Faith in Politics

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

August 22, 2008


Categories: The Balancing Act

Seal of the President of the United States

Image via Wikipedia

The last several political elections have been interesting. There has been a deeper divide between urban and rural interests, and there seems to be overarching dissatisfaction with the politicians who are running to represent our interests. A discussion with a friend last night led to the idea that there is no faith left in politics. The overwhelming feeling is that we have no hope left in the way the system currently runs. The thought that we have no power and that we are powerless seems to be seen throughout. The idea that either candidate is the only choice, but neither mainstream candidate truly represents our interest, but I will do my civic duty and vote anyway, so I might as well pick one winning team over the other. Because many of the issues that may be dear to us are not represented, many find themselves voting on one issue like abortion or the environment. Obama, for example, appears to represent the environment ‘better’ than McCain. McCain on the other hand, seems to represent the ‘Right to Lifers’ better than Obama. So, if you have someone who cares deeply about the environment, yet they are adamant that abortion is unethical, s/he will most likely vote for McCain.

The question posed in our conversation was centered around the idea that the political parties have molded their platforms every few decades. Compare, for example, the Republican Party of Lincoln versus the Republican Party of Reagan or that of today. We have a very different platform and set of beliefs that reign. Nixon remains to date our most environmental president, for example. Yet, which party currently claims to have more environmental interests? Not the Republican Party. For that matter, neither does the Democratic Party. If we were to truly vote for the environment, for example, the Green Party should probably be the first on the list. Yet, which parties receive attention from the media? Not the Green Party. Obviously, our system is set up that winner takes all, and in such a system it is much easier to focus on two parties to duke it out. But, what does that do to our interests, our boundaries?

Individually, we sometimes have a lot of growing up to do when we fail to say no. We need to continue to grow up when we fail to exchange in dialogues that allow us to grow. The same can be said when considering how we function as a society. When we allow, for example, someone to represent us without correcting them when they get it wrong, we are allowing them to step into our boundaries in an unwelcome fashion. Why do we lose courage when it comes to the laws that govern our lives? Why do we lose faith that we can actually make a difference? I hope this little blog in the great big universe of the Internet could serve as one voice of many who begin to cry out louder for much needed change.

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