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Arizona shows us the red-blue divide

Posted by: Lowell Brown at 07:50 am, November 25th 2012     —    2 Comments »

I found this CNN clip striking. There’s so much to say about it — and we invite your comments — that I hardly know where to begin. Watch:

That Kyrsten Sinema, the liberal Democratic congresswoman-elect, is a bisexual former Mormon isn’t the point; it’s that she was elected in Arizona. The reporter, Miguel Marquez, who has a long MSM pedigree, seems to love listing examples of that state’s conservatism on hot-button issues, then pointing out how remarkable it is that Sinema was elected in Arizona — of all places! Marquez notes at the end of the piece, with what seems like optimism, that Sinema is “a new voice in a state that may be changing.”

The real significance here is the way Ms. Sinema’s election illustrates the country’s cultural divide. She was elected in Phoenix, the most urbanized area in Arizona, in a district described as composed of “parts of Phoenix and several suburbs, including an affluent town where [her opponent, Vernon Parker] was once mayor.” Meanwhile, in statewide voting, Jeff Flake was elected to Arizona’s open seat in the Senate — the only bright spot in an otherwise bleak senatorial election for the Republican Party. Jeff Flake is a conservative Republican and a committed Mormon — the first Mormon ever elected to the Senate from Arizona.

So you have a politically conservative active Mormon elected to the Senate, statewide; and a liberal Democrat, ex-Mormon, reportedly atheist, openly bisexual candidate elected to Congress from the big city in the same state. How much more perfectly can the cultural divide between middle America and the more culturally elite urban areas be exemplified?

I don’t have any profound thoughts to offer, but I think that in light of the same divide in the presidential election we all have a lot of thinking and acting ahead of us.

John’s Quick Initial Take

The divide between urban areas and non-urban areas has long been noted in political trends.  There is a huge difference int he role church plays int he life of the urbanized individual and the non-urbanized individual, Mormon, traditional Christian or Buddhist.  The sociology is fascinating, but too deep for comment this morning.  I do have a few initial thoughts.

1) Energy. A lib in office emboldens other libs, and gives we conservatives a sense of defeat.  We are getting out worked.

2) MSM. In addition to Lowell’s point about the liberal crowing in the report, where is the coverage of conservatives elected in, say, NYC?  Where is the reporting on the overwhelming victory for parental notification in Montana?  Reporting such as this aids and affects item 1).

3) Compromise. The key to our democracy lies in bridging the divide, not in one side or the other winning.  But increasingly the other side is unwilling to ever compromise.  Civil unions are not enough.  “I won.”  The HHS mandate.  These are not compromise.  Which leads me to…

4) Humility. This personal attribute is born uniquely in Christianity (in what other religion does the deity die for the sake of creation?) and is the key to Western Civilization and democracy.  In humility, compromise can be born.  In humility, service matters more than the office obtained.  In humility is the simple understanding that there are other, valid points of view.

Politics must work in conjunction with other societal forces for our form of government to work well.  Right now, I do not look to politics to resolve this kind of issue.

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