Friday, October 17, 2008

Why Do Politicians Want Us To Panic?

John Mark Reynolds explains why political candidates try to incite panic in the public. He also warns us to worry about things we can actually change.

When the public, and the candidates, begin to panic, we "should resolutely mind our own business in this crisis, act charitably toward neighbors in need, comfort the fearful, and resolutely vote against those who would use this crisis to expand their power. The temptation to respond to every trouble brought to our attention by the media is a snare and a delusion."

When we begin to worry about the world, we forget about the things in our sphere of influence. If you worry globally, you become inept locally. "I have students who panic about poverty in the Sudan, but who are disinterested in the poor of our hometown." Is there anything worse than ignoring those needy around you because you are interested in someone's needs you cannot help? If everyone helped those in their direct sphere of influence, wouldn't the global problems begin to wane?

"Our actual neighbor who wants and needs our help is our business, but our culture makes it easier to know the troubles of someone else’s neighbor (across the world), than our physical compatriot. If we are not careful our compassion will be drained by images of all the suffering of mankind in general to the point that we have nothing left to give the particular unemployed fellow in the apartment across the way."

But this kind of idea is contrary to what the candidates want you to think about. They want you to panic, they need you to vote for them. If you are panicking and looking across the nation, and the world, you will want "change" which is the platform both candidates are running on. Different types of change, but change nonetheless.

Reynolds continues, "Politicians generally think every election is the most important of our lifetime, because for them it is." This election is not necessarily more important for my day to day life than any other before it, but I do have a duty to vote my values and conscience for a candidate.

Hopefully, I will vote without fear or dread, but instead with my Christian worldview.

According to Reynolds, the traditional Christian votes "that government will protect our right to life, our absolute liberty to do good deeds, and our pursuit of happiness."

"Government cannot create real rights, such as life, goodness, or happiness, so most traditional Christians wish government to have a restricted role. We want government that defends God-given rights, not government that is god."

This standard makes both candidates seem like socialists, on the one hand we have a man who would (if he could) redistribute all wealth. On the other, the candidate wants to bail out companies responsible for the "recession" we are (and here is where we panic) inevitably in and will be in for years. They both want government which is too big for me.

But the choice is not hard. I will let Reynolds sum up:

"Only one team will protect innocent human life at all stages of development, and only one even pretends to limit the scope and power of government. Only one team lacks messianic pretense, so dangerous in this time. Both teams have promise, but only one has the humility to limit their promises."

"As a result, based on my hopes and not my fears, based on optimism and not anger, I will be voting for Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin."

Yes, I will be voting McCain, Palin!

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