2012 is going to be, if nothing else, an interesting year to follow politics. There are lots of burning questions, will Obama get reelected or will the Republicans figure out how to win? Who will emerge as the Republican nominee to challenge Obama? If it isn’t Ron Paul, will he decide run as an independent? Then there are all the political commentators and pundits. I am not sure what exactly makes them experts in the first place, but they are kind of fun to watch. I especially like the experts who talk first and think second. Jon Stewart will keep most of the under 35 crowd laughing and cynical through this entire election cycle.
It is easy to become apathetic towards the democratic process and wish for something different or someone different to lead us. Sir Winston Churchill famously said, “Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
Looking to scripture for a preferred system of politics is not terribly helpful. At best scripture warns against trusting the powers of this world, which would include democratically elected leaders. That said, democracy, in its purest form, grounds itself in equality, preserving the rights of even the weakest members of society and the seeking the welfare of all. These ideas seem Christian.
In addition democracies, at a philosophical level, are committed to non-violence. Change occurs through voting, not military coups. Influence finds its expression in the legislative debate process not in street brawls. Differences can be openly expressed in the media, public debates and non-violent protest rather than through warfare.
Is our system perfect? Is it God ordained? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding no. Our system is the best option in an imperfect world.
Don’t forget to vote and don’t forget to enjoy the process!