I’m a registered Democrat but these days I usually vote Republican. But I don’t actually vote for anyone; I haven’t found a politician or a party I could vote for in years. Instead I vote against politicians whose policies I reject. In 2004 I voted against George Bush because he advocated more war in the Middle East. In 2008 I voted against John McCain because his economics favored the rich. In 2012 I voted against Barak Obama because he promoted abortion. I usually find both candidates unacceptable but one even more so. I’m politically homeless.
I’m not alone. Only 58% of eligible voters cast ballots in the 2012 presidential election and the turnout in mid-term elections, like the one this week, always fares worse. Really, we don’t have democracy anymore; we have an oligarchy of the rich (note what it costs to fund a campaign) and a disengaged electorate who sees politics as futile.
I sometimes long for a good king or a queen. Someone who will “administer justice and equity to all” (2 Samuel 8:15). Someone who will restrain the rich, protect the unborn, avoid war, squash public vulgarity, safeguard the environment, get us out of debt, end the welfare state, and create economic equity. Someone of noble character who doesn’t dirty himself with negative campaigning. Someone who will speak plainly no matter how it affects her polls. But this is fantasy.
I have ceased to see politics as a source of hope or effective action. Instead I look to the Church for that.