Musings on 1.7 billion dollars, spirited debates, and Toto

I have two reflections on 2012 election season as I’m pacing back and forth like a caged panther waiting for results to come in:

Musing #1: Far too much money was spent campaigning by both parties. There must be at least 1.7 billion ways to better spend $1.7 billion dollars. Think of how helpful those dollars would have been to Sandy’s victims, or to those researching pediatric brain cancer, or to organizations such as International Justice Mission or Compassion International. I’m telling you, even subsidizing starving bloggers seems a better option than purchasing one negative 30-second television spot after another.

Couldn’t we just ask both candidates to spend a week together at Camp David or Platte River State Park, drafting together a hand-written report of their specific similarities and differences? Then we could have them present this paper perhaps 5 or 10 times to the American people.

I know what you’re thinking…simplistic and unrealistic. Why doesn’t this guy just click his heels together three times and wish to be in Kansas?

My response: I think I would be willing to live in Kansas if the candidates would stop continuously interrupting the World Series or Castle with senseless, expensive, content-less commercials. Give us positions. Give us ideas. Give us actual platforms. That sounds somewhat reasonable, doesn’t it, Toto?

Musing #2: An election this close points to a house divided. This is nothing new (or inherently negative) for our nation, but the type of division we have today has gone beyond spirited dialog and disagreement in which people wake up the next morning and treat their opponent with civility. Today’s division feels mean-spirited. It feels depersonalized.

The 55 delegates (“Founding Fathers”) to the Constitutional Convention were a diverse group. There were 28 Episcopalians, 8 Presbyterians, 7 Congregationalists, 2 Lutherans, 2 Dutch Reformed, 2 Roman Catholics, 2 Methodists, 3 deists, and 1 unknown.[1] These men would stand toe-to-toe, contend for their ideology with intelligent, respectful, spirited rhetoric. Then they’d vote. And then, if my understanding of history is correct, they’d go out to the pub with the people who stood on the other side of the aisle.

Tomorrow morning, if the other side isn’t human, nobody wakes up a winner. Nobody.

Back to pacing…

 



[1] John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987), p. 43.