A theme in that post (which may not have been clearly presented) was that politics is a reflection of the culture, that political trends are neither the root problem nor the solution, but that the underlying culture is the real issue. Defining culture as the aggregate of all the people within it and their respective values, I conjectured that culture-wide values shift minutely at every shift of every individual's values. If my soul moves up or down or right or left, the culture's center of gravity moves slightly as well. I called this "grassroots nudging".
This is not to say that political actions are unimportant, and I was compelled to defend my political support for The Constitution Party in my response to Michelle. As noted above, I welcome criticism and dialogue on political positions, too. Some of my reasons for supporting a third party are offered in the post entitled "Voting matters" (with possible future clarification or correction as deemed appropriate). But, anyway, I wrote the following in defending my current position:
...At some point, somebody has to have the courage to leave the big tent. The Democrats of the early 1800's accepted the practice of slavery. The Whigs opposed it, but did nothing. It took a third party, the Republican Party, to abolish slavery. It may take another to restore legal protection to the pre-born, and/or head off the legal redefinition of marriage.Now, almost as soon as I had written that, I realized another hole in my original conjecture. Namely, that sometimes cultural shifts occur, not just by minute degrees, but by sudden and massive tidal waves of change.
The point of the post was that, first, there must be a cultural shift of values.
For decades, the abolitionists had been praying and working against the cultural and political horror of slavery in America, slowly but patiently pecking away and "nudging" the culture in the right direction. Then Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom's cabin, and almost single-handedly raised the conscience and consciousness of the nation, finally making the political abolition of slavery a possibility. When President Lincoln was personally introduced to Stowe, it is claimed that he remarked, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!"
All right then (Jerry cracks his knuckles), here's my new and improved conjecture: There exist multiple ways in which our world may be moved, all of which deserve our attention:
Political action: Voting, petitions, boycotts, citizen lobby groups, etc.
Cultural tsunami: Maybe Stephen Spielberg will produce a movie exposing the abortion industry. One can dream.
Grassroots nudging: Raise your own conscience bar, and, whether deliberately or not, influence others, one person at a time.
Above all, of course, pray.
(By the way, did you know that Abraham Lincoln started out in The Whig Party?)