Money Oiling Elections

This past week, I have been receiving emails from American politicians via the official chapel email account. They are addressed to a lady called 'Ophelia' who is either a genuine American who entered our email address by mistake (which seems unlikely), or a spammer who enjoys increased levels of internet traffic. They each contain heartfelt pleas for financial donations. One of the emails, from Chuck Schumer himself, Democrat Majority Leader in the Senate, is concerned that Jacky Rosen, the sitting Democratic Senator for Nevada, will lose her seat in November, and thus cede control of the Senate to the Republicans. Will I donate $5 or more to prevent this from happening?

Then there was an email from Senator Jacky herself, stating:

I need to raise $100,000 before the end of the month to fight back and win, but time is running out before the official FEC deadline – and unfortunately, I'm falling short.

Would I be prepared to help her meet her target? Prior to that, an email from a man called Jon Tester, also addressed to Ophelia, claiming that Montana has been identified as the deciding seat for control of the Senate, and would I give some money to prevent the Republicans from taking control?

Four more such emails were received, each requesting financial support. They highlight for me the very heart of the problem with American politics- the high spending. Each candidate must raise spectacular amounts of cash in order to match their opponents. Although big money does not always win (Donald Trump spent considerably less that Hilary Clinton in 2016), American democracy is oiled by lucre. Having taught both nations’ governmental systems and political cultures, it is one sure advantage the British has over the American.

Democracy is a flawed system of government (though like Churchill quipped, it is less bad than all the alternatives), because both voters and politicians are sold so cheap. The slickest ads, the brightest leaflets, the most lavish meetings must all be utilised and paid for. Christ Jesus would be our King and Lord not because of what He may do or offer, but because of who He is- our very Creator. He does not need your support, your wallet or your approval. He is universal potentate whether you hail Him or not, though He desires your homage and your love. I find that politicians and their campaigns help me to love Christ and His lordship more; the disappointment they create contrasts with the ever-expanding realisation of His greatness and magnanimity. 

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” 
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37

Image by Vik M from Pixabay