United States Election Word on the Week 31st October 2020
Viewed from this side of the pond next week’s American elections are largely a spectator sport. And like all sports the media has its expert commentators. This week the press has ensured that their views are known!
As we enter a new era it’s good to look back to the old time democracy. The thought that sustained it was that the government could not do too much damage (good was never credited to them) before they would be thrown out at the next election! Cynical perhaps but with more than a grain of truth to it.
America has shown us that democracies can quickly become autocracies granting to their leader almost absolute power. What we now have is an absence of debate on many issues of the day instead we have a massive personality promoting himself brilliantly. Any challenger has to cope not only with the advantage the sitting president has but also to endure the confidence sapping demeaning references to him that play to the popular vote.
We have seen the bold presidential signature on 193 Executive Orders over the last four years. These fast-track legislation without it having to be passed by the two houses of government. It is a great device when the laws passed are to the peoples liking but what if you dislike them? Without the scrutiny that democratic government affords what happens to those who dissent? Well it seems they are sacked. Not an unusual fate for politicians although the frequency over the last four years has been a bit disconcerting!
In the early days of the Bible narrative theocracy was the way. God ruled through his Prophets. This continued even after the people wanted a King ‘to be like other Nations’ (1 Samuel chapter 8 verse 19). It was always the Prophet who was the power behind the throne. That’s why so many of them were killed when they were faithful to the truth!
The prophet Samuel was tasked with appointing a successor to Saul. His instructions were not to look on the outward appearance ‘but the Lord looks at the heart’ (1 Samuel Chapter 16 verse 7). His advice was often spurned as the Israelites went after strong men. In the Old Testament there were five ‘good’ kings that ruled well in the sight of the Lord but even their sons went astray. There were thirty-three others of whom it was said ‘He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations’ (2 Kings Chapter 21 verse 2).
When King Jesus came he showed the kingdom is based on love (St Matthew Chapter 22 verse 37). His advice to his followers was to seek first this kingdom which it was the Father’s good pleasure to grant (St Luke Chapter 12 verses 30 to 32). But Jesus doesn’t do the seeking for us!
The stakes are high dear Americans choose well next week!