In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.Judges 21:25
So here’s an interesting thought. Despite all the noise, the anger, the social media back and forth, the threats of violence, the rallies, the “stop the steal” nonsense, and all this hype about “protecting my freedom…,” very few Americans have any real interest in politics.
Why do I say this? Because if anyone is honestly interested in substantive change and making a positive difference, then they would be active in supporting their local community, they would routinely help their neighbors in need, and they would show up and vote in the local elections – because “local” turns out to be where things that actually make a day-to-day difference happen.
Surely not 20%????
I don’t know what it was like where you live, but here in Wake Forest 20% of registered voters turned out for yesterday’s contest. That’s 20% of registered voters, before counting those people who don’t even bother getting their name on the roles.
Local politics is where the rubber meets the road. Getting angry on Facebook about vaccinations, making threats to volunteer election workers, cursing out an airline employee over mask policy, or getting upset at a school teacher are not examples of political action; these behaviors are evidence of rudeness, ignorance, bullying, and limited social skills.
If you honestly want to find your voice in terms of effecting change then participate in local politics! The strength of the United States of America is found in our amazing constitution, in listening to one-another, in productive compromise, in community ownership, in a hands-on approach to democracy.
How can anyone possibly complain that “nobody is listening to us” when they don’t even show up to participate?
So people hitch their wagon to some national personality, refuse to engage in productive conversation, allow themselves to be caught up in drama based on hot-button issues, abandon the fundamental framework of the country they proclaim to love, and accuse “Big Government” of tyranny while ignoring their civic responsibilities and opting out of the opportunity to effect real change!
Too many people – intellectually lazy and easily led – are skipping the real work of civic commitment in favor of emotion and bluster and noise. That’s not politics, it’s demagoguery – and we all know where that path ultimately leads.
This is America, and we must be – we are – better than that – DEREK