Thursday, August 28, 2008

The True Division of Politics

While I watched the news on Tuesday evening, I was reminded why over time I’ve lost interest in following the political process in North America. ABC News ran a story during the Democratic National Convention this week revealing that while Sen. Hillary Clinton has been praising Barack Obama for knowing "the government must be about we the people, not we the favored few" – at the same time a “favored few” of big money Democratic donors were being treated to an open bar and food in silver chafing dishes while delegates outside the closed curtain of the sky box stood in line for $7 hot dogs because they were not permitted to bring food to their seats on the convention floor.

To read the full story – Click here.
To watch a video on this – Click here.

I do recognize that this is not an issue exclusive to the Democratic party since Republicans run a similar program for their top donors. What is hard to take is the stark contrast between the rhetoric and the reality – between what political parties say and what they really do. Jesus said: "You will recognize them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:20). It’s no wonder that the people of the United States of America are no longer truly united.

In a recent article Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal gave great insight into this dichotomy when she wrote:

Democrats in the end speak most of, and seem to hold the most sympathy for, the beset-upon single mother without medical coverage for her children, and the soldier back from the war who needs more help with post-traumatic stress disorder. They express the most sympathy for the needy, the yearning, the marginalized and unwell. For those, in short, who need more help from the government, meaning from the government's treasury, meaning the money got from taxpayers. Who happen, also, to be a generally beset-upon group.

Democrats show little expressed sympathy for those who work to make the money the government taxes to help the beset-upon mother and the soldier and the kids. They express little sympathy for the middle-aged woman who owns a small dry cleaner and employs six people and is, actually, day to day, stressed and depressed from the burden of state, local and federal taxes, and regulations, and lawsuits, and meetings with the accountant, and complaints as to insufficient or incorrect efforts to meet guidelines regarding various employee/employer rules and regulations. At Republican conventions they express sympathy for this woman, as they do for those who are entrepreneurial, who start businesses and create jobs and build things. Republicans have, that is, sympathy for taxpayers. But they don't dwell all that much, or show much expressed sympathy for, the sick mother with the uninsured kids, and the soldier with the shot nerves.

Neither party ever gets it quite right, the balance between the taxed and the needy, the suffering of one sort and the suffering of another. You might say that in this both parties are equally cold and equally warm, only to two different classes of citizens.

“When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just." (Luke 14:12-14)

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