October 16, 2019 Eric Blauer

Trump, MLK Jr. and Why I Think Politics Matter

I do my best to stay engaged in the primary matters of importance in politics. I try to listen to both sides and do my homework on the major issues.

I do this because I believe that public policy matters in private life.

I pay taxes and I want to know what they intend to do with my money. I’m an American and I choose to participate in our political process, which is the envy of many in the world.

I’m always on the lookout for a leader that will advocate for the political platform, policies, programs and principles of what I believe matter.

I love the primary season of elections because this is where all the horses get in the race and we get a chance to learn what they envision matters and what or how they will pursue that vision.

Anyone can apply for the job, but after the primary, the choices are made and that’s just how it works. Every voter who chooses to play, has to play with the cards dealt.

To me it’s not about personalities but platforms, policies and principles. It’s not about someone’s age, sex, persuasivness, attractiveness or even poltical party. It’s what they see as the problems and how they intend to advocate for change. It’s also how they see America and what they will protect of America that doesn’t need to change.

I am not a Trump groupee.

I would love for there to be another candidate that better represents the totality of my vision and values on a number of fronts and issues. But I do agree with Trump on many of the platform, policies and principles he has advocated, defended and put in place. There are many I don’t and there is a ton of tone, style and temperament issues and actions that I don’t like either.

That said, I am not primarily influenced by the way in which something is done as much as how important is it that it gets done.

As surprisingly as it may be, some of this thought came to me from Martin Luther King Jr with his charges against what he called “The White Moderate” in works like “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html).

Many of the reactions to Trump remind me of the same critiques that opponents of King used. I am not saying Trump rises to the same level of King and I know I am triggering a ton of my friends by even putting the two in the same paragraph, but there’s similarities as I see it.

I voted in 2016 based on my deep concern that the American far-left was driving our Republic into the ditch on all fronts that matter to me.

My vote was used to thrust a stick into the wheel as another radical put it:

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

As a politician Trump has governed far more conservative than anyone imagined he would, to the surprise of his reluctant supporters and the chagrin of his opponents.

There are two public fronts in American life…the political arena and the culture war.

My faith informs both but it’s active in different ways within the limitations of each.

I am not looking for a politician in my pulpit or pastor in the oval office.

I believe that distinction is uniquely part of our American political heritage. It’s the genius of this American Experiment and a purposeful and principled part of our founding documents. I think it works and the history of our Republic witnesses to the long moral arc of justice as MLK Jr. put it.

“Evil may so shape events that Caesar will occupy a palace and Christ a cross, but that same Christ will rise up and split history into A.D. and B.C., so that even the life of Caesar must be dated by his name. Yes, ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

Both Trump and King fail to live up to the moral example I would hope for in men of such influence and power. Many people wrestle with the words, works and witness of each man and I do as well.

I do not defend the sins, failures and faults of either and their accomplishments don’t justify their actions, but their sins don’t nullify their accomplishments either.

That isn’t to say that such actions won’t have consequences, they do and will, but I don’t want to live in a world where such standards are used on each other or those in history.

Today we are on witch hunts to exposes and dethrone anyone who doesn’t live up to some current and ever changing standard of what is right in the eyes of this postmodern culture.

We claim people as heroes I would of never imagined a few decades ago and burn at the stake the memory of those who we once saw as people to admire or celebrate on many issues.

This is the world we live in right now and I do my best to be a voice and active witness in these times and I know I fall short in more ways than I can count, but that doesn’t invalidate the endeavor.

If there’s a better way of engaging all of this and you have found the perfect path, then feel free to share it with me.

Until then I will keep fighting it out with the tools I currently have and pray it matters for the most good, for the most people, in the years to come.

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About the Author

Eric Blauer I am barbarian, sage, saint, bard, husband and father. Bow my knee to only One, serve all, ruled by none.

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