Capitol Hill feels like a massive machine that got stuck on autopilot, leaving our work devoid of value or even truth. It is easy to look at all of the problems and feel helpless, but I have to cling to the truth that God has called us to bring light into darkness and restoration into brokenness.
To the ones who feel burned out and desperate, who want relief from a political culture that robs you of community and authenticity, and eats you alive with its chaos, its constant franticness, and its suspicious fear of everyone around you, come join us. To the ones who long to write beautifully and govern well, come join us.
To put it bluntly, I think the reason the Right, for example, has no coherent unifying plan for where to lead the country is that we’re largely still hung up on problems that aren’t the real problem, and guides who aren’t offering a clear, compelling call to action. We still think the problem is each other, and so the plan for how to govern well will never include each other.
Has there ever been a political speech given for the purpose of complete joy? For those who agree with us, sure—but what if complete joy for everyone was our motive? Or would we rather fall into the slavery and fear of creating artificial enemies so we can gain a bit of artificial safety from them? What does that say about our affections?
The stories we live and tell consist of heroes who can’t and never will solve our problems, of hopes and fears placed in desired outcomes that always let us down. The result of these weak stories is a total degeneration of our political culture; politicians freaking out to move people to vote, or donate, or worse join the fight against their own neighbors.
We have to know what our core values are now, so that when the plot thickens, and we’re faced with problems and guides and calls to action, we have a center, a core, a deep down. And ultimately we need to know what that deep down is rooted in, because it will influence how we see our problems and guides and plans, and which ones we choose to listen to.
Most of the time we don’t even recognize this internal culture of fear and how it affects our outward response, or if we do, we think it’s a good thing—and somehow our work gets twisted and we peddle solutions that are rooted in our deepest fears—and this is what makes the problems in our political culture so obvious and yet so hard to define.