This Is Politics

We could discuss the difference between talking about things that are immature, crass, offensive, and things that are criminal assault and deception. There is plenty that could be said about respectful (or lack thereof) discourse. We could say much about the intersection of faith and politics or the rise and fall of “the evangelicals.” I don’t want to talk about any of this here.

In the past couple of days we have seen or heard of a handful of politicians who have publicly decried their party’s presidential nominee stating they would be pulling their support and/or not voting for their party’s candidate for president. Based on some of the things that were said, this did not seem that surprising. Perhaps the bigger surprise was, for many, that the support was there to begin with.

pol·i·tics | \ˈpä-lə-ˌtiks\ : By definition the word means to influence the actions and policies of government (or youth sports, a church, your office, your neighborhood association, a school, etc.) in order to get and keep power. 

For the very same reason we should not be at all surprised these very same politicians, that just days ago denounced their support of a particular candidate, have come to terms with the offense they so passionately spoke of and have now decided they will again support their political party’s nominee for president, even after they said they wouldn’t. This. Is. Politics!

Historically, there has been little chance of a politician (one who practices the craft of “politics”) securing any significant influence or power if the individual does not belong to, and support, one of the two major political parties in our country. This is politics. For a moment, it seemed as though the most strategic political move was to speak out against some of the things that were said by the party’s candidate, then it became quickly apparent, for some, that in fact the best political strategy was to fall back in line with one’s party and its candidate, regardless. This. Is. Politics.

Maneuvering, influencing, pandering, aligning, “condorsing” (condemning and endorsing at the same time)*. This is politics and we shouldn’t be surprised.

*updated with new term thanks to @JonathanMerritt