Would it be a good idea to try to have a third major political party in the United States? After all, the Democrats have become so left-wing that they seem to be aliens from another planet, and the Republicans don’t seem to stand for anything much except perhaps for making war on foreigners. Ordinary people don’t seem to have good choices when it comes to national elections.
While I am a fan of neither the Democrats nor the Republicans, I think organizing a semi-sane national third party would be an almost impossible task. My recommendation is instead that semi-sane people who are interested in politics begin thinking locally.
Why not dozens or hundreds of local parties? Why not principled people who run as independents? Why not principled people who run as Republicans or Democrats?
One of our major problems is that we don’t really know what we believe in. As an American people, as a partially Christian people, as a partially conservative people, what do we believe in?
In small government? Really? Then why do we tax our friends and neighbors and enemies to pay for the education of our children? Why do we warn politicians to keep their hands off “our” Social Security and “our” Medicare?
No, we are a confused people, and we seem to become more confused as the years unfold.
Do we want a semi-sane government we can respect? Many of us don’t, and those of us who do are far from sure what a semi-sane government would look like.
Our situation reminds me of that of the lost travelers who stopped at the home of the country bumpkin, asking for directions to their desired location, only to be told, “You can’t get there from here.”
It doesn’t seem like we can get to semi-sane government from here.
We need to face hard facts.
First of all, there is no political solution to our problem. That is because our problem is not fundamentally political. Our problem is fundamentally theological. We have a flawed brand of Christianity. I do not mean primarily that theological liberalism has caused us to think in wretched ways. It is certainly true that theological liberalism is causing us a lot of problems in terms of our ability to think. But the problem is far, far worse than that. The deeper problem is that our supposedly conservative, supposedly Bible-believing Christianity is simply not very biblical. We are part of the problem rather than a brightly shining beacon in a dark world.
If we hope to see a change for the better politically, first of all we Bible-believing Christians are going to have to stretch ourselves intellectually and morally, and to accept responsibility for what has happened. If we don’t do so, things are likely only to get worse.
I’ve said it several times in recent months, but I’ll say it again: in my opinion there are large reserves of goodness in our Christian people. I think we have very high potential for good. But to reach that potential we are going to have to be more honest with ourselves.
I don’t see that we are ready for that honesty yet, but maybe God will continue to give us more time.
Long-term, I hope to see the break-up of the United States. As Leopold Kohr showed us in The Breakdown of Nations, large nations almost automatically turn to doing evil things. The United States has proved to be no exception to this rule. We are a hog on ice. We need to break up into many constituent nations–into dozens or even hundreds of small nations. (Why not thousands, ultimately?)
Most Americans are used to thinking of the U.S. as a mighty force for good in the world. This is a delusion. We need to start thinking with moral honesty about ourselves.
The break-up of the United States seems unlikely to most people right now, but it may be much closer than we realize. The U.S.S.R. seemed unlikely to break up, to most people–until suddenly it was gone. It was bankrupt financially. It was bankrupt morally long before.
Our situation is similar. We too are bankrupt morally. Financially we are bankrupt but don’t realize it yet. When we realize it–when the welfare checks no longer buy anything–at that point the break-up of the U.S. may become possible.
Meanwhile, God keeps on giving us more time before the collapse or dissolution or reorganization of the U.S. Great! It is wonderful that He is giving us more time. He is giving us time to think about what we want our country (a small part of the ex-U.S.) to look like. He is giving us time to think theoretically. He is giving us time to decide what we believe, and how we think our new, small nation should be organized politically.
It really is unlikely that the nation as a whole can be salvaged. We really “can’t get there from here.” Remember, 65,853,514 million people voted for Hillary Clinton. These were adults. It wasn’t just poor people or uneducated people. Most of our educated, wealthy, powerful elite voted for Mrs. Clinton.
A country so far gone that 65,853,514 people vote for Hillary Clinton can not be salvaged.
Meanwhile, I think it would be wonderful if articulate, principled Christians who are in favor of semi-sane government would run for office. Start your own local political party, or run as an independent. Or even run as a Democrat or Republican–as long as you make it clear to the leaders of those parties that you will run strictly on your own principles and not on the assumed principles of either national party. An anti-abortion Democrat running for local office? Wonderful! Why not?
Run, get trounced, or now and then win, but gird up your loins beforehand. Anyone striving for semi-sanity is going to have to say things that offend a lot of people. You are going to have to be ready to be hated. That is not easy to do. You will need great moral courage. Whether you win, or lose badly, if you speak the truth you will be helping your neighbors. Most people don’t get to hear much truth. You will be giving people something that they need to hear.
Maybe the lack of moral courage is why we conservative Christians have been willing to sit back and let other people run our nation. Moral courage is hard to come by. I think it can be developed, but it is not something we have automatically.
There are no easy answers to our immense problems as a nation. It took us a long time to get in this mess, and it is going to take a long time to get out of it.
Meanwhile, I hope there will be no efforts to organize a national third party. I hope Christians will begin to act locally. Your local town and your local county are a great place to start trying to institute reform. (Of course keep in mind that reform in your local church and in your own Christian thinking and acting are even far more central.)
God keeps giving us more time! We are going to be given lots of time, apparently, one way or another. God is not going to rapture us out of our problems. He wants us to think His thoughts after Him. If we do that, we might accomplish more good than we currently expect.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn did not give in to the evil of the Soviet Union. He did his courageous best as a novelist/historian. (He discussed political issues, but he worked as a writer rather than as a politician.) He outlived the Soviet Union by over 16 years.
God asks of us our courageous best. If we do that, I predict that He will find a way to bless us.