Monday, September 10, 2012

Rattling, and Rattling, and Rattling!

I don't know about you, but watching the Republican and Democratic National Conventions almost killed me this year.

Maybe it wasn't just the Conventions. I'm pretty sure listening to all the talking heads telling us what was said, how it was said, what was meant, what was not meant, and what was really said no matter what was said got to me. If your head isn't spinning by reading that last sentence, good for you!

As a former radio news director, anchor, reporter, announcer etc, I have followed politics for a long time. When I was still active in the business, I really did do my best to be fair and balanced long before Fox News ever came up with that branding idea. It's how I was trained.

When I left secular radio and went into Christian broadcasting, I had a little more editorial freedom, but editorials are precisely where my opinions stayed. In my actual news broadcasts, I stuck to the way I was trained—give both sides equal say, and let the listeners make up their own minds.

Now that I am no longer earning a living in the field, I feel I can now be as partisan and opinionated as I like. But that doesn't mean I want to be purposely unfair, misleading, or ugly in expressing my views. That would, of course, be counter to what I believe as a Christian. Do I reflect my heart's desire perfectly? No. I often fail and fall short of Christian civility. I'm working on it.

Anyway, as I said earlier, I've followed the political world for a long time. I don't believe I have ever seen a campaign filled with this level of anger and vitriol. Despite official calls for "civility," the ones doing the loudest braying over civility are the ones showing the most hostility. It really is getting tiresome. Crosby, Stills and Nash (political opposites of me) actually got it right in "Daylight Again" when they sang . . . "Everyone's talking and no one is listening. How can we decide?" Can everyone just shaddap for a while?

I don't know how this contest between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will finish. I used to be fairly good at predicting the outcome of elections, but not any more. The country has changed too much. And not in a good way. Quite frankly, I find it frightening.

I am not happy with any of the candidates, if I were evaluating them strictly through a theological lens. But leaving theology aside, the choices really are stark. They couldn't be starker. Do we want European-style socialism and its inherent debt, malaise and erosion of personal freedom and responsibility, or do we want to hold on to what has made America unique in the world? Will we hold on to our core founding principles, or will we flush them down the commode for the mirage security of a government benefit? Will we pursue policies that will lead to eventual economic recovery, or will we keep spending wildly until our economic house falls like someone's playing 52-card pickup?

What will be the final decree of God? He "establishes kings and removes kings" according to His Word (Daniel 2:21). He judges nations. Sometimes severely.

My own viewpoint? If this country keeps on its present course and returns Barack Obama to the White House—and keeps the Senate in the hands of Harry Reid—America will get precisely what she deserves. And I say that with absolutely no sense of schadenfreude. I have to live here too, you know.

And that's no guarantee that Mitt Romney will fare any better if he obtains the levers of power. We may be too far gone. I hope and pray not. I know God can work miracles, and that He is full of grace and mercy. I pray for that daily. For me, and for us all. I pray for national repentance. In the long run, that is the only thing that will really pull America out of the fire.

P.S. If you're wondering what "rattling" means, it's an old Southernism for too much talking, prattle and chatter. Parents used to tell their over-talkative kids - "Hush that rattlin!"

No comments: