Oct 252018 9 Responses

The Only Republican You Can Trust

Most of them are playing games. They are power-hungry, selfish, and simply in it for personal glory. They can’t be trusted. They will cloak their narcissism in whatever it takes to convince you they are sincere–faith, patriotism, family-values, nobility–but make no mistake, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Republicans can’t be trusted. Neither can Democrats. Include the Independents. The Libertarians aren’t saints either. I wouldn’t trust any of them. Anyone playing the political game should be doubted.

Anyone except one.

There is one type of person who you can trust–anyone who is willing to praise their opponent and criticize their allies. It’s the ultimate test of whether someone is playing a political game or if they are truly concerned with the welfare of our country and the furtherance of important ideas.

Most of what we see politically is a game. Lines have been drawn. Sides have been taken. The sole focus is to win. In order for us to win, the other side has to lose.

Playing the Political Game

Signs of the political game:

Justifying the actions of your political ally–“his affair wasn’t as heinous as someone else’s.”

Downplaying the good acts of a political opponent–“she’s just doing that for the photo op.”

Demonizing anyone who disagrees with you–“they don’t love America” or “they are evil.”

Idolizing those who agree with you–“they put America first.”

Allowing political differences to dictate relationships–“we can’t eat there, she’s a democrat/republican.”

Listening to only one media outlet and assuming all others are biased. (See: The Myth of Media Bias)

Each of these is a sign that we aren’t searching for the truth, honoring the humanity of others, and seeking a workable solution to a problem. They are each symptoms that we have been suckered into a political game which divides, distracts, and destroys. The only winners of political games are those in power.

As long as we are playing political games, we can’t be trusted. Participants in the game honor winning over wisdom, victories over virtues. Never trust someone who is selling their soul for temporary success.

Instead, we should seek voices and leaders who are giving up the political game.

Rejecting the Political Game

Signs of someone not playing the game of politics:

Someone who protects the dignity of their political opponents. They will let you disagree with others but won’t let you degrade them.

Someone who works hard to seek to understand others. In most cases, hate is a sign of our misunderstanding, not their misconceptions. Oftentimes, we hate those we don’t understand.

Someone who plays fair. They don’t twist the words of others or cut sound bites to make someone sound foolish or evil.

Someone who can applaud their opponent as easily as their ally and criticize their ally as easily as they do their opponent.

Someone who changes their mind (not just for political convenience) and explains why they’ve come to a different conclusion. (See: Jesus Isn’t as Conservative or Liberal as You Think)

This is the person you can trust. It’s the person you want teaching Sunday School, influencing your vote, leading your organization, and running for political office. It’s the person you want to be married to, friends with, and work for.

Everyone else is playing a game. Everyone else has the potential of dehumanizing you for political game, devaluing you in order to make themselves feel better, and denying your voice just so they won’t have to contemplate a different view.

There is only one Republican/Democrat you can trust. There is only one person we should be.

A Better Way

Our times are not unique. Political dishonesty and personal incivility has always been a problem. It is a byproduct of human nature. The only difference is that today’s divisiveness is played out beyond just the beauty shop or front porch. It’s posted on social media–everyone’s personal megaphone. Some say social media is the problem; it’s not. The problem is we’ve turned democracy into a game. We exchanged an honest debate of ideas in search of the best solution into a winner-take-all battle. It’s time to give up the game.

So:

The next time someone blasts a lie about your political opponent, call them out.

When a friend says something that is unfair, challenge them to a better way.

When you are tempted to take a cheap shot, don’t.

Intentionally seek common ground with someone you disagree with.

When you feel hate rising for someone, recognize the feeling as a sign you probably haven’t fully understood their perspective. (See: We’ve Never Needed More Grace)

Choose to end the game of politics so that we can engage in the useful practice of political thought, debate, and progress.

There is only one person of your political persuasion we can trust. Are you that person?

(Note: The headline is a test. It could just as easily read “The Only Democrat You Can Trust.” With a primarily Republican audience, I chose this title for a reason. Irritation over the headline probably shows someone is playing the political game rather than considering an idea and allowing it to confront their ideas.)

9 Responses to The Only Republican You Can Trust
  1. Wendy Wood Reply

    How refreshing it is to open my mail and read such good wisdom ( The only Republican you can trust)
    After having court , I have experienced a level that I am astonished by , court processing fraudulent document and allowing a continuation ( I was in front of ‘
    one who cuts sound bites to make sound foolish…’) The Magesrate!
    After the hearing, I have been through complaints procedures with attorney generals office to seek understanding and a fair course of justice

    I read your advise and felt at peace knowing that I had been in a situation that you described and feel understood 🙂
    I learnt , that the person who miss understands me, or miss represents does not have to be the person to understand . That others who know what and where denial of understanding is, is all I need to be satisfied and confident
    Thank you , from down under 🙂

  2. Mark Reply

    Another clue of political gamesmanship: declaring the candidates declarations they are Christian and proud believer in their party leaders policies.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I agree. Whomever shouts their faith the loudest should probably be trusted the least.

  3. Donald Dickey Reply

    Great article, but perhaps the title should have been: “NO POLITICIAN CAN YOU TRUST !”

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I don’t doubt it. Problem is no one would’ve read it. I had to lure you in. ha ha.

  4. Ashley Reply

    This post is ! (I hope you can see my emojis) I shared on Facebook. Waiting to see how many “friends” I lose!

  5. Lori Reply

    Kevin, thanks so much for speaking up and encouraging us all to deal with our heart issues.

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