Politics: Futile to the end

By Kyle Williams

Elections come and go. Republicans are elected and Democrats are elected. Political figures rise in popularity and fall to the ground in the midst of scandal. The economy changes, technology advances, politics changes, and the living conditions change. Crooks succeed and they fail, and honest men succeed and fail.

The founders of this nation succeeded in their lifetime and the next generations did well. Yet, as America grew, each generation has had its own priorities. Thus, America has become a nation completely different than the vision that was cast at its beginning. Does this mean the founders failed in their creation? Of course not, but this evolution shows generation after generation disagreeing with their forefathers.

Because of this failure to live up the standards of American ideals, our nation has decayed fiscally and morally. Thus, with allegiance to these original ideals, modern-day conservatives attempt to re-create the original America. They have sincere motives: God-given rights and a better life for themselves and their posterity. Liberals have sincere motives for their ideas as well: better living conditions for all.

Yet, it’s all vanity. Nothing will last. What took a lifetime to accomplish in this generation will be undone quickly in the next. This truth almost makes politics completely futile, considering most major changes in government aren’t felt until years later.

While politics seems to have a foundation of meaning when taking into account all the principles, morals and laws involved, it lacks real purpose because of its futility. Due to sensationalism, entertainment, the uninformed public and amount of cash flowing in political circles, influence is hard to come by. Moreover, if influence can be obtained, it has no real meaning in the face of eternity.

All gloom and doom with no solutions, this column appears, but what I am clearly identifying is our sure future of fatality. Is there a solution to death? You can’t beat it, but can merely ignore it or accept it. If we obsess over government and its politics, then we foolishly ignore death. If we accept certain death, we find ourselves at peace, holding no stock in politics and its futility.

So, when one realizes that government policy isn’t the most important thing in the world, people become valued over ideas. This is a shift in thinking and a shift in priorities. Culture, society and its thinking means something because it has to do with people. The focus then becomes influencing people and the conscience of the nation. This isn’t futile because people are eternal – government policy isn’t.

This shift needs to take place within the Christian conservative community. This group of people needs to forget about the glamour of national politics, the comfort of the church, and become relevant in culture and communities. This Christian community needs to leave the comfort of its own subculture and become influential in American culture.

If this is done, the conscience of our nation will change. This moral change in America will reach every part of our nation, including politics. One of our mistakes is in our ungodly obsession with taking control of government. Jesus didn’t have to die so we could save our republic.

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon pretty much concludes that everything is worthless apart from God. Eugene Peterson paraphrases:

Smoke, nothing but smoke … There’s nothing to anything – it’s all smoke. What’s there to show for a lifetime of work, a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone? One generation goes its way, the next one arrives, but nothing changes – it’s business as usual for old planet earth.

The sun comes up and the sun goes down, then does it again, and again – the same old round. The wind blows south, the wind blows north. Around and around and around it blows, blowing this way, then that – the whirling, erratic wind. All the rivers flow into the sea, but the sea never fills up. The rivers keep flowing to the same old place, and then start all over and do it again. …What was will be again, what happened will happen again. There’s nothing new on this earth. Year after year it’s the same old thing.

Does someone call out, “Hey, this is new”? Don’t get excited – it’s the same old story. Nobody remembers what happened yesterday. And the things that will happen tomorrow? Nobody’ll remember them either. Don’t count on being remembered.