Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Christian in Obama's Court

Pundits have a hard life these days. Especially conservative pundits. While maintaining a hard line against the policies of Barack Obama, they must continue to express faith in the American public, who elected said president.
Conservative politicians must walk an even higher rope over a deeper pit. While criticizing the effect, they must be cautious not to alienate the cause. They must gain the favor of at least a certain portion of those who actually approve of President Obama's job performance.
Gallup puts Obama's 100-day approval rating at 65%. This is deemed "notable in that nearly all major demographic categories of Americans are pleased with his job performance, as evidenced by approval ratings above the majority level."
FOX fixes him at 62%. A Bloomberg poll has him at 68%.
Considering Obama garnered 52.9% of the popular vote, this means that anywhere from 10 to 16% of the folks that cast their vote for someone else didn't really mean it, or at least are being extremely credulous and forgiving, taking into consideration that, if anything, Obama has governed from a point far left of where he campaigned.
To avoid outright double-talk, in appealing to the public, the commentators and congressmen and women have come up with a party line.
The slogan struck upon by conservative pundits and pols is any number of variations on the following: The American people do not like Obama's policies, they just like Obama.
This strikes me at an odd angle. These polls are called "approval ratings", correct? The pollsters are not asking us if we think he has a cute smile or nice pecs, they are asking us if we "approve."
Now, if say half of those 6o something percent say they approve of Obama just because they think he is a nice guy, then, in addition to the other 30 some odd percent of people who do actually approve of his performance, we now have a 30% demographic that could be labeled "people who don't understand what the word 'approval' means", which is a statistic almost as frightening as the number of people who voted for him in the first place.
To be fair, considering the rock on one hand and the hard place on the other, this party line may be the only option. for pols and pundits. It's hard to win votes or enlarge audiences making speeches about how stupid everyone is. Unless you're Michael Savage, who enjoys an audience about half the size of Limbaugh.
Do you remember a blip in the ill-fated campaign of John McCain? (For that matter, do you remember John McCain?)
An advisor and supporter, one former Senator Phil Gramm made the statement that we were in a "mental recession", and that we had become "sort of a nation of whiners."
The truth contained in this statement (note I say, "truth contained in". I don't claim the statement to be 100% accurate) stung. How badly it stung can be illustrated in the fact that no one has ever heard from Gramm subsequent to those remarks, and he is, in fact, missing and presumed dead, or somewhere in Pakistan with OBL.
But I don't have a listening audience or a voter public, so I feel safe in pointing out what I see.
The American people do not, as a rule, take firm ideological positions on anything. The overwhelming majority vote on charisma, and what they think of as "competence." In other words, if the guy can get things done, as inexplicable as it seems, they don't really seem to care what things he is getting done.
So, in returning to this self-contradictory party line, where does that leave a Christian?
You got a better idea?, you may growl.
Maybe pull that money you are donating to whatever political cause you think will change the world and fund a crisis pregnancy center with it.
When you start getting riled about Obama's destructive agenda, pray for someone, starting with Obama.
Think more about converting an acquaintance to Christianity than converting them to conservatism.
The one will eventually follow the other.


Mark M said...

The next to last sentence is the undoubtedly the best long term solution. Well said.

Jackie said...

Good advice. It reminds me of a message a friend put up on Facebook: "I wonder what would happen if instead of reading and forwarding nasty political emails, we'd be offering prayers of repentance for our country. Oh, yeah...God would forgive our sins and heal our land."

wncjr said...

Nate,did you read the article that reports 78% of Jews voting for Obama, explain please?