By Jeff Wehr
A recent poll published in the Economist/YouGov Poll, May 12, 2012, found that 70% of Americans believe that lobbyists and special interest groups in Washington compromise and distort our political process. The poll also revealed that only 19% of Americans feel that they are not well represented by our elected officials.
While the majority of Americans view our political leaders with suspicion and frustration, a majority also feel that most people are not capable of making good decisions about current political issues. So what do most people do? They place their trust in those they do not trust. The Roman historian Sallust remarked two thousand years ago, “Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master.”
Liberty requires personal responsibility. Our founding fathers were men who fought for liberty, who assumed personal responsibility, and placed on the altar their honor, possessions, and lives.
But over the years as government has grown, and I believe we have become less responsible as private citizens. You might say we have become so institutionalized by big government, that we look more to a system to solve our problems than to ourselves.
Over the last decade, since 9/11, we have seen how the Patriot Act and other legislation has gradually taken away certain liberties. But where are the champions for liberty? Where are the people who can still think for themselves?
The bright spot in the American electorate is that 40% of Americans see themselves as Independents. Millions of former Democrats and Republicans have left the ranks of party politics over the last few general elections. This tells me that some are willing to think about issues separately. They may agree with one party on fiscal responsibility, but side with the other party on social issues.
As millions are now willing to separate the issues instead of going with the party line, could this be a precious opportunity for us to blanket the country with truth-filled literature? Is this the golden moment to ask people about their thoughts on religious liberty?
There is a window of opportunity. As one trend tells us, many people are shying away from personal responsibility to trust the very elected officials they do not trust, yet there is a growing number of people willing to separate from party politics to think for themselves.
My prayer is that we will be a voice for present truth. It is time to cast out the net far and wide.