Why Politics? Where Governing and Mothering Meet
I lead two lives …. my web life, and my “real” life. In my web life, I’m free to speak on the topics that I love with a certain amount of anonymity and where I know my speech will be welcome … or at least expected. In my web life, I talk about politics; next to my faith, politics is one of those topics that I enjoy talking to people about because it is the only thing that ensures (or violates) my right to believe how I choose. In my tangible life, I do not talk so much about politics – at least with my friends and family – because my relationships are more valuable to me. Of course, I will talk about politics if the invitation is given, but generally I don’t get into.
Many of the people I know in my tangible life are mothers (parents) too, and I often get the question, “why politics? Of all the things that mothers need to be concerned about, why on earth would I find such an emotionally-charged and polarizing topic to be so important?” They’re right … mothers have a lot on their plate and much to be concerned with: education, health, finances, well-being, faith, nutrition, medicine, transportation, extra-curricular activities, friends, husbands, diapers (and all things baby), indoor decor and outdoor decor, self – preservation, technology, pets …. well you get the idea.
So why do I feel it necessary to add politics into this mix?
Let’s start with this …
The (general) purpose of motherhood is to raise effectively self-reliant adults who are going to be a benefit to society rather than a burden. As a Christian, I must add to that the purpose of raising my children to know and love God. So as a mother, I teach my kids about responsibility, I give them an education, I teach them how to feed themselves, clothe themselves, provide for themselves, etc. You’ve heard the saying, “Mommy knows best,” well “mommy” cannot do what is best, if the government is stepping.
Mommy cannot choose the best education for her child, if the government is mandating a specific type. Mommy cannot choose the best health care for her child, if the government is telling her that only one kind is available. Mommy cannot raise her child in the faith that she knows, if the government is telling her that she must be inclusive of all religions. Mommy cannot choose what is best, if the government has made that decision for her.
In America, our founding fathers established a republic – a form of self-government. In a republic the authority to govern was granted by God to the People, and the People chose to delegate some of their governing power to an entity called government. In a republic, mommy is completely free to choose how she raises her children from what kind of clothing to wear to what God she believes in.
What happens when people do not pay attention to politics? The government creeps into our lives like a serpent. It tries to convince us that it has our best interests at heart and that they are just trying to ease some of the tension. It convinces you that you work too hard, and should let them handle … your child’s education, or your health care decision, or your charitable giving, or your finances, or your food supply …. do you see where I am going with this? (Seriously, the last time a serpent tried to creep into business where it didn’t belong – it didn’t bode to well for mankind. Think about that.)
As a mother, I do not desire to raise an effective and self-reliant adult that benefits society, if the government is only going to step in when their grown, and make them into dependent burdens on government and tax dollars. It would be entirely ineffective of me as a mother to raise my children to be independent, open up the door of life when they are adults to wish them well, only to send them off into government enslavement … I wouldn’t just be ineffective, I would have failed at my job.
Yes. Politics is an emotionally-charged and polarizing topic which is often difficult to talk about, but next to faith it is one of the most important topics that society (including mothers) needs to talk about. It’s that important.
Talking about politics doesn’t mean bickering and complaining about what the “other” side does (or doesn’t do). It is about taking a rational and cool-headed approach to policy and legislative issues. It is about educating ourselves and others; not about elevating our egos and belittling the opposition.