From a group of a few individuals this rhythmic performance group called Stomp hasgrown to a worldwide company with a number of groups. What these groups do isfascinating: using every-day items like broom sticks, trash cans, and such like, they perform tightly choreographed and ingenuously implemented performances that keepthe audiences enthralled. Their stomping is a thing of beauty.In a different arena entertainment value is considered by some to be high as well. It is inthe realm of politics. It has struck me over and over again during the various electioncampaigns that have taken place and during the recent debates (a serious misnomer for the debasing of persons that is happening on a daily basis) in Parliament as they can beheard on ABC Radio, how those seeking election or increase of power invariably do so by a continuous striving to elevate their own image in stomping on that of challengers.It seems to be a type of Pavlovian conditioning.As an interviewer asks an intelligent, open-ended question, the politician will invariablyrespond in a polarising ‘us versus them’ kind of manner, eulogising his own stance andstomping on the opposition’s. Many a potentially good Recent Affairs broadcast has been cheapened in to a verbal slugging match (even if the opponent was not present torespond) in which, rather than responding intelligently to the issue presented, a predictable bandwagon reply reiterated the speaker’s superior approach to the issue athand over against the bottomless inferiority and mindlessness of the opposition.It is a nation in a sad state of affairs where highly paid politicians spend their time inParliament with self-aggrandizement and slanging matches with the almost exclusive purpose of rising to power or clinging to the same.R.L. Dabney (1820-1898; lawyer, pastor, and advisor to General Stonewall Jackson) onguiding voters what to look for in candidates tells them not to go along party lines, butrather scrutinize the personal life of the candidate under consideration by the standardsof God’s Word. He recommends that the candidate who is deemed most noble on thoseterms is the one for whom to cast the vote. Philippians 4:8 declares:
Finally, brethren,whatsoever things are true, whatsoever thingsarehonest, whatsoever thingsarejust, whatsoever thingsarepure, whatsoever thingsarelovely,
whatsoever thingsareof good report; if there beany virtue, and if there be
any praise, think on these things.
Dabney is looking for people with such amind bend to take public office and rule in the public interest.In our day and age the word ‘politician’ has become a byword for double talk and pragmatic manoeuvrings to gain political advantage (however that may bedefined). When a person remarks that ‘it is just politics,’ then he means thatthe action or statement is not intended to bring about a desirable outcome interms of the common good, but rather that a self-serving goal is in view. I haveoverheard young people at school make disparaging remarks about politiciansas they overheard adults talk in that vein – which talk was promptly imitated by the children who heard. This is a sad state of affairs.