Food for Thought: Why Do Politicians Have to Be So Political?

Something I’ve been pondering…

Yesterday, I posted a reflection on Warren Buffett’s views on the economy. Buffett noted in an interview with Matt Lauer of TODAY that Republicans are wary of promoting taxing the richest Americans at a higher rate because they have their next election campaigns to worry about. A few blog posts ago, I mentioned that a leading African American clergyman in my city tells his parishioners and others in his community that they need to remember that President Obama is a politician, not a prophet. Therefore, Obama had to distance himself from Rev. Wright’s challenges to America, when running for the office of the Presidency the first time around.

Why do politicians need to be so political? Actually, aren’t we all political in that sense of the term—hedging our bets so as not to lose in the opinion polls? What moves politicians and the rest of us to move beyond protecting our personal and professional interests to concern ourselves with the common good, whatever the cost?

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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About Paul Louis Metzger

Dr. Paul Louis Metzger is the Founder and Director of The Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins and Professor at Multnomah Biblical Seminary/Multnomah University. He is the author of numerous works, including "Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths" and "Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church." These volumes and his others can be found wherever fine books are sold.

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