Today I am distracted by the Clinton/Trump debate. It’s running in the background while I attend to some other desk chores. Political discourse tends to glaze my eyes these days – we’ve had so much that is disappointing in our own wide brown land.
A lot of people here ask what business is it of any but U.S. citizens how they select their President. After all, we get cheesed off when visiting commentators presume to advise us and we’re likely to tell them to go and “dip their eye in fig jam!”
The world has a legitimate interest in US politics, however, as the USA sets so many global trends. Australia is inextricably linked to US policy through alliances, treaties, trade agreements and other deals. We host its military bases and have, at times, been nominated as its “deputy” in this corner of the globe.
So I guess there is an understandable concern about the outcome of the coming November elections.
Both leading candidates have had their flaws mercilessly exposed and so much seems to hinge on this initial debate, let alone the two follow-up sessions. Success, according to media, seems to be predicated on who avoids the most prominent stuff-up in their presentation.
Vision and inspired leadership seem to take a back step in all reported political discourse now and many politicians seem to pander to the media’s insatiable appetite for the sensational “grab” or the “gotcha” moment.
Lament, modelled on the Psalms, leads to a declaration of hope. So where can I finish? It’s with the awareness that not only those caught up in the political maelstrom seek to provide leadership in our communities. There are many practical visionaries that strive against the odds of the powers and principalities that would rob us of the values of compassion, faith and love – the qualities that make no sense in the economic rationalist ideology that has gripped most of our world’s parliaments and congresses. These holy visionaries continue to speak into the less-than-inspiring political discourse. Their sleeves are rolled up and the sweat on their brow testifies that they speak from knowledge and experience.
Long may they live and may the ears of many turn their way.