Your Personal Populism

 

golden-calf-syndrome-golden-calf

I will deliver

You know I’m a forgiver

Reach out and touch faith

Reach out and touch faith

Your own personal Jesus

Someone to hear your prayers

Someone who cares

Your own personal Jesus

Someone to hear your prayers

Someone who’s there…

-Personal Jesus, Depeche Mode

~~~

When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him (Exodus 32:1).

~~~

Does any of this ring a cow bell? redhandpointingdown

Malignant populism…

…is impatient, short-tempered. “You shall know them by their outrage.”

…is self-referring.

…demands tokens of assurance, of victory, of winning.

…uses fear mongering to gain and remain in power.

…avoids all risk to obtain security and protectionism.

…believes that draining the swamp removes lethargy and guilt.

…is a left-brain big government solution and a right-brain protest of big government.

…seeks to replace the timeless with the temporal; throws the baby out with the swamp water.

…obtains identity from sympatico sources and by denigrating and mocking all others

…is self-centered and narcissistic in its demand for self-preservation.

…makes everything personal, including its self-protected version (SPV) of Jesus.

…has no problem inflicting pain on others; “You’ll get yours now because we won”.

…shuts down discussion and debate with, “Grow up.”

…makes graven images (“Come, make us gods who will go before us”) to obtain instant gratification and to mollify their anger at not being “represented”.

…is “here and now or else”.

…as social justice: “We won. Accept it. Get over it”. (Other than using the remote, they have changed nothing.)

…uses words like “smashed”, “owned” “destroyed” and “crushed” to describe another “win” for the team.

…lives and dies by its icons: a flag, a cap, a brand, a golden representative.

…becomes what it worships: hollow, static, lifeless.

…says, “I’m the bully, now. I’m the elite. I’m the ruling class, now. The last is first, now, you’ll see.”

…has acolyte exculpatory messaging: “we are not represented…” (“As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”) …so give us what we want here and now. Make us feel great about ourselves again.”

And last, for this post…such populism defines itself as a direct rebellion against the powers that be – powers they say have not represented them and their concerns. So, they will repeal and replace with whatever is handy. Enter the Replacement.

Feeling unknown

And you’re all alone

Flesh and bone

By the telephone

Lift up the receiver

I’ll make you a believer…

-Personal Jesus, Depeche Mode

~~~

The idea behind our republic (we are not a democracy) was for the public to be well-informed and for the well-informed public to inform the directions and decisions of our representatives. But, information gathering today is decidedly myopic in scope and typically occurs via a highly partisan media, a media whose main concern is to be profitable (to “win”) at any cost. As such, anger and outrage is coaxed on by a very ‘sympathetic’ media’ who want you to come back for more. Hence, the seemingly ‘righteous’ anger directed toward the powers that be the many unabashedly express: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

There is also, it seems to me, a rejection of the printed word, including Scripture and our Constitution. In its place: an obstinate presumption of black and white rightness. Well, one does not have to become a malignant populist screaming out of his Twitter window at passersby.

Not all populism is bad.  The Convention of States (C.O.S.), as one example, represents a more thoughtful and orderly populism. Issues are debated to create informed and orderly change.

Regarding national issues, there should be a Convention of Churches so that Spirit-informed-“on earth as it is in heaven” Kingdom of God matters are discussed, debated and then direct our national polities…as we wait for God’s Representative to return.

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