My fourth of July post has stirred up the political side of people. When it comes to politics, I confess to an almost total lack of interest. This dis-interest has been with me as long as I can remember, and I suppose it has its roots in my Mennonite ancestry.
Perhaps I should care more about politics and forms of government, but I don’t. The reason I don’t is because I think politics and politicians are only secondary concerns. What is more important is individual (and as a result corporate) virtue. It seems obvious to me that any form of government is only as good as the people who run (or elect) that government.
If rulers and people of a nation are virtuous, then they will have a good government–whether it be a republic, a democracy, a monarchy or a single ruler. If they are decadent and wicked and self serving, then their land will suffer and decline.
The responsibility for virtue is not simply that of the rulers. The people must also be virtuous, and ‘virtue’ includes not only the obvious virtues of service, self sacrifice and generosity, but the intellectual virtues of believing the truth and seeking the truth totally.
To put it simply, governments aren’t good or bad. People are.