You know it is bad when saying “Merry Christmas” has become political. In communism, everything is political. It is a far-reaching political system that sees no limit to what aspects of its subject’s lives it can control. The same is true for Marxism. There is no room for dissent because nothing is more important than allegiance to the party. Likewise, the far-left desires government encroachment into more aspects of our lives. The only way it can accomplish that is by gaining more power by getting more people and organizations to bend the knee through social pressure and political control. It should not surprise us when they evaluate every aspect of our lives by party lines. However, classical liberals and conservatives must avoid such an evaluation of the world around us. When we make everything political and attempt to enforce it through social pressure and political power, we play right into their hands.
When I use the word “political” here, I am using it to refer to our tendency to judge everything by how it helps or hurts our political party. I am concerned about how many friends seem unable to step outside of the political framework when analyzing these aspects of our lives. This problem applies to my conservative friends as well. Here are a few examples.
Masks are intensely personal. They cover our faces, they make non-verbal communication more difficult, they hinder human connection, and they have a limited ability to slow the spread of larger fluid droplets that may contain COVID as we breathe. When it comes to masks, as each person does a cost/benefit analysis, it should not surprise us that there is a wide variety of opinions. We should expect disagreement on such an issue. What should surprise us is that the split tends to be down party lines. By paying attention to this phenomenon, it should become clear that many people have stopped thinking for themselves and have allowed party lines to condition their assessment of the situation. As a nation, we seem to be people who are more concerned about whether the other party is losing or gaining credibility than the problem at hand. Hence, we fall in line with the narrative that will help our party without much thought of our own.
It makes sense that there is a party divide on the issue of racial tensions because left and right are operating from entirely different frameworks. The far-left sees everything in light of groups and class struggles, while classical liberals and conservatives tend to see things in light of the individual and personal responsibility. Again, it should not surprise us when cultural Marxists attempt to use racial tension as a tool to gain political influence over more aspects of our lives, but conservatives should not follow suit. Black Lives Matter is a far-left political organization that operates on Marxist principles, and it makes sense that many conservatives want to distance themselves from it. Still, the problem lies in that many conservatives will censure other people even if they use the words “black lives matter” in their proper meaning. Have they become the word police just like the “politically correct” Marxists. When they refuse to say the words, they hand the truth over to those who distort it. Black lives do matter, and we must not be afraid to say it. We make no advance by denying truth because the phrase fails to help our political cause; fascists are the ones who deny truth to maintain political power, not us.
Do you enjoy professional competitions? Which party are you supporting when you take in a basketball game or a NASCAR race? The fact that that question makes sense is an indication that we have allowed politics too much room in our lives. Again, we should expect this from the far-left, but not the rest of us. The problem is that when we, as conservatives, apply party lines to every aspect of our lives, we do not gain any ground because we are using a far-left tactic, which is a win for them. I understand that a problem still exists; the athletes and organizations impose it upon us. The answer is not to pretend it does not exist. We may need to let these athletes and organizations know that we will no longer be patrons if this continues, but we must be clear about our reason. We are not tuning out because they do not support our party; we are tuning out because not every aspect of our lives should be political.
We could go on and on and talk about which party science works for and which products we should or should not buy from which companies. Even certain cars we might choose to drive can send a message of which side of the political aisle we tend to steer. The goal of this article is not to tell you where to land on any of these issues. It is merely to remind you that when you think about these issues, do not let how it will impact your political party push you in any specific direction. Our goal is to get to the truth, not promote a political advantage. Sometimes the two align, but the truth should always outweigh our political allegiance.
Here is where someone may say that my argument falls short because, in a sense, everything is political. After all, I am saying that everything should not be political because when we act that way, we give credence to the political systems of Communism, Marxism, and Leftism. We do not want those destructive theories to advance. We desire to preserve our constitutional republic. It seems I have used a political argument to argue for less politics. Seems self-refuting to me.
However, this counter-argument is an equivocation of how I have used the term “political” above. It misses my deeper argument. Yes, there is a sense in which everything is political in the true philosophical sense. Everything has political ramifications. A good citizen who desires to love his neighbor will be attuned to this, but a political party is not our god. It should never be the lens through which we evaluate all things. This is the kind of politics I am arguing against. Politics like that has an insatiable appetite. It will consume every aspect of our lives. Instead, as Christians, we are to take every thought captive to the obedience to Christ, not a political party. That is how we make everything spiritual: even politics. The way to promote the greater political good is to live a life where not everything is political.