It dawned on me just a couple of days ago. This is the election where we settle. We settle for mediocre, or worse. It’s like a person who is addicted to some drug that they know is not good for them. We settle for crappy jobs, because at least we can pay our bills, meanwhile our lives are rotting away inside. We settle for terrible relationships, all the while we are miserable. We settle for mediocre food, because you know, we have to fill our bellies with something. We settle for crappy TV, in the name of needing to be entertained. We settle.
Doesn’t that just sound awful? I hope so. I hope it makes you recoil.
How else to describe the life of so many mediocre people living mediocre lives and resigning themselves to their mediocre existence. We’ve settled. Why should we expect anything different from our politics?
What does it mean to settle? We give up.
You can add more to the definition, but really, it comes down to that. When we settle, we determine that this is the best we can ever hope for. How pathetic.
Settling take no vision. Settling takes no ideals or beliefs. Settling takes no courage. Settling takes no responsibility. Settling means handing in our humanity to be the dog hoping for some scraps of food from the table. Settling means we believe we are victims and have no control whatsoever over our lives or anything around us.
And that’s what this election has turned into.
Aren’t you tired of settling? I’m sick of it. I refuse to settle.
In our Gospel reading this past Sunday, we read about the persistent widow. She keeps bothering the unjust judge until he finally gives her what she wants. Except our English translations really don’t give this passage justice. The Greek word that is used for “bothering” can actually be translated as tormenting or keep slapping in the face. This woman that Jesus was talking about was in the judge’s face continuously badgering him without stopping. She was humiliating him in public. That’s why he gave her what she sought.
You can choose to settle for the choices offered. Or you can torment those who offer these choices and those that go along with these choices. Writing in a candidate is enough to torment most people who have sold their soul to the two parties. They will pull out all the stops to guilt you into voting for their mediocre candidate. They will use fear. They will use anger. They will claim that your vote doesn’t matter and in the same breath claim that it does because your vote is actually a vote for someone you didn’t vote for.
I challenge you to be a tormentor this election. Especially if you claim to believe in some kind of ideals or beliefs about what government should be about. Either that or put those beliefs away – they were worthless to you when you needed them most.
Be a tormentor if you are sick of settling for mediocre politics and politicians. Be a tormentor in this mediocre system where we are given mediocre choices. The only way it is going to change is enough people torment the system.