One of the most memorable commercials I’ve ever seen was one in which the CEO of a company calls his management team into his office and tells them that they just got fired by a long-time friend and major customer. He said it made him realize that they had taken people for granted, had lost touch with those they served and that they needed to do something about it. So he pulled out a sleeve of airline tickets and began passing them out telling the managers that they were to go visit their customers. As he handed everyone their ticket, he had one left in his hand and one of the managers asked him who that one was for. The CEO replied, “It’s mine. I’m going to visit an old friend.”
After the drubbing the Republicans took in this year’s mid-term elections, one can only hope that Ken Mehlman, Karl Rove and other Republican leaders have already filled their pockets with tickets. They’ve got some listening to do. They need to get out of the beltway, off the east coast and back here in flyover country where the real people live. They need to by-pass the people they’ve been listening to for the last 2-4 years. They need to skip stopovers that would bring them into contact with all the pundits and talking heads and go sit in a mainstreet cafe. They need to drive on past the James Dobson’s and Pat Robertson’s and go to church in the clapboard sanctuaries nestled in small towns and mid-sized cities. They should skip the captains of industry and titans of finance and head for the people who’ve been pumping three dollar a gallon gas into their minivans and SUV’s. They should ignore Rush and Sean and Bill O’Reilly and talk to some small town newspaper reporters and some local community columnists. And they should come with their hats in their hands.
A message was sent to the Republicans this year. Let’s hope they hear it. Here’s what they need to hear.
You all smell corrupt. Deny it all you want, but the power of being in charge has polluted your character and you got used to the stench. So while you all made excuses over Foley and DeLay and the many other lesser scandals, it was hitting our gag reflex out here in the real world. We KNOW politicians make mistakes and are stupid and are sinners just like everyone else. It would have been nice if you’d admitted it was a problem and stopped pretending like it was no real big deal.
You all got cocky and deaf. People love self-assuredness and confidence. They hate arrogance and aloofness. Guess which one the White House has been portraying the last several years? The question is do they get it now?
When you call yourself Republicans and act like the Democrats, voters notice. Thanks for giving our children and grandchildren hundreds of billions of dollars in debt in the name of Medicaid Prescriptions and No Child Left Behind — two HUGE government giveaways.
When Democrats start putting up moderates and even a few conservatives in the South and Midwest, voters notice. What does that say? When there’s little difference between the Dems and the Republicans, people are going to vote for both. Add to that they are ticked off at Republicans and the Dems sweep both houses. Does that sound familiar? I’d like to think that the Democrats are generally moving to the right on some important issue. I’m still a little too cynical to believe that right now. But here are some Democrats with checkmarks by their names tonight that I’m glad will be sitting in Congress. I couldn’t care less about party titles. I care about personal principles.
American’s don’t want to lose the war on terrorism. The problem is that mostquestioning Americans don’t see the connection between Iraq and the War on Terrorism. If there is a link, the Administration has done aLOUSY job of showing it. They seem as lost as a termite in a yoyo when it comes to the war and it’s lasted long enough now that most of us know of someone who has been killed or maimed for lifeto support a nation of people that, at their core, loathe us andthe Godmost of us worship. No WMD’s, nooccupation or transition strategy, no exit strategy. It’s not that American’s want to lose the war. It just appears to many of them that the current administration doesn’t realize we are already losing the war. And they’ve done a lousy job explaining it.
This election wasn’t won by theDemocratsbecause the Democrats had a better plan. No one has any idea what the Democratic plan is. This election was won by the Democrats because the Republicans were arrogant, incompetent and out-of-touch. This blogger called this election months ago and the political landscape only got worse.
I predicted publicly as recently as last week that there would be a 25-30 seat shift in the house toward the Dems and that the Senate would end up 49-51 and I didn’t know which would be the majority party. I was pretty close in my assessment.
So what don’t I feel smug that I was right? I really don’t.
Which reminds me.
I’m not a politician, I’m just a citizen.
And my American citizenship is temporary. In50 years or less, I’ll be leaving it behind. My permanent citizenship is in Heaven.
My calling isn’t politics. It’s a private interest and occasional hobby.
My calling is the Gospel of Christ. So tomorrow some will be lamenting the election.
Me? I’m going to be rejoicing in the factthat I can rest in the sovereignty of God. And nothing, and that means NOTHING, can separate me from the Love of God.
So,until I vote again two years from now or until somebody in elected office tries to do something incredibly stupid that will mess up my family or my ability to practicemy faith, I’ve got a church full of really great people to serve.
Politics is fascinating. Ministry is fulfilling. I’ll take the latter.