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Politics From the Inside Out

September 29, 2017

I think of traditional politicians as political mechanics. And some of them are very good ones too. But the problem is that society is not a machine, with parts that can just be tinkered with to make things right. Tinkering with a bill here, tinkering with another kind of legislation there — these are all external remedies, but our biggest problems are not external. External problems are just symptoms, and just treating the symptom doesn’t treat the disease.

Jobs, for instance….Politicians keep saying that people want jobs. Well of course they do. But that’s just the problem that shows on the outside. What people are living with, in their hearts, late at night when they live with little but their own thoughts, is a level of chronic economic despair that simply getting a job doesn’t totally stave off. Economic despair isn’t due only to the fact that someone doesn’t have a job. Even when you have a job, so little feels secure today. The fear is still with you, whether it’s a fear of not having a job or fear that you’re going to lose the one you have.. It’s due to the fact that someone doesn’t have health care, and doesn’t know what they would do if they got sick. It’s due to the fact that someone doesn’t know how they will pay for their kids to go to college, or how they themselves will pay off their college loans. It’s due to the fact that huge conglomerates and billionaires seem to hold all the power today, power even over our government, so that more and more the average person feels squeezed out of the mainstream and into a pool of ultimate insignificance. And this makes people unhappy; how could it not? Unhappy people grow weary, and weary people are too tired to fight off the accumulated assaults on both body and soul that are with us all the time today.

That’s not something a mechanic can fix. Our political mechanics are part of a system that has brought us to where we are today. Given the state of the world, I don’t see how anyone totally adept at our political system has too much to brag about. We need more than political car mechanics in Washington. What we need is a new car, and what we need more than anything else is a deeper understanding of the people who are in it.

We need a politics from the inside out. You can’t change anything only by changing things on the outside… Not a business, not a relationship, not an organization, not a life. Only temporary change can happen that way. What we need now is a renewed conversation about what it means to be human, in our politics as much as everywhere else. That’s what our Founders were talking about. How we are created equal. How we have inalienable rights, not just because we are entitled brats who want what we want but because we are given those rights by God. How it is the natural state of humanity to be free of tyranny, political or economic or any other kind. How to establish a society that honors those things. We have strayed from the important existential questions of life, and that is why our politics are sick. They do not speak either to our depths or from our depths. They are shallow and selfish and greedy and corrupted. They do not display the purity of heart that is the truth of who we are as people. Until that changes, our country will continue on a perilous course. But when that changes, we will begin to heal in the twinkling of an eye.

  • Stephen Cox

    BS! What has brought this country to it’s socio economic distress of today is Barack Obamas 8 years with other Democrats NOT FOLLOWING the perfect infrastructure our founding fathers instituted! Obama’s job plan was 2 part time jobs for every full time job he eliminated along with every other unconstitutional swipe of his pen all designed to eliminate the middle class in America!!! Which by the way is the perfect model of a totalitarian society! Only a free country has middle class, this is the life blood of a free economy. The predictable stability of a free market (which we currently do not have) is impossible to predict with any certainess with the mass illegal immigration of large groups of people from different age groups!!!
    What is necessary RIGHT NOW is getting the federal government OUT OF EVERYTHING, especially health care and allow what a truly”free market” market does which is auto correct itself! Something socialists cannot comprehend and fear the most… a people, a country of citizens in complete control of their destinies where everyone has equal rights but not everyone will equally succeed. Those that excel can do so without being punished and every federal program, any help that has ever been needed by anyone suffering any kind of calamity was always available without worry BEFORE the government took these types of social issues away from the states and their local societies!!! Basically taking home grown humanitarian aid and turning them into entitlement programs which are nothing more than incentive traps to make people NOT WANT TO WORK, BETTER THEMSELVES…S-U-C-C-E-E-D!!!!
    No matter how you dress up you’re nice little article above with such daring, caring rattle trap BS, remember, the only problems this country has/will suffer are “GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS” which ALWAYS fail compared to home grown humanitarianism and the free market!!!!

  • Marianne Williamson

    This is the part I don’t understand, Stephen. Why do you have to say “BS”? What do you have to say “nice little article … with such daring, caring rattle trap BS”? Why can’t you simply say that you disagree, and let us have an honorable debate? Do any of us really have a monopoly on the truth? Do you really think those who see things differently than you do are the enemy or something, with nothing to add to the conversation? That, to me, is the enemy among us: the complete intolerance of those with who we might otherwise have an honorable debate.

  • ComesATime

    Oh yeah, I remember when healthcare was a free market. My husbands insurance bill was over $800. Per month due to polyps in nasal cavity, and they recurred. We cancelled, knowing we could find a better rate. Guess what? Pre-existing condition!

    I cannot imagine in what world you think a profit oriented company will always put the public welfare first, if it comes at the expense of profit. Of course they should be profitable. Don’t call me a communist! But companies, lacking oversight, have been known to do such things as adding cancer-causing chemicals to our food, pollute our waters etc. This “auto correct” seems much like that “trickle down” myth.

  • Chrissy Scavezze

    Amen!

  • Timesnlatte

    They worship at the altar of the free market. It’s a fundamentalism just like religious fundamentalism – when someone declares the answer to be unquestionable and twists the evidence to fit it. The inability to admit your belief might be wrong precludes any ability to reasonably discuss anything with someone with an opposing viewpoint. It’s very sad.

  • bruce

    I think that you can turn those comments on yourself. the free market is proven time and again. we are very far away from that now – too much crony capitalism and bureaucratic regulations. government is powerful, it grants favors and access IF you play their way. We are all here to live and learn, small government makes us depend on interactions with each other rather than beg for favors taken from others and doled out by big government. We find God in our hearts when we care and do for each other voluntarily.

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