By Paul Rourke
The smoke and mirrors of the political season can provide a contrasting light for some ideas about governance that we could consider. With the majority of us believing in God, our view of the world is firmly rooted in the soil of creation. This implies for most of us a just and loving Creator of which we are a reflection. That being said, we yearn, consciously or not, to love and be loved by our neighbor. When we have love for our neighbor, we have unity and justice, the pillar that binds this relationship.
Few could examine our political system and feel any hope of relief because I might suggest that the culture of conflict has been carried to an absurd degree in which there are no winners ever. Feelings of disenfranchisement are created not so much because our party, or candidate, or initiative won or lost, but rather by the conflict created by the process. Our souls, created to reflect the love of our Creator, abhor disunity hence many withdraw.
In an atmosphere of conflict, a law is passed and legions of adversaries with vested interests immediately work at undermining it so that good or bad we will never know if it was an adequate solution, yet left to run its course, we may witness its effectiveness or not. Is it not ironic that as a new law unleashes a torrent of unrestricted funds those contributors to the system proportionately represent an ever shrinking pool of people. Can any be found to believe the voice of wisdom and justice will ever be heard in such a system.
Democracy is not a new idea. It has been evolving over thousands of years. Clinging to the notion that we have somehow reached the apex of understanding of how a representative government must function may consign us as they say “ to the dust bin of history” rather than government being a tool continually improved to support an ever advancing civilization.
Where in history are we and where do we want to go? Is it possible that we are in a time of dramatic transition as ever increasing worldwide tumult might suggest? Any that would say history is resigned to repeat itself cannot truly look back without seeing that the rights of women, children and minorities of all types have either improved or at least been brought to the arena of global consciousness. Is it not possible that we are in a period of history where we move beyond the practice of the past toward systems of unity and cooperation that our souls not only yearn for but were created for?
The issue before us is not global warming, reproductive rights or immigration but rather acknowledgment of the oneness of mankind because without unity we will always be putting out the fire of the most current issue to be followed by an even more contentious one.
What is required of us first is to unburden ourselves from believing that governance requires an adversarial relationship and begin the process of creating forms of representative government that rely on cooperation, the unfettered quest for justice, and the desire to sacrifice ourselves and our opinions for the betterment of others. I believe there is no other solution for further fragmentation will only lead to failure.
These ideas do not represent some idealist unrealistic vision, but rather the yearning instilled in man by the Creator’s voice as represented in a verse from the Lord’s prayer: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
A just God puts the vision before us, gives us free will to accept the vision, and the ability to acquire knowledge to put this vision into action. The solutions are neither simple, nor easy but what would we learn if they were? And again, could we consider for a moment a vision of an electoral process without conflict, an election without vested interests vying for dominance, and a legislature whose only motive is the welfare of it’s people. This possibility begins with an idea.
Paul Rourke is a long-time Homer resident who works at The Center.
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