The Name Game

Yesterday I posted a news story on my Facebook about Harry Reid associating detractors to his proposed health insurance plan with slave traders, and civil rights opponents. What resulted was a spirited exchange between one of my favorite cousins and a good friend of mine. Gotta love Facebook and freedom of speech!

I wanted to comment on the issue here though because in general I think this tactic of negative association is doing far more harm to the issue than it is helping it. Both sides use this tactic to try and garner support, or really, just diminish support for the other side, but ultimately I think it does more to turn people off than it does to engage and educate.

The Democrats love to throw around labels like Nazi and racist. They love to associate everything in world with rich white men who are trying to keep everyone else down. This is of course ridiculous and instead of appealing to the best sensibilities in people; Compassion, caring, loving; These types of arguments only appeal to the worst; hatred and envy.

And the Republicans do the same thing, consistently associating the term “socialist” for anyone who disagrees with the Republican party line. I take issue with the “socialist” label tactic because I don’t think it works. It doesn’t help the average person to understand the issue. One thing Reagan did well was use facts to back up every argument. There’s far too few facts going around these days and far too much hyperbole.

When I think about it, the biggest issue our party faces is simply one of integrity. People don’t trust the Republican party because they are crooked. They are as guilty of greed and deception as any democrat. They cheat on their wives, wrestle money from the government for their special interests, and take donations from shady people just the same. The only difference is the masters they serve.

We’re studying Ephesians right now in our bible study and chapter 5 talks about how we should not spend time pointing out the flaws of the world, but we should live as “imitators of God”, and if we do that, then God’s light will illuminate the people who live in the darkness. Read that again, GOD will illuminate the wicked.

This is such a powerful concept because I believe that as a political party, we are so busy pointing out the flaws of others and playing the name game that we have forgotten to live with integrity and as a result we are forcing ourselves to wallow in the mud of these political messes rather than rise above by God’s blessings.

I believe that when the Republican party decides to begin to conduct itself in a fashion worthy of being called Christian, as the majority of our fore-fathers did, we will see a turn in this country. Until then, we’re really just arguing the difference between corrupt policy and even more corrupt policy.