Our Political System Is Broken

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Our political system is broken (and it’s not in how you think)! 
 
The brokenness has little to nothing to do with voter fraud, rigged elections, media bias, or all of the other things that were made a point of emphasis this election season.
 
It isn’t really about who was elected President. I think that the candidate that was elected is only different in the particulars, but not really in the expanse of lack of character.
 
It isn’t really about who the two leading parties set forth as their representative candidates (though that is part of the fall out) because the problem isn’t so much the election system as the politics which is getting played between the elections. 
 
I think that the real brokenness in the political system is us. We have traded away our birthright as American citizens for a bowl of stew (see Genesis 25:29-34).
 
We haven’t risen to the level of character that is implied in the words of the John Adams: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Rather, than rising in character, we have gotten down in the mud.
 
Today, we may look at this as a Republican problem. It is being said, “It is those non-college educated, white, male Republicans who saddled us with a misogynistic, racially prejudice, blabber mouth with a streak of vindictiveness and cruelty as President for the next four years.” Whether or not all of the things that have been said about Trump are true or not, enough is true that it has mobilized the most unsavory segments of American society.
 
However, to have such a limited perspective, we fail to adequately address two other groups of people:
 
1) Those who voted for a woman whose pro-abortion/anti-religious agenda would have made abortion without any room for conscience the mandate of the nation, and would have forced those who disagree to join her in the sin, not to mention her long history of checkered moral and ethical compromises;
 
2) Those who opted for either Trump or Clinton out of expediency of keeping the other from being elected — in effect making them an accomplice in the moral depravity of their candidate by essentially showing that such moral faults are no longer that big of a deal. We will look past them if it fits our agenda.
 
On both sides, we have been too willing to trade character for a promise of our cut from the American dream, or American made in our image. Happiness has become our idol, and the hell to anyone who impedes our dream of that self-indulgence because it is all about us.
 
Meanwhile, we turn away from a large segment of broken American.
 
We learned from this election that numerous segments of our society are feeling left out, disenfranchised, and without hope. It was this large segment of broken America that cried out to be heard in their vote for Trump (I don’t buy the argument that most of the people who voted for him are racist or misogynist). It was the same dynamic as in 2008 with many who voted for the promise of hope with Obama.
 
Some were willing to roll the dice on Clinton. Others voted as if the entire system needed blown up so they voted for Trump.
 
How did this happen? Because our political system has been so entrenched in polarizing society that they have forgotten the people who make up the society. Those that don’t fall in the extremes have been allowed to fall through the cracks by the political elite and the political extremists. Meanwhile, their party advocates cheer them on.
 
We need to stop the selfishness, and open our eyes to the hurting people around us. We need to make the first steps to healing the alienation of large swaths of society. We need to be agents of reconciliation and redemption instead of demeaning devices of divisiveness. A good start would be a simple return to civility, talking to and listening to others as if they have feelings, and not as foes to be vanquished.
 
How can we heal the brokenness? We need to stop shouting at one another over the cries of those who are hurting. Stop shouting and take time to listen. Listen to the blacks fearful of police. Listen to the mothers who are afraid of sending their children outdoors. Listen to the chronically unemployed and underemployed that have to make a choice between taking a low-wage job that will cost them benefits, or continue to suffer the soul sapping humiliation of reliance on government hand outs. Listen to those amassing incredible debt paying for college to get a job which may not put them in a place to payoff those loans. Listen to those given a series of promises about health insurance which have amounted to nothing more than paper dreams. Listen to the children attending failing schools which are failing them. Listen to the midwest farmer that has been left behind.
 
We need to work toward a system that doesn’t force us to choose from extremes, right or left. We need our government representatives to stop with the partisanship, and start mutually working toward solutions that effectively provide assistance to those who are angry and disillusioned.
 
We need to reclaim the grace, selflessness and love that many in this country had been known for before we abandoned our deep Christian moorings that allowed us to love others as ourselves.
 
I don’t think, though, that we will ever experience that healing and happiness that we crave until we also rediscover the one who makes such healing and joy possible.
 
— Pastor Steve