The Insanity of American Politics (And How I Plan to Fix It!!)

the-definition-of-insanity

I suppose the first real Presidential election I remember was the one that took place in 1988 – Bush vs. Dukakis.  I remember reading about the elections at school, having to do “Current Events” on the election.

So, in 1988, George H. W. Bush won the election.

In 1992, he was defeated by Bill Clinton.

In 1996, Clinton won a second term.

In 2000, George Bush, the son, won the election.

In 2004, George Bush won again.

In 2008 everyone thought Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic nomination, until a new guy named Barack Obama won.  He did name Hillary as his Secretary of State though.  He won again in 2012, and it marked the first time in 24 years that someone not named Bush or Clinton held some sort of high ranking political office in the United States.

But it was announced today, running for President in 2016, will be Hillary Clinton, again.  And just in case you think that’s crazy enough – yup – you guessed it – there’s another Bush.  And while Jeb Bush, the brother of the latest President Bush, has not “officially” announced a campaign, we all know its a matter of time.

But, take it a step further.  You see, it ends up being the same people running for President over and over again.  Mitt Romney ran for President in 2008, and then again in 2012, and to be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if he ran again in 2016.  It seems like people just have unlimited funding to be able to run for President over and over and over again.

While I’m not a politician, nor do I like to even talk about politics all that much, I do have one clear thought on the issue:  Isn’t it time for some fresh faces?  Isn’t it time to try a different approach?  Isn’t it time for some new people with new ideas and a new vision for the future to step in and run?

I’m sure Hillary is a great person.  I’m sure Jeb is swell guy.  I’m sure Rand Paul, (who is Ron Paul’s son, who ran for President a few times) is a visionary dude.  But I think its time for some new faces in the political world.  Here are my suggestions for people who should run for President in 2016:

1.  Duncan and RobinsonTim Duncan – People thought it was cool that Barack Obama was a good basketball player.  Hello?  Enter Tim Duncan.  Duncan is one of the most humble guys on the court, yet he’s a proven winner. But what about outside of basketball? Per his Wikipedia page – “Off the court, Duncan is known for his quiet and unassuming ways, as well as his active philanthropy. He holds an honor degree in psychology and created the Tim Duncan Foundation to raise general health awareness and fund education and youth sports in various parts of the United States.”  Suggested VP – David Robinson – (he brings basketball and military experience into the mix)

2. Carey and Brady Drew Carey – Everything Drew Carey is involved with turns to solid gold.  First of all, did you know he was a veteran?  He served in the US Marine Corps for 6 years.  Then he went into comedy.  He had a little show called “The Drew Carey Show” that ran for 233 episodes.  He also took an old great show, revived it, and turned it to pure comedic genius with “Whose Line Is It Anyway.”  After that – he took over for one of the greatest game show hosts that ever lived, Bob Barker, and has been on The Price is Right ever since.  So, he KNOWS how to follow up great figures, and make things even better.  No pressure following someone else in office.  Suggested VP – Wayne Brady – We’ve gotten used to comedic relief with Joe Biden, why not bring some professional comedic relief to the position?

3.  Swift and LawrenceTaylor Swift – While technically not old enough to run for President (she’s only 25), I think we could make an exception to the rule just for her, right?  She has consistently dealt with pressure, and knows how to overcome (remember – Kanye West?) interruptions.  She’s achieved more in her 11 year music career (she started at 14) than most of us achieve in a lifetime.  Besides, if she’s blasted by the media, ridiculed by foreign leaders, or made fun of on Saturday Night Live, she knows how to “Shake it Off.”  Suggested VP – Jennifer Lawrence.  Someone with bow hunting skills as hers may come in handy in a post-apocalyptic world.  Have you seen the Hunger Games?  It could happen people.  So could the Walking Dead.

4.  Fallon and TimberlakeJimmy Fallon – Jimmy was the guy everyone was sort of unsure of to be the replacement for late night guru Jay Leno.  However, Jimmy has filled Jay’s shoes very well.  Jimmy has brought new life to a dying stage in late night shows.  He made it cool again for young people to stay up to watch.  He’s adored by everyone.  He’s confident.  He’s friends with everyone.  In a pinch, he can do all sorts of impressions of past favorite presidents to bring his ratings up.  I feel like Jimmy would listen to people, and then do his best to make the most informed decisions.  Plus, it would be a hoot.  Suggested VP – Justin Timberlake, because these two in the White House would be awesome.  I mean, seriously, have you seen these guys perform before?  I’d tune into a State of the Union address featuring this dynamic duo!

Honorable mentions:

1.  Kid President.  Suggested VP – Brad Montague, because behind every great President is a great helper.
2.  Ryan Seacrest.  Suggested VP – Randy Jackson
3.  Derek Jeter.  Suggested VP – Mariano Rivera
4.  Shawn Michaels, the Heartbreak Kid.  Suggested VP – Vince McMahon.

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Just Add Water – A Look at Being a Christian

On June 10, 1992, I became a Christian.  There are many thoughts out there today as to how one becomes a Christian.  I believe the New Testament gives plenty of examples that the way to Christ and salvation eternal is through hearing the word of God, believing in what it says, changing your sinful ways, confessing that Jesus is Lord, and giving yourself over to him in immersion through baptism.  When you give yourself over to Jesus, you do it completely.

I remember the night I became a Christian.  My father baptized me after I walked down the aisle to the Church of Christ classic song, “Just As I Am”.  I remember making my confession before the 30 or so people at the Bethel Church of Christ that night, my father plunging me into the water, and re-emerging as a new creature buried in Christ, with the gift of the Holy Spirit.  I told God that night that I wanted to give my life to Him, completely.  While I have not even come close to being perfect, I have tried my hardest, and am committed to raising my family in a Christian home.

Recently, Billy Graham’s son Franklin was asked if he believed that Barack Obama was a Christian.  He stated “He has told me that he is a Christian. But the debate comes, what is a Christian? For him, going to church means he’s a Christian. For me, the definition of a Christian is whether we have given our life to Christ and are following him in faith, and we have trusted him as our Lord and Savior. That’s the definition of a Christian. It’s not as to what church you are a member of. A membership doesn’t make you Christian.

A membership doesn’t make you Christian – there’s a lot of validity in that.  For a lot of us, we feel that just going to church makes you a Christian.  We believe that if our name is on the roll in a congregation of some sort, that we’re on God’s roll for entry into Heaven.

In an article challenging Franklin’s response of Obama’s Christianity, Roland Martin  a syndicated columnist for CNN and author of “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House.”, said “Any Christian will tell you: If a person verbally professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, that person is considered saved. No ifs, ands or buts. That’s when the conversation should end.”

I can’t help but think its not that simple.  First of all, “any Christian” will not say that.  True Christians will say that there is more to following Christ than just saying Jesus is my Lord and Savior.  The apostles left their nets, their jobs, their families and their livelihood to follow Christ.  Jesus told the Rich Young Ruler to sell everything he had and give it to the poor so he could inherit eternal life.  Jesus never simply said “Believe in me, and that’s all”.  In Matthew 28, Jesus tells those of us who have given our lives over to him to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them everything I have commanded you.”

We see in the following years of the first Christians that they did this.  In Acts, we see that the Christians dedicated themselves to each other.  They helped each other out.  They committed to being together, in a “corporate” setting and in their own personal lives.  We can’t simply just add water to our spiritual lives and expect it to grow into a full, mature Christian.  We can’t expect to just add water, never commit to God’s church, and expect that he approves of it.

We’ve read of professional athletes being kicked off their teams, traded away, or even fired simply because they didn’t show up to practice.  Practice is an important part of being an athlete.  They can’t just show up to the games and expect to first of all be a team, but second of all, to be any good.  When you don’t practice together, you don’t know each other’s game, and therefore can’t be productive.  One or two people may be successful, but as a team you will not succeed.

Yet, for some people, they treat their eternal salvation, their identity with God, as a casual social club.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that if you fail to go to church services every time the doors are open, that you’ll be eternally condemned.  I’m not going to tell you that if you fail to meet with fellow Christians every day to encourage each other and to teach the lost, that God won’t have a place for you in eternity.

But I will say that you’re missing out on your full potential as a Christian.  This isn’t an argument for whether or not baptism is essential to salvation.  This isn’t an argument about what church you have to belong to in order to have eternal life.  Those discussions are for a different time and place.  This is a plea that we need to restore the community found in the New Testament church, so that we aren’t just Christians in name, but that we are Christians in every aspect of our lives.

A business person seeking to climb the ladder of success would never think of just phoning in their work each week.  They know that they have to live that life daily, as best as they can, so that they can succeed.  They are going to devote themselves to that company, so that the presidents and managers can see how much it means to them, and that they are committed to the cause.

Instant coffee is okay, but slow drip is better.  TV Dinners suffice, but are nothing compared to a meal someone prepared in love all day long.  When we commit to the Christian life,  instead of just pulling it all together once a week, or once a month, God will take note and reward our hard work, in this life and the next.  May God be praised as we all dedicate ourselves to Him.