Text: 1 Samuel 17:32-49
I don’t know about you but I am tired of political commercials. It’s only June, so the November election is still five months away. Yet I’m already tired of hearing the television ads and reading the propaganda from both sides. It makes me want to follow Thoreau to a place deep in the woods where no cell phone, television or internet service can reach me and stay there until November 7. All the boasting about the great things “I” did in the past is so frustrating since so little can be done by a single politician, even the president. Someone has said that political T.V. commercials prove just one thing: that some candidates’ good points and qualifications can only fill up 20 seconds. Given the complex challenges we face, sound bites get old really fast.
Perhaps the most unfortunate part of all the claims by politicians about what they have done or about what their opponent has or has not done is that they are a recipe for a cynical electorate. The other day I heard someone advocating that members of Congress only serve two terms: one in office and one in jail. Views like this are a sad commentary on our political process, and yet they are quite common these days. But this is not a new problem. It may be worse now, but it’s not new. Will Rogers, the vaudeville actor, once said, “I don’t make up jokes. I just watch the government operate and report what they do.” What are we to do with all of the distortions and in some cases, outright lies that bombard us in this election season? Perhaps it’s just me, but it sometimes feels like we’re under assault with words. It’s like a slow death by vowels and consonants—and lots of exclamation points! I feel like making my own commercial that says: “Stop spending all this money on getting elected. I’m every American and I approved this message.”