How’s your social media life going? I’ve tried to contain the election anger and rancor on my own sites by being “politic,” but even as I write this word, I realize how much has changed in the last year. Including this very word. “Politic,” as an adjective, means “seeming sensible and judicious under the circumstances.” Yet one more fallout from the election—“politic” no longer describes our politics.
Ironies abound this season. Last week in this space I wrote about the ways our words create and destroy the world. I didn’t advocate for either candidate, but an alert reader wrote to me, “So I see you’re against Trump. Does that mean you’re for Hilary?
I wrote back, “I am for wisdom, peace, goodness, compassion, kindness, self-control.”
“You must not be going to vote. Unless Jesus runs.”
“I’m going to start a national movement to write him in.” I replied.
But it occurs to me that even if Jesus were on the ticket, many , even Christians, wouldn’t vote for him this election cycle. Here’s why:
1. Jesus’ TV and radio ads would be cheesy and unprofessional. That’s because he consorted mostly with the poor and the powerless, despite their inability to donate to his campaign. Leaving him with just enough funds to hire his cousins “Acme Videos: You Act Good, We Shoot Good.”
2. The “birther” issue will resurface. Trump will make accusations and spread misinformation about Jesus’ parentage and where he was born. A Holy Ghost father and a manger birth will be under relentless attack and raise deeper questions about his actual citizenship.
3. Jesus isn’t photogenic. He’s younger than his opponents, who are both senior citizens, and he wears his hair long, so that’s good for the youth vote. But he doesn’t really look that good on camera, even with all the makeup. He’s not going to win any poster contests.
4. Jesus fails to make headlines. While his opponents enjoy free publicity every day with news of their sexual exploits and financial misdealings, Jesus is absent. Among some party faithful he gains points for this, but mostly, without the constant chatter of talk shows and breaking news, he loses attention, which means he loses votes.
5. Jesus has no home-base. His blue-collar background as a carpenter is good, especially for the Union vote, but then becoming an itinerant teacher with no home of his own suggests rootlessness. One candidate will accuse him of being “homeless.”
6. Jesus’ speech is elitist. While his opponent is “unshackled,” and “tells it like it is,” Jesus speaks in literary phrases and tells stories with obscure meanings that no one can follow (except the listening, the intelligent and the curious.) And most of his phrases don’t work for sound bytes.
7. Jesus is completely out of touch with the nation’s real concerns. He won’t stop talking about “love your neighbor” and “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “ Everyone knows the country’s real need is for more jobs, more power, more wealth. And we also know the only way to achieve this is through a Strong Man or Woman.
8. Jesus doesn’t make us feel safe. He’s promising to tear down Trump’s wall, and he keeps telling us to “love our enemies,” which is not only impractical but dangerous. Who knows what would happen if we dismantle the natural merit-based boundaries between men and women, between religions, between countries and between the races?
9. Jesus claims he is the only “way, truth and life.” In previous elections, such claims would have dismissed him entirely from any party nominations, but this year, Jesus gets an unexpected hearing, since another candidate is making similar claims to exclusive truth. Ultimately though, this claim will cost him votes, since the other candidate shouts and appears more sincere.
10. Jesus will take away our guns and dismantle the military. He finally admitted in one campaign speech that we’re at war, but he refused to name the countries or the cause, merely saying something like, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” What good is an enemy you can’t shoot?
Actually, I don’t think we’d vote for Jesus in any election. He’s far too impolitic even for our American politics.