“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten —
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm —my great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.”
— Joel 2:25-26
Look, I know politics can be fierce and mean and nasty in America. I get it. I believe in the give and take of politics and disagreement and debate and dissent. We’re a big complicated country. But democracy endures only if we the people respect the guardrails of the republic. Only if we the people accept the results of free and fair elections. Only if we the people see politics not as total war but mediation of our differences.
Although we live in a society that does and always has valued youth above all, there are certain advantages to having made more than a few trips around the sun. One of these is learning appreciation, albeit later in the day than would have been preferable, of how previous generations’ life experiences serve not only as their “living history” but can also apply to today. The lessons that people should have learned, and often did learn, long ago are now, unfortunately, far too often discarded in favor of attempting to reinvent the wheel yet again. There is a better way, but looking around gives the firm impression it is an utter mystery to modern people.
Back in my parents’ day, which saw them in their childhood fighting the Great Depression and in their teen/young adult years fighting World War II, politics was as much a rough-and-tumble bare-knuckled business as is presently the case. However, there was one noticeable difference between then and now. Those in Washington and various state capitals/local power centers/etc. would and did fight like terriers from 9 to 5. Yet after work, they would go out together for drinks and socialization, setting aside political differences in favor of what was more important. Namely, being human beings who are able to treat each other in the same manner they wish to be treated.
Alas, this went away when Saul Alinsky became the Democrats’ satanic patron saint. In our present era, actively practicing the politics of personal destruction has become the norm. Vicious direct attacks against any and all who dare to differ one iota from cherished beliefs, then squealing like a stuck pig crying “racism,” “sexism,” and whatever else you can come up with -ism (translation: petulant butthurt) whenever somebody breathes so much as a word against you or has the unmitigated gall to respond in the same brute impersonal manner that the original messenger put forth, is now standard operating procedure. Be it actual politicians or those who make discussing politics vocation or avocation; the same methodology. Snark for me, not for thee. There are occasional exceptions. For example, the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and his counterpart Ruth Bader Ginsberg were close friends. Unfortunately, one seldom sees Sarge and Fillmore in the same frame anymore.
Right now, we live in the locust days, days of insane inflation and unnamed recession; wars abroad and attempts to create wars at home. Such days can hover and smother for weeks, months, years, even decades, seemingly eating us alive. But they will end. We must not take the bait offered by those attempting to lure us into illegal conflict. Without compromising principles or policies, we must remember the other person is also a person of value, even as each of us is a person of value, not a thing to demolish. No one is beyond God’s reach. We are all inexorably joined regardless of left and right, party and practice. Therefore, we can show the better way, forever smiling behind enemy lines as we drive our opponents nuts by refusing to abandon the basic human decency they practice while accusing us of being a basket of deplorables.
The locust days have descended upon us. We must choose whether to acquiesce and crumble … or ascend and conquer in Christ.