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A few weeks back I was part of a friendly argument while partaking of some good food and cold beer. The argument was political – which around here means the argument was religious. Living in smack dab in the middle of Republican country means that most “thinking” people in the community vote democrat. George W. Bush? The enemy. The Republican party? A bunch of cold hearted, greedy, warmongers. So when a friend suggested that the Republicans are much more nasty and corrupt than the Democrats I couldn’t hold back. Look, I’m no Republican – I voted for President Obama in 2008 and Ralph Nader the two elections before. Let’s just say I’m sadly disappointed. Gittmo? Still open. The war in Afghanistan? Still happening. Drone attacks? They’ve increased during the Obama presidency. And are we really going to pretend that one party has the “in” with millionaires and billionaires, while the other represents the poor and working class? Right… George Clooney (smug alert) represents the experience of the working class. Wait, you say, what about health care? It’s a human right – and now we have health care reform. Do we? I might be way off but it seems this new health care policy isn’t really about “health care” – it’s about insurance. It does nothing to curb the cost of health care, it does everything to make sure everybody has insurance. I wonder… do you think there will be any insurance executives giving money to the Obama campaign?
So what’s my problem you say? My problem: Where’s the outrage? Where’s the protest? Where’s the same condemnation that was constantly being thrown at George W. Bush? There is this strange silence from the same segment of the Christian community that thought Bush was the anti-christ. Oh some will tell you they’re disappointed – but only in a whisper. A Christian engagement of politics, it seems to me, should be less concerned about party affiliation or the charisma of the person in office, and more concerned about the actual issues. The Christian community was right to question the foreign policy of the Bush administration, but it should also then question the foreign policy of the Obama administration. The Christian community is right to challenge the influence of money and corporate power in political elections, but then let’s not pick and choose which money or which corporate power.
I know, I know… there’s no perfect candidate. Politics is a messy process. Fine – but then let’s stop pretending that one party has cornered the market on corruption. Let’s be equal opportunity protesters. Let’s vote for a candidate and then hold that candidate, as much as we can, responsible for the decisions they make. Romney or Obama? How about we all try to make a well informed decision, and then hold them accountable for the policies they enact. It’s just too bad Nader isn’t running again.