Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Politics of Fruit

Before the 2008 Presidential Election, I was reading a friend's blog when the following thoughts came to mind. I posted this in response to his blog. I thought it would be interesting to post it here, after the election to get your thoughts now that we've chosen our President.

Statement I caught: "To me this election shouldn’t be about what a man isn’t, but what a man is."

I'll step out there. You're right in that the success of a man is better surmised by the accomplishments he has rather than the opportunities he missed. Funny how we award people for what they've done and ridicule others for what they haven't. The dichotomy (fair or not) is present in just about every aspect of our lives. Artists refer to the Positive/Negative Effect of a painting by what's present/not present. Not painting something can be just as important, if not more, as painting it. To the sculptor, it's not the media that remains that takes the skill, but rather the media that is removed; and yet, it's the media that remains that receives all the renown and praise. It's the whole "darkness isn't substantial, it's merely the absence of light" & "evil doesn't exist and wasn't created, but is merely the absence of good" theological debates that we've grown to love.

Do you judge a candidate by what he will add to this country or by what he will take away? Is it fair to compare the resume's of two individuals who have different backgrounds - faulting one because of an opportunity that may or may not have presented itself - praising the other simply because, when that opportunity couldn't have been avoided?

I need a fruit. This fruit has to satisfy the ideals beheld by fruit lovers across the world - what's that you say? What are the specific ideals? well I'm not sure, but neither is anyone else so I guess it doesn't really matter - but the ideals must be met; if not, it's definitely not the right fruit for the job.

I've narrowed my selection (by popular vote, market availability, locale, etc.) down to an orange and an apple. Perhaps you could help me from here - I'm having trouble comparing their resumes.

You see I can't really compare apples to oranges. I can't fault the apple because it didn't grow on an orange tree - and I can't condemn the orange because it's obvious that the apple will make a much better apple pie - trust me on this.

Do I pick the apple based on what it can do? Or do i pick the orange based on what the apple cannot? etc.

I'd have a hard time choosing my fruit if I didn't have some specific ideals that I needed to satisfy. Sure, I might have to settle not having ALL of them satisfied, but if I defined specifically what was important to me and my beliefs, then it would be much easier to choose. I would have the peace and assurance (warning: Christian vocabulary emerging) at the end of the day knowing of what was important to me, and of the two fruits I had to choose from (pun intended) that I made the best possible decision.

I must say this, I disagree with the "influencers" mentality - hoping some key influencers will step up and make the choice for us so we can go along with that decision. I seem to remember a High School Prom Queen being elected that way. I want to be like them, and they voted for her, so I must now vote for her. We're supposed to be the influencers - men and women who will step up and reach in and determine exactly what ideals are important to us - those absolutes that are non negotiable - and from that compare the fruit as it measures up to those absolutes. Only then will the best fruit be chosen. Sure, I might have to settle not having ALL of them satisfied, but if I defined specifically what was important to me and my beliefs, then it would be much easier to choose.

Any decision made without careful consideration for the morals and ideals that really matter - is a decision made in haste and will probably end up tasting like an apple pie, baked with oranges. It's what you settled for, forced to try to become what you really wanted - leaving you, and your country, sorely disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. i must admit—election day is one of my most dreaded events. So many people telling me who I need to vote for, what I should want/need/like in a candidate... that I even HAVE to choose between the two main people going head to head. All the while all of my 'republican' friends are at a temporary (but longstanding) war with my 'democratic' friends and for what seems like an eternity... we no longer look like brothers and sisters, but like wings and parties. And I have to fight every year to tell both sides to stop nagging me. to stop telling me what and who and why i should vote. I'm highly capable of investigating MY candidate...through unbiased research, through prayer, and through trusting God that no matter WHO is President... He can still move mountains. :D Great post Don!