10 tips to keep political discourse healthy and wholesome

I stated it half a dozen times: I love politics. I’ve stated it often (here, here, here, here, here, here and here). This year, however, when I say that, people look at me like I have leprosy.

To me, politics is the art of decision-making for a group of people which facilitates governance. When we understand that, there’s really nothing to hate about politics. Good politics should embrace relationships, and encourage dialogue, rational debate, and considered deliberation – all for the good of a larger group of people.

Last year, the Hillary-Trump show was just that. It was a show. More than that, it was a debacle.

I may love politics, but it’s hard to love politicians. I’ve been asked several times what I think, and if you follow my Twitter feed, it should be apparent. However, rather than pen a lot of words, I’d like to refer to an article I didn’t write but wish I had:

No, Voting for Trump is Not Idolatry—Speaking Truth to Christians by Denise McAllister

Last year, several high-profile evangelical leaders vehemently sought to influence their followers against Donald Trump. They unashamedly used their reputations to leverage those who would listen toward voting (or not voting) for candidates.

I think Denise McAllister nails it.

“..choosing between two horribly flawed candidates isn’t a betrayal of our deepest values.”

In the last six months of Trump’s tenure as President, many of those evangelical leaders who so passionately criticized him have grown silent as he has come out in defense of the unborn and defending life (recently voicing his support for Charlie Gard), appointed a conservative Supreme Court justice and implemented many other promised agenda items.

It makes their previous disdain for him sound tinny and baseless. Now, I am not writing in support of Trump’s methodology of debate (especially the use of Twitter to attack those who attack him). I am simply pointing out that Trump is not nearly as bad as we were told.

In fact, if anything, we’ve seen the left exposed as worse than we imagined. Their response to the election goes far beyond being sore losers. Rather, we’ve seen sheer hatred on full display in arenas from the college campus, to baseball fields to outright fabrication in the main stream media.

Here are 10 points I’d like to offer that can keep political discourse healthy and wholesome, both for us as citizens and for those in positions of political leadership:

  1. No matter your opinion, listen well to those you disagree with.
  2. Identify their core values.
  3. Affirm what you agree on and help them understand your core values.
  4. Remember the biblical command to love people. Let love shape how you communicate in times of debate and argumentation.
  5. Do not allow “love for people” to prevent you from seeing the bigger issues.
  6. Conversely, do not let your staunch position on issues prevent you from loving people.
  7. Play the long game. Our culture desperately wants quick fixes and ideal situations, but life is more complex and requires strategic thinking in the short-term in order to see genuine progress in the long-term. It’s called compromise, and it’s one of the best tools to bring two sides together.
  8. Don’t compromise too soon. Be patient. Even though it may seem a compromise today will get the job done, wait it out. You may not have give as much as you initially thought.
  9. If those you disagree with become irrational, mean-spirited or abusive, pray for them diligently. As you’re waiting prayerfully for a change of heart…
  10. Lead. Make hard decisions. Even if those decisions will be criticized. Even if you will be ridiculed. Lead.

For your amusement, here are a few of my previous political posts:

SaveSave

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s