Why Americans Should Care About Politics
America: A Land of Beauty, Freedom, and Opportunity
Do I Really Love Politics?
Politics is not for everyone. In fact, politics really isn’t for me. I would never want to run for a political office or manage a campaign. Then why am I so involved in politics? I love our country, and as a citizen of the United States I believe that it is both a right and a duty to have a certain amount of involvement in the policies of the nation. Why is this important? Our government, if not held accountable, can create policies that will control our lives. There are those in Washington, for example, who would like sign policies to take away parents’ God-given rights to decide how to raise their own children. This is something that we can all agree would be detrimental to our country. Our leaders can also direct our country in a path that is destructive for future generations, while it benefiting those currently in office. The national debt displays this well. The Millennial Generation (people born from mid 1970s to early 2000s) is being saddled with a projected debt of nearly $100,000 per working individual. This is while all 435 US congressional representatives make a minimum of $174,000 a year, get lifetime benefits after serving five years, and enjoy enormous budgets.
Where are We Going?
I hear a lot of talk about how bad our nation is getting, how we are losing morals, and how we are drifting from the values this country was founded upon. These ideas shouldn’t surprise anyone, but instead serve as a testament that so few people have cared to keep their leaders accountable. As a result, the amount of corruption and fraud in America’s political system has increased dramatically. So many Americans take the freedoms they have completely for granted. They spend hours complaining and discussing, but cannot take ten or twenty minutes to call their senator on an important issue. I guess politics just isn’t for them.
My first priority in life should be to serve God’s Kingdom. That’s why I care about people and try my best to serve others. That said, I also believe that as an American citizen I should serve my country, but my service to the country should be subordinate to serving Christ. Romans chapter 13 discusses a Christian’s relationship to their governing authorities. It says that “If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor” (Romans 13:7).
I believe the Bible gives a mandate to be part of our earthly kingdoms, but putting God first and serving Him should always take precedence. The reason our founding fathers gave us the 1st amendment was so that we could exercise the right of free speech and press in order to prevent the government from becoming too powerful. Ideally, they would be kept in check by the people who had power and duty to speak out about their beliefs. If we have any respect for our founding fathers and even for our current leaders, we would take action in keeping our leaders accountable.
Keeping Leaders Accountable
So how can we practically keep our leaders accountable? Understand this not a democrat or republican thing. It is not about being conservative or liberal; it’s about caring for your country and doing whatever small part you can. I believe that educated people who truly care about their country can do a lot of good regardless of their particular beliefs. Consider getting involved with a local political groups that holds values similar to your own. If an election time is nearing, spend time learning about candidates and maybe even get involved in campaigning for someone who shares your values.
If you are not sure what you believe, talk with others, especially those who are older and have more wisdom and experience. Stay informed and read the news. Be sure to use multiple media sources to reduce media bias (this is very important). Strive to obtain a basic understanding of what is going on in our country both culturally and politically. Finally, be sure to understand America’s history. America has a rich history and there are many stories of amazing people that inspire us to be diligent servants to our country.
As you go about doing these things, when you came across something in Washington you disagree with, take a second to share your beliefs with your congressional representatives and senators. It’s really easy and you can write to them by visiting their official web site and clicking on the “contact” tab. I know that people feel overwhelmed with this process, but it is so quick that in the time you spend waiting in line at the grocery store or quick serve restaurant, you could draft and send a short message to your representative. Few people take the opportunity to do this, but communication with your representative and senators can make a difference.
Freedom Always Comes With a Price
I know that most of you will probably brush this off, but I ask you to consider the many blessings Americans have been given and the value of being able to live in a free nation. We will only be free so long as there are enough people involved in the accountability process. History reminds us that when politicians are left unchecked they are corrupted by power and lose the interests of the people they were elected to serve.
One could argue that all of this opinion and somewhat trivial, yet every day for the past 200 plus years, people have put their lives on the line to defend the values of this country. Lives have been lost as an incredible sacrifice to protect the freedoms that we have and enjoy. With that in mind, we should have a new motivation for caring about the future of our nation and the direction it takes. It is the least we can do.
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