Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Attack Ads - Black

Political attack advertisements are designed to present a political opponent to the world in the worst light possible. They sometimes have a harsh and hurtful, cruel edge, and are demeaning to those portrayed. This sort of thing turns me right off. I don’t like them. They insult my intelligence and offend my sensibilities. They grate on me viscerally, as I suspect they do for the majority of thoughtful people of good will and who have a healthy respect for others. It’s a small wonder that voter turn-out is so low. Duh!

And yet, despite such negative reactions, political war-room moguls claim that they persist in producing these ads because they work. It’s a matter of throwing enough mud often enough and over time some of it will stick.

What about drumming up a mass boycott of the voting booths in order to make a point, in hope that the leaders and their parties will get the message that we expect them to conduct themselves in a manner more worthy of the calling they’ve espoused?

I thought of this the last number of times a federal election was called, but didn’t follow through. And why? Because the privilege of voting was gained for me at great cost by a host of people of previous generations, some even giving their lives to the death. And also, because I don’t wish to shirk my responsibility towards the nation and those who, in good faith, put themselves on the line, setting aside other employment or business interests, in order to run for office in hope of making a positive difference in the lives of Canadians. They risk the emotional disappointment of non-election and of having to pick up the frayed ends of life that they cut themselves from in order to at least make a run for office.

So far, it might not appear that my writing motto is Writing to Raise the Gaze, since you could be pretty-well downcast by now with what I’ve written already. But that is deliberate. To illustrate: As a kid I had a knack for finding coins on the ground. At three-and-a-half feet I was closer to the ground, then! One day I found an expensive watch sticking out from under a man’s shoe in a crowded open-air market. I handed it in and later received a reward from the claimant, who travelled miles to retrieve it.

Let us look down to see what treasure’s under our feet and find cause to look up and see where we’re going, for we walk on free democratic ground because others paved the way. People are dying for that privilege right now, elsewhere in the world.

We’ve just celebrated Good Friday and Easter – the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He too was attacked and slandered by jealous, power-hungry civil and religious leaders. A howling mob was stirred up to cast their vote for His death. They demanded, “Away with him. Crucify him!” It worked, the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, caved, and the rest is history.

Despite all that evil, the Divine Will was done: Christ died for our sins and was raised for our justification. The price of redemption was paid (see Romans 5:1-10).
By accepting and applying to our lives what was accomplished, we can be reconciled to God and have a place in the Kingdom of Heaven, even while living here on earth.

© Peter A. Black. This article will be published in the Watford Guide-Advocate – April 28, 2011
Black is the weekly inspirational columnist at the Guide, and the author of “Parables from the Pond” (Word Alive Press; ISBN 1897373-21-X).


Eleanor Shepherd said...

Thanks Peter for this thoughtful approach to the problems of abuses of our democratic system and the tough choices we have to make. Drawing this into the way that God is at work in spite of the injustices by pointing at the death of Christ for our salvation succeeded in lifting our sights, as you do so often in your writing.
Thanks so much for that and also for the way that you encourage all of us.

Peter Black said...

Thank you for your encouraging comment Eleanor.
Well, today is the big day in Canada,
when votes are cast
and the proverbial die is cast!

It will be very interesting, indeed. May God have mercy on us, whatever the outcome, and bring honour to His name.

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