Highlight: A Word on Politics

The Old Fool observes as do many others that our system of governance is broken.  He recognizes, too, that he is only one citizen of many, but he is still fool enough to offer his ponderings.

Red and Blue states in last presidential election

The Old Fool understands that democrats are a liberal political party, and that liberal Mennonites  have much in common with  democrats.  Both are at home in densely populated urban America.  The populated areas they control are colored blue by political pundits.

These concerned citizens want the federal government to expand its social role. They want the government to guard the general welfare through regulations and protect the voting rights of citizens. They believe the government has a role in dispensing health care. Individuals should have government aid to pursue  happiness.  They welcome immigrants and want a path to citizenship for them.

On the other hand, Republicans are a conservative political party, and conservative Mennonites have much in common with Republicans.  Both are at home in the lesser populated rural and suburban areas.  Pundits color red the vast rural areas that conservatives control. Here is a link that shows the results of past presidential elections county by county.

These concerned citizens want a smaller government that has a lesser role in society. They oppose dispensing of health care by the federal government and are willing to make it difficult for certain citizens to vote. Promotion of the general welfare and the pursuit of happiness  with government help is not important to them.  Immigrants are a threat, and they insist that the border between Mexico and the US must be secure.

The Democratic party represents a majority of the population. But its ability to govern is limited by the filibuster rule which gives control of the senate to the minority.  And the Republicans have succeeded in gerrymandering congressional districts in a way that secures safe seats for their party.

The Old Fool’s word to Democrats and liberal Mennonites is found in the blog on the Evolution of Winnowing.  It is a word of hope.  Rural and suburban populations have demonstrated their ability to change the way they think and do.  Look at the story told by the pictures in that blog.  It is unfair to rural people to think that they can never change.

The Old Fool has a further word for any conservative Mennonite who feels uncomfortable with the description of Republicans:  switch parties or register as an Independent.


About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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3 Responses to Highlight: A Word on Politics

  1. Raymond Martin says:

    Good generalization which is all one can do with a subject with such breadth.

  2. Miriam says:

    I like the words, “It is unfair to rural people to think that they can never change.” Indeed, it is at the heart of conflict resolution to believe that I can change and that my fellow humans can change. We can learn from each other. And that is why conflict, as Carolyn Shrock-Shenk has said, is holy ground.

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