Politicians promise to fix all of society’s problems, but are they able to? Why do things never seem to get better? What is humanity’s core problem?
8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.
10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
~ Ge 10:8-10
Nimrod was the first documented dictator, creating a small empire (by today’s standards). In spite of its small size, however, its reach has been down through the ages. Even in the last book of the Bible, God instructs His people to come out of Babylon (Rev 18:4).
There are many parts to this. Today, we compartmentalize our religious, social, work and political lives to a huge extent. It was not always this way. People often had no say in their occupation, and politics and religion were very much intertwined. In fact, the emperor was viewed as a child of, if not a, god(s). Even after Constantine “Christianized” Rome, he made himself the head of the church (as opposed to the Bible, where Christ is the head of the Church).
All dictators since the time of Nimrod have sought power — absolute power. The United States has been an exception because it was intentionally architected to not allow anyone to have absolute power. There have been drifts in one direction or another over time, and today the executive branch holds a lot more power than what was previously laid out in the Constitution. However, even today, the Constitution is a limiting force on how much power an individual can wield.
Still, as corruption sets in, people will inevitably yield their power to whomever will fulfill their desires, no matter how carnal those desires might be. There is precedent for a president executing “emergency powers”, and no matter how well-intentioned it might be, it will ultimately become the corrupting factor in American politics.
Special interests play a role as well. Special interests and lobbyists literally buy our politicians so they can stay in power.
Donald Trump has confounded conventional wisdom because he is not a career politician. In fact, I just heard a criticism earlier today that there supposedly is a reason for seasoned politicians, in that they know how to get things done in Washington. I submit to you that this is not what the founding fathers envisioned. They envisioned a president who would serve his time and then go back home. George Washington set the precedent in serving two terms and then going back to farming. Career politicians weren’t what the founding fathers thought of as the norm.
The reality is that the longer senators and representatives and the like stay in power, the more corrupt they become. Even if they start out with good intentions, they eventually become either marginalized or corrupt. The system allows no other alternatives, and the voters put up with it!
The role of politics in American life has taken on increasing importance as the role of religion has diminished. Americans literally look to human leaders for their salvation from whatever grievances they have. This is just the opposite of seeking justice from God and doing your best to become self-sufficient. The main problem is that human leaders are fallible, but there also is the issue that the government that some rely upon is the very institution creating the problem in the first place.
More to the point, politicians lie. You can tell they are lying because their lips are moving. Just a few recent examples:
- The lies told by both major parties during the election season. How many untruths were told? Can they be counted?
- Lies about Russian hackers giving information to WikiLeaks. It is a dangerous game to accuse a nuclear power without proof.
- “Fake news”. I doubt it really swung the election, but why does it exist in the first place? Unfortunately, much of the fake news comes from NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox News. No wonder people turn to alternative news sources! It is convenient to point the finger at RT, who at least is willing to ask the hard questions of the WH spokes jerk. In a similar vein, attack ads full of inaccuracies, distortions and taking things out of context dominate the media during a campaign.
- Diverting any recognition of wrongdoing by deflecting to the undesirable traits of the opponent. Honest people don’t need to do this.
God says that unrighteous leadership makes the nation groan (Pr 29:2). They groan in mental and emotional pain.
Unrighteousness can take place in the governed as well. Witness the hypocrisy of accusing Trump beforehand of not accepting the election results, but since his triumph we have seen protests, the blame game (Putin did it, Comey did it, fake news did it, anybody but the Democrats did it), the venom directed at the “uneducated” (ie, stupid) and “angry” voters and the continued nit-picking at Trump’s every move in a manner not done to any prior president (the constant barrage of complaints about the slowness and/or disorganization of his selection of a cabinet is an eye-opener, given that most cabinets are not fully in place until after the inauguration). Then there is the unprecedented movement of some in the electoral college of not wanting to vote for Trump, even when their state’s rules say they must. You knew what you signed up for when you accepted the job, now go do it! Anything else is a lack of integrity.
I’m not even getting into the various sins of mocking God on a daily basis in our speech, abortion (a grievous sin akin to the sins of Canaan, for which God vomited them out of the land), the breaking of treaties, acceptance of deviant lifestyles and more. I fear even the Church has gotten lax on preaching against the evils of our day and stating why they are wrong. To our young people, silence is acceptance, after all.
All of this is proof that our elected leaders only care about obtaining power and holding onto it. They are not interested even in a form of righteousness.
God spells it out quite clearly that human governments are not the answer, no matter what form it may take:
17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it [human kingdoms] the basest of men.
~ Da 4:17
“Basest” comes from a Chaldean word for “low”. Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s commentary says of Da 4:17:
basest–the lowest in condition ( 1Sa 2:8 Luk 1:52 ). It is not one’s talents, excellency, or noble birth, but God’s will, which elevates to the throne. Nebuchadnezzar abased to the dunghill, and then restored, was to have in himself an experimental proof of this ( Dan 4:37 ).
It is interesting that they link to Hannah’s prayer/song after finding out she was pregnant with Samuel. Samuel, of course, saw the introduction of the kings in Israel over his protest. Hannah sang/prayed:
8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them.
~ 1Sa 2:8
The “basest of men” certainly describes Donald Trump, like it or not. While he might be a “better” choice for the country than Hillary (who has a string of scandals and literal dead bodies behind her), he is hardly more righteous!
If politics was the answer, then why do we still have wars and unrest even after thousands of years of “civilization”? The basic answer is that mankind cannot rule itself. It has rejected God, and it has rejected the true source of knowledge. The truth dies in politics and in wars (which are really just an extension of politics). The fruit is there, and the fruit stinks!