A Rotten President

All the campaigning and punditry have led me to conclude that I’d make a rotten president.

First, I’d make a rotten president because I’m indecisive. I find it too easy to see multiple points of view (on the same matter) and to not come down solidly and entirely on any single position. While this is not to say I don’t come down solidly on anything – I am quite solid, stubborn and immovable on many things – America seems to want a president who can know just about everything for sure. I just don’t know enough for sure  to do the job.

Second, I’ve been minimally following the role of religion in the campaigning. With Romney a Mormon, Huckabee a Preacher, and Obama cast as a Messiah, there’s plenty of religion to go around. Americans – the pundits and elite, at least – are good Lockeans in this area. They envision a magistrate (using Lockean terms – we’d just call it government) that deals solely with material and practical things, and a church (we might call it religion) that deals with the internal and eternal. The two are not supposed to mix. The magistrate attends to the pursuit and maintenance of life, liberty, property and the common good while the church sees to it that we go to heaven when we die.

I’m not a good Lockean. I’ve found that the substance of the Christian faith has something to say about the pursuit and maintenance of life, liberty, property and the common good. Because God is the creator, and has sent Jesus the Son to bring redemption and restoration to creation, the Christian faith is very particular about some things the Lockeans would rather we just ignore.

I’d make a rotten president. Unlike JFK & Romney (and probably loads of others), I have to say that my primary allegiance is to Jesus and his kingdom. Inasmuch as a secondary allegiance to the United States of America is compatible with that primary allegiance, I’m ok with that. But if an issue develops from allegiance to the USA that conflicts with my allegiance to Jesus, then Jesus ought to prevail.

Now if I were a “not quite as rotten” candidate, I’d be able to specify in advance where the differences and conflicts between these two allegiances lay. But in comes my first disqualification for the job. I just don’t know enough. I’ve not yet been entirely convinced by any of the theorists out there regarding how these competing allegiances ought to be balanced or construed – though I do know enough to know that they do compete.

So – if you ever see my name on the ballot, you now know that you shouldn’t vote for me.

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