Regardless of what you think, you have a worldview – everyone does. Worldview is defined as: The unique, particular, philosophy of life or conception of the world, developed in each person as a product of increasing knowledge and experience, to include your values and religion.
Traditional wisdom is usually valid advice! Almost always, politics seems irrational unless you can trace who benefits from the spending of public dollars! “Follow the Money…” if you want to understand the why behind what legislation passes and which doesn’t. Perverted obsession for money is right up there with sex and power! Do not, however, presume you can understand politics and judge politicians using ONLY this litmus! It is far more productive and fundamental to monitor a public figure’s worldview.
By definition, politicians expect to be transparent about their philosophies, yet it seems little attention is paid – until we later judge them using media-filtered information. In order to be elected, each politician explains his or her values, posting their biographies, intentionally inviting evaluation and support. Of course, they can lie to hide their real beliefs, but in “small town” Alaska, claims are subject to scrutiny of the statewide gossip-mill. Then, all governing decisions and debates are carefully recorded for anyone to see – so researching for confirmation of claimed values is very doable! A Politician’s worldview is proclaimed by actions, so ideally, their votes become validations of their claims (or not…). A better mantra is “follow the worldview”.
I’m convinced we tend to not do due diligence following the worldviews of public servants. For one thing, it is culturally discouraged, at least it is in the culture of those immersed in the ivory towers of so-called “secular” government. Too many self-righteously believe we should not judge anyone’s values. It is automatically presumed arrogant and intolerant to be adamant about what is right or wrong (“truth” be damned!). Right now, our Nation is choosing to pretend the meaning of “freedom of religion” is to honor any whacky value able to get highlighted by the media. Freedom of religion is actually an all-important ban on secular government establishment of religion, it most certainly is not an excuse to obscure values including moral absolutes! The current cultural aversion to moral conviction is a very real threat to America! George Washington (and other founders) make my point far better than I could; “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” (recorded by Noah Webster, 1806).
Prosperity, peace, security, health, freedom and happiness are all a result of application of values; and, easily identifiable in the text of the Declaration of Independence, early State constitutions, Federalist Papers, Bill of Rights, and the US Constitution. These philosophical/religious ideals are the core of our esteemed rule of law based on “Nature’s Law”! Without a standard, governing decisions are as variable as the number of attorneys (or attorney wannabes) in the room! Governing values go adrift when we fail to endorse the standard in the minds of our children. If it only takes one generation to discredit and ignore the “rules of the game”; then we will always be one generation away from tyranny.
American laws still confirm the evil nature of killing, lying, cheating, stealing, abuse of the weak, and it is majority consensus that provides the authority for enforcing our “rule of law”. The founders also believed in a God who establishes what is right and wrong; referring to Him as “Nature’s God”, “Supreme Judge”, and refers to His control (“Divine Providence”). It is difficult to justify His expulsion from the courtroom and classroom. They understood the best possible human government can only be conducted by citizen’s with religious standards.
Our nation is designed to be run by people who embrace our national motto (In God We Trust). It is left up to voters to decide who this may be, so as goes the faith of the citizens, so goes government. If atheism (Secular Humanism) is the majority perspective, our constitution becomes meaningless and there is no virtue in judging a politician’s worldview! I have never seen a politician openly pretend to be an atheist… only the opposite. Clearly the masses prefer traditional values – or most politicians think we do.
The second reason we shrink from judging others is more personal and individual… a “catch 22” situation. It turns out none of us can rely on having an infallible internal “moral compass” to make judgements on others’ values! Any honest adult will admit to using the word “should” when judging behavior. We are prone to impose our values and experience on others “for their own good” – while at the same time not living up to our “should standard” ourselves. We tend to approve (or excuse) ourselves while feeling superior or critical of others. If we are thoughtfully humble at all, this causes us to be hesitant about declaring other worldviews as “wrong”, politicians or not.
This was also submitted as an article to The People’s Paper.