If you're looking for a gauge on the spiritual health of our country, look no further than the power-grabbing tactics of our leaders.
The liberal media narrative of Tea Party conservative Chris McDaniel's defeat at the hands of establishment Republican Senator Thad Cochran in Tuesday's runoff vote is simply this: African Americans were so off-put by McDaniel's racism that they just couldn't help but step in to help the other Republican.
What's disturbing is that this narrative seems to have come straight from the mind of Cochran's buddies in the GOP.
Perhaps acting in desperation after the Tea Party's upset of Eric Cantor, Cochran was forced to enlist Democrats for help to defeat conservative rival McDaniel.
The strategies his campaign evidently enlisted are nothing short of despicable.
1. The GOP used bogus racism accusations against one white Republican to trick black Democrats into voting for... another white Republican.
Republicans helped sponsor the robocall sent to Democrat voters:
"Hello neighbors. The time has come to make a stand and say no to the Tea Party. No to their obstruction. No to their disrespectful treatment of the first African American president," the recording began.
I was never the best at arithmetic, but I think in mathematical terms this means: Chris McDaniel + Tea Party = McDaniel hates Obama just because he's black.
This baffling claim was evidently repeated at multiple levels of Cochran's campaign. According to The New York Times, a black Democrat named Roger Smith, who was paid to organize for Republican incumbent Cochran, said this:
"I don't know much about McDaniel, other than what McDaniel is saying—that he's Tea Party. He's against Obama, and he doesn't like black people. You're going to get one of the white guys in there... You got to make a choice."
But it gets worse.
2. Convinced Democrats that voting for a Republican would somehow help Obama.
"If we do nothing, Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel wins and causes even more problems for President Obama," the automated call continued.
"Please commit to voting against Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel," it concluded, carefully avoiding any mention of Cochran at all.
3. Convinced Democrats that the Tea Party guy was all about taking away their stuff.
The same New York Times article quotes a 17-year-old sporting a "Thad" sign alongside three of his black friends, as saying, "They're talking about taking everything away from us... People still need stuff."
Students of recent election history reading that quote are likely suffering violent flashbacks to "Obama's going to pay my mortgage!"
Another resident, Jeanie Munn, said McDaniel represented a "threat to the state" based on his opposition to the building of a nursing school building at University of Southern Mississippi.
Thus is recycled the same 50-plus-year-old Democrat weapon against Republicans: they want to take your x away. But that dull blade seems to have been wielded by Republicans themselves this time.
When Politicians Sell Their Souls
If there was any doubt before that our nation's solutions aren't found in conventional political games, there is none any longer.
But Christians trying to navigate the political realm should remember: it isn't just about the stances you take, but about your character and the principles that govern your conduct. And character issues don't confine themselves nicely to one side of the aisle or another.
Although God sovereignly controls the outcome of every election, we must also remember that the "throne is established by righteousness" (Proverbs 16:12). But where righteousness and honesty are lacking in the hearts of our leaders, it doesn't matter what views they hold on paper; they are in desperate need of our prayer and influence. After all, no one can muster up righteousness apart from surrender to Christ bringing them from death to life—not even a politician.