3. Political priapism is not strategically sound. This is not a time for theatrics and gamesmanship. This is a time, perhaps moreso than any time in recent memory, when the American people will reward the party that puts forth the most serious people advancing the most serious ideas. We are anxious. We’re afraid for the future of our country, concerned that the old stabilities are foundering. Under such circumstances, those who dither and talk about underwear bulges come across as childish, unserious and unworthy of our attention.
For Christians on both sides of the aisle, this is an opportunity to set a tone. I’m skeptical whether “the other side does it” is ever a legitimate excuse for a believer, since Christ taught us to begin with the logs in our own eyes. If Christians want to show the way toward a better kind of political dialogue, a more honest, charitable and focused dialogue, then this might present the perfect opportunity.
What would be the consequences if Christians took seriously, as a political matter, Paul’s admonition in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Of course, this needn’t mean that we look the other way when a politician commits a grave sin that demonstrates an absence of character. But it does mean that Christians should not attach too much importance to such things, should not get so caught up in the political sport of it all that he or she forgets to focus on the most important public policy challenges facing the present moment.