government. We learned about things like balance of powers, federalism, and limited government. These principles are shaped by the constitution, and we were told, keep our government running smoothly.

So what am I, and my entire generation, supposed to think when we see specific people in government arguing against these principles? I hear the news reporting that the argument in favor of the current immigration reform is that the executive branch holds sole power over immigration law; no balance of power, no cooperation with states, and no boundaries. I don’t believe immigration is the only place such actions are taking place.

We have orderly ways to carry out business in our government for very good reasons. It is somewhat natural that a politician who is not reigned in will expand their own powers. In times past, the press, the well-informed populace, and the courts would not tolerate changing the definitions of government written into the constitution.

Today is somehow different. Now we live in the information age. So the traditional media is under pressure from the internet, and therefore has lost power and changed its shape considerably. In the old days shape, acting as a watchdog of freedom, was how a media outlet secured its audience. The new shape does not secure its audience in this manner and therefore the media is not as successful at being a watchdog.

Government is changing, or at least attempting to, and no one is taking notice except for opposing factions of government. The average citizen is ill-informed and disinterested in the new shape of things. The courts, the last line of defense planned in our constitution, seem to be in the midst of their own power grab and might not be quite as helpful as we would like.

If you were looking for the last lines of this blogpost to contain answers then allow me to give two suggestions. First, pray hard. Second, hang on and be ready for a bumpy ride.

I can’t do any better than that because I can’t see what is going on behind the scenes any better than anyone else. (As detailed above.) However I do believe that God is in control of the situation. I am just waiting to see if He is using it to bring revival or judgement.