What If All The Politicians Are Dishonest?

This will be my last post on politics for awhile…unless the clamor for more from my five readers is deafening.

It is an accepted maxim these days that all politicians are dishonest, regardless of party affiliation. This may or may not be true. But let’s assume it is. Let’s assume that all politicians have trouble with the truth and therefore cannot be trusted. Let’s assume you know this but you still feel it is your constitutional right, privilege and responsibility to vote for one of these dishonest dealers.

How do you decide?
One commenter of mine said she had trouble voting for Republicans because they were liars, they were hypocritical but unlike the Democrats they use a lot of God talk. For this reason she says they bother her more. I am left to assume the things that bothers her the most is the God talk which is inconsistent with their lying and hypocrisy. 
There are a lot of things wrong with this kind of thinking but my first thought is, “Really, you identify the most with liars and hypocrites who do NOT talk about God? You don’t identify with the sinners who talk about God?” If there are two groups in front of me and both are full of liars and hypocrites but one of them uses ‘God talk’ and the other supposedly does not, I am going to look into the eyes of those who talk about God the most, jump up and down and say, “Oooo, pick me!” I know my own heart and with a shameless ease I can identify with liars and hypocrites who use “God talk.”
Peggy Noonan makes an excellent point also when talking about negative ads:

Now voters take for granted that politicians are no good, and such ads are just more polluted water going over the waterfall. The biggest long-term loser: liberalism. If all pols are sleazoid crooks, then why would people want to give them more governmental power to order our lives? The implicit message of two generations of negative ads: Vote conservative, limit the reach of the thieves.

I’m OK with confessing Christians voting differently than myself. But let’s do it for good reasons that flow from convictions which reject naive pride, understanding we are all made in the image of God and all have the same sin problem.

4 thoughts on “What If All The Politicians Are Dishonest?

  1. ed November 8, 2010 / 8:46 pm

    Me again. Too much time on my hands working for a company in bankruptcy…The God talk from politicians bothers me the same way that a preacher who is really a self-serving narcissist or a sham "Christian business opportunity" bothers me. They are using our faith to gain a degree of trust that they don't deserve, which they then exploit for their own gain. I much prefer working with other business people where there is no pretense regarding any higher values. They want good value for their money, and I want the same. We negotiate to hopefully arrive at a point where we are both satisfied. If he sticks me with a bad deal, that is perhaps the best I could do, or maybe he just beat me at the game. That is just good competition. In the realms where faith is wrapped in, it is hard to know what the real motives are. My faith is often appealed to in order to get a desired outcome or at the least lower my guard a bit to give them the benefit of the doubt. I then get burned or get thrown under the bus. (Sorry, happened a few times recently)So, yes, I prefer politicians who appeal to my reason and the specific things that I value rather than a broad appeal to my faith. I will vote for a person who most shares my values though they may not share my faith. I am afraid politicians and pundits who appeal to faith simply seem like they are pandering to a chosen crowd to manipulate them as they are more prone to leave reason and discernment at the door. To me, this is a great disservice to our faith and allows politics to inform our faith rather than our faith informing our politics. The last thing I want in a politician is someone who is willing to manipulate our faith and use it to their advantage. Do we want a thief or a thief who says they are a Christian and engenders support from believiers in office? For me, I want the thief who at least won't be giving Christianity a bad name in the process.

  2. Matt B. Redmond November 8, 2010 / 9:22 pm

    Ed,But this totally disrupts my tongue in cheek scenario. Your points assume the pols you agree with are not lying about their positions.

  3. C-Dub Collins November 10, 2010 / 10:32 pm

    I only vote for people who tell the truth.

  4. kristen November 11, 2010 / 6:43 pm

    Ed has said it better than I could. I actually do find that regarding what I care about, I line up better with liberals than conservatives. When I consider what's best overall, sometimes I find myself identifying with conservative principles but then I look at their track record in actually living those out, and it's abysmal. Republican governments spend spend spend, have budget deficits, etc. Then I get offended at the God talk, and it makes me even less likely to trust them. Their motives are so murky. A lot of democrats profess belief, they just don't talk about it in the same ways. I vote for individuals, all over the party spectrum, I just have a particular disdain for outright liars and hypocrites.

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