In years past the mark of political nobility was to reach across the aisle in an effort to bridge the divide. Somewhere in the midst between the red and blue, in the brackish confluence, compromise was found in the purple quagmire. That aisle years ago seemed only a few feet apart; sometimes closer, sometimes a bit farther apart. But there was some similar ideology–how to govern business, how to care for the needy, and the retired. And taxes! Those paths which seldom intersected exactly, but at least trended parallel in many ways, have veered radically away from each other.
To reach across the aisle any longer is to compromise one’s ideology too much… for either party. They are not simply political leanings, but they are global belief systems, they are worldviews, they are bloodlines, they are to live and die for; they are irresoluble ideologies. They are at opposite ends of the moral spectrum. The days of give-and-take are effectively over. In marriage we would call them “irreconcilable differences”; we would go before a magistrate and be done with it… but the offspring in this case are 330 million members.
Occasionally, there are those legislators, those representatives or those senators who are either not left enough, or not right enough and so they find themselves very isolated in no man’s land, mired in that swamp. And the divide grows at the margins, but, in my estimation, that condition may not be all that bad.
I am told by the other side I am “ignorant,” or a “malfunction,” a “hater,” or simply “wrong,” and although I may not say it in such words, I would have the same sentiments perhaps levied of the other side.
So, as for the days of reaching across the aisle for support and unity, or simply compromise… that ship has sailed. The ideology of the radical left has moved further and further towards progressivism, and I might add, void of religious morays. Oddly, it is the moderate left who are trying to restrain the Progressives, and a few, in fact too many from the right are now occupying the void in the center.
The present administration makes it clear that unity is not part of the next three years; the flagship, and the fleet are void of the true Christ, having been seduced to a moral void. Commitments to reach across the aisle are empty, nothing more than a virtue signaling hollow promise to garner votes. It seems clear that partisan politics are here to stay. We are not working together; they are not moving things in a direction which is consistent with our founding principles, our historical national ideals.
Today’s political climate has little to do with food stamps, redistricting or infrastructure; it has everything to do with truth. Most of the time “the sides” have alternate truths, we might say, mutually exclusive, alternate realities. We may choose to fruitlessly reach across the aisle in an attempt to glean common ground, or we can abandon hope in that ideal. This happens not only in the political arena but the religious world as well, between the Evangelical “Christian” Left and the Evangelical Christian Right. In both arenas conservative ideals are mocked.
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! (Psalm 1:1).
Notice the degenerative nature of movement in the company of those with such extreme worldviews; time spent begins walking, then slowing down… standing… finally taking a seat with those who desire to jeer, and mock with no intent of finding common ground.
Scoffers seem not to be able to be reached, the lenses of the progressive mind do not connect with conservative ideology. To be fair, as a conservative Christian I will never see men as women (or women as men), gender distortion as reflecting God’s good order, or life not beginning at conception. Beliefs like these are, in fact, detrimental to our intellectual, moral, and spiritual health.
Politics is not religion, but truth is still of vital importance to both. As Christians we still need to reach out to those who need salvation, even when they may not want it. But let us guard our own integrity. “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Patches of common ground are rare, and dialogue seems no longer possible. As the lies move further from truth… As the dark moves further from the light… As the Evangelical Left moves away from, and distorts the Evangelical Right… As the distance grows between masked and unmasked, between vaccinated and unvaccinated, between conspiracy and conspiracy theory… separate quarters seem best. More tension is looming, battles in light of abortion and the “inconvenient” Constitution are just on the horizon, and promise greater turmoil. So be it.
As the aisle grows wider apart it becomes a battlefield. When that happens, sadly, war is imminent. Take courage and keep God’s truth close at hand.