With a sigh, I begin the laborious task of writing yet another political commentary from the desk of a Children’s Minister. So we’re all thinking, me included, “Why?” Well, I’ve actually been keeping up lately as to what’s been going on using several different sources – and all of them usually leave me shaking my head in disbelief.
So the first reason Election years are challenging is the utter dissension they cause. Normally I can scroll through Facebook or Twitter and only see one or two mildly offensive or one-sided political opinion statements or articles. This year, I am not looking forward to the absolute flood of user and officially generated propaganda that will inevitably find its way into my line of vision. So far, the choice to drop cable was a good one, since I haven’t seen a political ad yet! On the other hand, family discussions and keeping a straight face around certain groups of people will begin to get difficult.
Secondly, the effect on kids is unreal. Have you ever heard a child endorse or disrespect a political candidate? Some think it’s cute, but I find it mildly disturbing. The bit that makes me grind my teeth a little is children generally repeat what they’ve heard their parents say – which makes me wonder how much more their parents say about other people. Seriously, though, we should really consider the language we use to speak about other people, whether they’re political candidates or not. As a Children’s Minister, I get to hear lots of stories from volunteers and from kids themselves of what gets said and done at home – and some of it is not flattering.
Thirdly, it’s just difficult to choose. The lack of integrity in politics should be alarming to most of us – on both sides, don’t think your side is immune. When we’ve allowed a system of election that is based mostly on false over-promising with inevitable under-delivery, there’s little room for us to complain when the campaigns get so out-of-hand. I have heard some downright appalling statements and language from both sides that has made me more than once pray fervently, “Lord, come quickly, preferably before November, if possible.”
The result of the Iowa caucus is pointing out who might possibly be the two main contenders for the Presidency. Regardless of your leanings, set an example for your kids in how you speak about candidates, how you pray about your choice, and in the way you explain the reason you vote the way you do.