“ANTIDOTES TO VOTER ANGER”

angry-voters

Wheaton College Political Science professor Amy Black is a regular contributor to The Table, the online journal sponsored by Biola University’s Center for Christian Thought.  In the latest issue, Black writes about “Antidotes to Voter Anger.”  Self-styled “realists” will dismiss her suggestions as naïve, but we ought to find them convicting.  Here are her concluding thoughts:

Given the current state of American politics, Christians have great opportunities to model a different style of political communication. When political debates grow intense and anger rises, we need not respond in kind. Instead, we can make every effort not to incite more anger. At times, this may require refusing to speak or respond at all, at least until tempers recede.

When we do choose to respond, we can critique issue positions, individual candidates, and even the system itself with a proper sense of humility. When debates are framed in terms of personal gains or losses, we can reorient the discussion toward broader questions of political justice, asking what biblical values are at stake and what paths are most likely to serve the common good.

We can offer a quieter, less emotionally-charged counterpoint, presenting our arguments with respect and care. We can also take time to learn about political controversies before commenting on them, checking details with multiple sources and considering a range of viewpoints. Most importantly, we should commit the election, our political system, and all those participating in it to prayer.

Voter dissatisfaction has been growing for decades, and the underlying problems that have led to such anger will not be easily solved. But we can chart a different path in how we respond, modeling humbler and more informed political communication.

4 responses to ““ANTIDOTES TO VOTER ANGER”

  1. My 17 year old is taking an introductory politics class at the local community college. She came home from class this morning so discouraged. She said that everyone in class was arguing. They were shouting at each other, angrily interrupting, and belittling those who held unpopular viewpoints. Your article is good timing. I forwarded it to her. Thanks for writing, this is one if my favorite blogs!

  2. Pingback: At the Other End of the Spectrum — Evangelicals and Liberals Cooperative – Old Life

  3. I think one of the biggest reasons for the unbridled anger we often witness these days is a lack of perspective – a lack of understanding of how the situation we may abhor has come to be. Television has contributed to this with its incessant replays of provocative video segments with little or no explanation. In these cases a picture is worth a thousand very angry words but perhaps not much truth.

  4. Well put. I pray about the anger a lot. I pray for teachers who have some dark, dark literature in their curricula–necessary because it’s true and should be known–it should be there–but how do you channel a potential lava flow? So then I pray that other victories over anger will be presented alongside–new growth from volcanic ash–but oh my heart–and oh my own anger

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