Public service, popular culture, and partisanship

Think for Yourself


I have a suggestion for all the political pundits out there. Tell us what you or your party stands for, and quit trying to tell us how bad the other guys are. My friend, Troy Smith, has used his last two articles to tell you how bad the Republican Party and Donald Trump are. When you say that somebody only wants an office for their benefit, check the financials of your party members for comparison. I guess service only counts for the right service in the right cause.  

Troy mentioned how Republicans have become the party “of selfishness, ego, and vanity. They never encourage you to help people - only to jealously guard your own benefit. They barely even give lip service anymore to Jesus and all the things he said were important.” I think he sometimes forgets how many of his neighbors consider themselves Republicans. He must be ignorant of the fact that the vast majority of the enlisted ranks of the military and veterans consider themselves Republican. According to the Pew Research Center, 82% of Republicans claim to be Christians, 65% of Independents claim to be Christians, and only 63% of Democrats claim to be Christians. Claiming to be Christian doesn’t prove anything, but 37% of Democrats proudly say they are not Christian.

I have made it significantly plain that I dislike Donald Trump, and I will not vote for him before the General Election. If I must choose between Joe Biden or Donald Trump, I will vote for Trump. Democratic pundits mainly campaign to stop MAGA Trump Republicans. The few who try to tout Democratic accomplishments strain credibility by stating isolated statistics and telling the American people they don’t understand how good everything is.

The Republicans aren’t much better. You see, I am not a pundit for either party. The difference between Troy and me is that I am offended by and recognize disgusting behavior regardless of party affiliation. Right and wrong are not dependent on party affiliation. Public service is not monopolized by either party, and both abuse it. Many people look at “so-called public servants” and want no part of the obscenities they witness.

Should we be surprised by a lack of public service? It isn’t worth our time if it doesn’t create popularity and garner attention. Don’t just look at recent inspirational figures; look at what they did to inspire and what they inspired. We have a culture that worships popularity because it is popular. We have an entire society focused on polls, likes, and clicks. If Jesus returned today, we would discuss how many Twitter followers He has or how many views His latest miracle has on YouTube. The cult of personality would completely drown out his message.

Despite how much people say they dislike it, negativity gets attention. It is much easier to make the population afraid of the other guys than to inspire them. It is easier to tell voters what is wrong than to explain how to fix things. I prefer it when Troy describes what he believes. We can have a productive discussion because he knows what he thinks. It is a very different discussion when he tells you or me what we believe.

I hate generalizations, labels, and stereotypes. I never want to throw the baby out with the bath water. The Bible says to judge a tree by the fruit it bears. I look at the fruits of both political parties and want to burn the orchard down. I look at how bloated and rotten our federal government has become and want to burn the orchard down. I look at popular culture today and reach for my lighter. I don’t disagree with Troy because he is wrong in his criticisms of Republicans and Trump. I disagree with Troy because his partisan eyes refuse to notice anything else. This is why I always end with “think for yourself.”  


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