Last night I went to a meeting of the Prince William County Republican Committee. Why did I go? I am a lousy salesman. So I have never seen myself as having a future in politics, but I am still a citizen, and good citizens take an interest in those who govern in their name.
So it was that I was there when several gentlemen running for public office made campaign speeches. This time of year candidates for public office visit party meetings looking for support in the primary elections. E. W. Jackson made the speech I most enjoyed. Jackson is running for the U. S. Senate, and I am leaning towards supporting him.
What do I like about Jackson?
- Jackson loves America. He is not trying transform America. He is trying to make it better. We don’t need leaders to transform us. That is the Holy Spirit’s job. No man is fit for that job.
- Jackson shows a willingness to forgive. He is not nursing age-old wounds. We need leaders who can set aside their biases and forgive, people who want us to see each other as fellow Americans, as each others neighbors and countrymen
Not too long ago we had riots in Charlottesville, Virginia. We saw white supremacists and so-called anti-fascists fighting each other. There one of the crazies killed an innocent young woman. Jackson wrote about the event, trying to calm rather raise our anger. Here is excerpt from his article, America’s Racial History in Context.
We Americans are great at contextualizing our present: criminals, we are told, are the byproduct of poverty and black people’s problems are vestiges of slavery and Jim Crow. However, we are very poor at contextualizing the past. America did not invent slavery, but the way our history is told, you would think it started here. Our Founding Fathers did not wake up one day and decide that it would be a good thing to enslave sub-Saharan Africans. They inherited the “peculiar institution” which was not peculiar at all for the times and is still being practiced today in some nations under Muslim rule. In spite of being steeped in the culture of slavery and benefiting immensely from it economically, America’s Founders wrote about its evil and debated how it should end. (from here)
Where is Jackson coming from? When I review Jackson’s campaign website an old Army recruiting slogan comes to mind.
Be All You Can Be
Consider how that slogan fits in with these words from his campaign website.
Far from being a politician, E.W. Jackson’s passion is for people and making sure every citizen has the opportunity to experience the best our country has to offer. He was not born into a family of wealth or political influence, but in the working-class city of Chester, Pennsylvania, a community we would now describe as the inner city. After spending time in the foster system, E.W. returned to live with his father at the age of 10. It was his dad who taught him the value of hard work and taking responsibility for one’s own life and decisions. (from here)
Being all we can be means different things to different people. Experiencing the best our country has to offer means different things to different people. But whatever those things mean to us they require hard work and taking responsibility. Instead of trying to transform us, Jackson will help those of us who are willing to work hard and accept responsibility. He will help each of us pursue our own self-transformation.
In a democracy or a republic, the People must establish the moral character of the nation. What does that mean? Consider this proverb.
Proverbs 29:18 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
18 Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
The words from the old King James are beautiful, but somewhat difficult to understand. What is the vision thing? Here is a more modern translation.
Proverbs 29:18 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law.
In the minds of most people the vision thing comes from God as some sort of revelation. Whatever it is, Jackson seeks the preservation of religious freedom. Instead of seeking to impose his own vision upon each of us, he would encourage us to seek our own. That freedom we each have to pursue our own vision is what makes America great!