I overheard a conversation recently that put me into a state of deep thought. At least I thought that was what I was in. I have been in deep stuff that wasn’t thought.
Someone said they “wanted to keep politics out of it.” I’m not even sure just what they were talking about, but I think it involved church because I heard God and hell mentioned several times.
I’ve often heard similar comments. For instance, just this week some groups were discussing “ground zero,” and it was noted that it had not been a part of this year’s political jabbering but the question was: Could politics be kept out of “ground zero?”
Now in my observation over the years, politics is a broad area with a definition that isn’t limited to seeking public office. And yes, I’ve seen lots of politics going on in church. I recall way in my past a church renovation project that involved a whole lot of politicking. It was not about Democrats and Republicans. And there were times I’m not even sure it was about Christians. Sometimes it’s hard to separate church and politics even though we’ve done quite well in separating church and state.
I don’t even know how to define politics. It’s kind of like pornography — I know it when I see it. Politics can run the gamut from lobbying on what to serve at the class reunion to choosing a nation’s president. I remember one time when I was in high school that a campaign to choose an “FFA sweetheart” involved a lot of politics. I don’t even know if they still do that.
I was once involved in a cookout. And of all things, politics and religion got involved in that. It started out with plans for a fish fry, which I supported. Then it got changed to cooking a whole hog over a pit. Someone mentioned that we would have Jewish friends there who probably would not appreciate pork. I saved the day by suggesting that we could cook chicken over the same fire. So we did both.
I have read where good politics involves the art of compromise. I lost my bid for fried bream and mullet, but I could be just as happy with hog and chicken. That’s probably as close as I ever got to running for office.
I once was asked to judge a Boston butt cookoff, but I turned down the offer because I was afraid there would be more politics than sauce involved.
And many people will say they never discuss politics and religion, but then they do because both subjects are so broad. It’s kind of like the fact that some people pick their noses and others lie about it.
So there’s one television in a bar. One fellow says he wants to watch football and another wants to watch NASCAR. And someone asks for a show of hands. They take a vote and football wins. That’s politics. Another fellow is upset because he wanted to watch “Searching For Bigfoot.” Oh well, third parties are a concept but one that likely will never catch on.
It’s said that politics makes strange bedfellows. And there’s a barrel full of other sayings about politics, like:
• “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.” — Harry S. Truman
• “Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly and for the same reason.” — Unknown
• “When I was a boy I was told anyone could become president; I’m beginning to believe it.” — Clarence Darrow
• “I belong to no organized party, I’m a Democrat.” — Will Rogers
Back to my earlier reference to the FFA. The other day I ran across my old FFA jacket. I can still get one arm in it. I’m not going to say if it was the right arm or left arm. That might carry political connotations.
Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer.