Politics and Life
The terms politics and life may feel contradictory in nature, but politics is a part of our lives, whether we like it or not. In interviewing former California State Senator Mike Morrell, he noted two subjects that were discouraged by others to talk about: religion and politics. Yet when we look back at a casual study of history over the last 5,000 years, it’s the only two ways men oppress other men.
We will briefly touch on some of the references Mike made in the podcast with a brief description of each. They will be included in four main points: history repeats itself, evaluate your beliefs, what we can do as citizens and what it takes to be in politics. Each point has a personal challenge and I hope you not only read but listen and ponder the application for your life!
History Repeats Itself
Born in 1758, Fisher Ames was admitted to Harvard College at the age of twelve. He first entered politics in response to a monetary debt crisis bringing about Shay’s Rebellion in 1787. This was a violent Insurrection led by Continental Army Captain Daniel Shays as militia received little pay or reimbursement for military service. This set the stage for George Washington to return to political life, serving as president of the U.S. from 1789-1797. It’s interesting to note that Washington did not represent a political party.
Ames, admitted to the bar in 1781, believed laws were necessary to sustain liberty and declared the essence of good government is to protect property and its rights. We as individuals won’t agree with every politician’s stance, either in history or today. However, laws go back to the Old Testament times.
Aristotle, (384-322 B.C.), Greek philosopher, logician and scientist, defines citizenship, the constitution and defines the city-state relationship. Plato, (427-347 B.C.), Greek philosopher and student of Socrates, believes conflicting interests of different parts of society can be harmonized. Socrates, (470-399 B.C.), a Greek philosopher is credited as a defender of free speech, honest and relentless inquiry and the love of truth.
In biblical times, we see the Israelites, as well as other lands overwhelmed and conquered time and again. War and defending rights is nothing new and understanding how different cultures and generations did so is fascinating. It is unfortunate that many of our educational institutions are trying to rewrite history to mold it around their belief system. However, it is also fortunate that many television and streaming series, such as Turn: Washington’s Spies are available to spark interest in historical events for those of all ages. Even though fictional events are added, series such as this are fascinating and captivating and will hopefully inspire more study.
Politics and Life: Evaluate Your Beliefs
St. Augustine (354-430), was the Catholic bishop of Hippo in Northern Africa and his political and social views flow directly from his theology. He said that justice is seen in loving and serving God, then in ruling well in everything else. If you remove justice, kingdoms become gangs of criminals on a large scale. Augustine’s language is a bit different and may be challenging to understand, but the principle of justice holds true today.
Thomas Aquinas, (1225-1274), Roman Catholic Scholar, reconciled the political theory of Aristotle with the Christian faith. He wrote about eternal, divine and natural law and that reason is within man, placed naturally and by God to guide him in his acts. Also, a just ruler or government must work for the common good of all. This is common sense, but so many turn this around for personal gain, ignoring the people they are serving.
John Locke, (1632-1704), was an English philosopher and physician. Much of his work is characterized by the opposition to authoritarianism. He encourages individuals to use reason to search after truth and not just accept the opinion of authorities. Therefore, Locke asserted that individuals are sovereign from authorities.
C.S. Lewis, (1898-1963), British writer and theologian, wrote The Chronicles of Narnia. In his book Mere Christianity he said, If the universe is not governed by an absolute goodness, then all our efforts are in the long run hopeless. This statement should inspire us all to take a step back in evaluating our true belief system.
Politics and Life: What Can We Do as Citizens?
One thing we can do as citizens is stand up for our unalienable rights. Those are self-evident truths and many of those truths surround us. Abraham Lincoln, (1809-1865), and 16th President of the United States, begged his listeners to, Come back to the truths that are in the Declaration of Independence in the summer of 1858. This was five years before his Gettysburg Address when he was worried this message had already been lost. Claiming our rights may take standing up for our freedoms while others cross us out or try to silence our opinions.
One of the most-used phrases we’ve heard in the past couple years is, Trust the science. First of all, what is science? According to the Science Council, science covers investigating social as well as natural worlds and includes objective observation of measurement and data, evidence, experimentation and critical analysis. Science is ongoing and is usually open to debate.
I have no idea what the political stance of the Science Council is, but I do know how important it is to have an objective conversation. When you spoon-feed a populous with verbiage of, Trust the science with what may or may not be recent data, shutting out any differing opinion, this is a problem in using the actual term science.
Without getting too political, this principle applies to most any area of life. In America, we have freedom of speech, according to the Bill of Rights. When this is cut off and controlled, justified by some means, it’s important to evaluate this carefully. Our founding fathers, among them George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, risked their lives, livelihoods and legacies to take a stand for freedoms for individuals of all states and governments in our United States.
The first thing we can do is to not accept most anything you hear or read. Journalist Salena Zito, who writes The Middle of Somewhere, articles that come out three times weekly in the Washington Examiner, New York Post and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, states that merely following tweets and social media posts don’t tell the real story. Salena goes where the story is—among the people.
We recently saw Joe Rogan, who dared interview doctors Dr. Peter McCullough, who is board certified in internal medicine with over 1,000 publications in the National Library of Medicine. Also Dr. Robert Malone, who is the original inventor of mRNA vaccination technology, DNA vaccination and other technologies with 9 patents. He has 100 scientific publications with over 12,000 citations of his work and is labeled outstanding per Google Scholar. Why were these interviews labeled dangerous information? Because they differed from the narrative? Really? Do you agree? It’s important for us to do our own research and keep the conversation going.
Politics and Life: What Does it Take to be in Politics?
The point I want to affirm is the importance to keep free-flowing conversations, especially with those proven and verified in their field. For those freedoms to exist, whether it’s for podcast interviews or the education of our children, we can’t just sit back and let the powers that be rule all the narrative. Not everyone is cut out for politics. I definitely don’t want a target on my back, but I do want to have conversations with those who stand for our freedoms like Mike Morrell. This is imperative for not only our personal lives, but for our businesses.
Morrell started his campaign five years before running for office as preparation for running. He joined four different chambers of commerce groups, got on a couple boards, went to Toastmasters to practice and get input on his speaking. When he was corrected by the group, he listened. He also listened to the people he was to serve. He knew that small businesses are the backbone of American economy, driving innovation, employment, and technology.
Meeting people, going door to door and going to every community event possible is what Mike did. He wanted to make sure he took care of the everyday people and made sure his staff were of the same mindset. Remember, he did this a full five years before running, then didn’t quit when he got in office. While a senator, he still attended every Eagle Scout ceremony and continued to listen to the people.
This principle of preparation is so very important and not just applicable to the field of politics. For those who are at mid career or the halftime of life looking to make a change or make a difference, it’s not too early to start planning now. Spend the time thinking through your own core values (See article and free download: Define Your Essential Work)
There is no time like the present to get off an endless roundabout of indecision. (See article: What is a Roundabout?) It’s not too early, nor is it too late to start! Fear, procrastination and inactivity will result in you being in the same place next year, and even ten years from now. You have the freedom to pursue significance, whether in business, serving in a non-profit or even in politics! I’ve included a few more resources below for your future study and information. The resources are free, but freedom is not always free. We must stand for freedom and guard our unalienable rights and self-evident truths, which were paid for with blood and sacrifice.
Free Course: Constitution 101 from Hillsdale College
Dr. Larry P. Arnn is a professor of politics and history. Read his recent publications and media mentions: Recent Publications
The first thing we can do is to not accept most anything you hear or read. Then, be open to having objective conversations.
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
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