All posts by Dr. Charlie Self

Positive Politics, Part 2

Dear Republicans:
Will you make history or miss another moment and pass the problems forward?
Courage, humility and unselfish love compels action. Please begin negotiating and passing bipartisan legislation that benefits the most people possible.

You may never get the extreme Left to join you, but there are persons of conscience and common good that want to refine healthcare, improve infrastructure, secure our borders and transform immigration.

Please create budgets that move us toward debt reduction. If you care about efficiency and ethics, please transform systems so resources get to the people that need them. You were elected to create a new environment in Washington, D.C. Simplify tax laws, stop currying favor with lobbyists and making side deals.

We just endured 8 years of opaque contempt for dialogue. Please do not make the same mistakes. Forge friendships across every aisle.

Regardless of your distaste or support for the President, you have a moral obligation to bring legislation for signature. “Open covenants openly arrive at…” should be the norm, including laws the average person can read and understand. President Reagan and Speaker O/Neill negotiated. President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich were not friends, but came the closest to a balanced budget since 1967.

It just takes courage, humility and love for the American people.

Positive Politics, Part 1

Dear Democrats,
We need you as an inclusive, principled party, ready to debate and pass laws that benefit all Americans. Alas, your radical wing is obsessed with Trump and mandates that can never be funded.

You desperately need to recover the best of FDR-Truman-Kennedy-Humphrey if you are going to welcome many back in the fold.

Here are some tips:
Stop hating moderate to conservative Jews and Christians for their views on marriage and morality. If you welcome even more conservative Muslims, why exclude other principled religious adherents?

Demonstrate fiscal responsibility and bring a budget that leads toward less debt.
Agitation, protest and resistance are easy compared with governing. Clean out the corruption at the city and state level. Stop the class envy and offer economic policies that foster private-public partnerships. Be leaders of racial reconciliation, not the catalysts of more animosity.

Simplify the tax code, with special concern for those who are struggling. Hyper-progressive tax laws hurt the economy. Welcome pro-life social moderates back. End the campaign finance hypocrisy. You love “dark” money just as much as your opponents.

Welcome immigrants and create pathways to citizenship with reasonable security and the end of registering non-citizens.

Friends, we need civil debate and proximate justice.

Wisdom for This Moment in History, Part 2

Privilege. A reality. Will we use it for humble service or self-aggrandizement?
Lord, help me use every gift, opportunity and resource to honor you and promote others.

We cannot be “anything we want to be.”
But we can, by God’s grace, fulfill everything the Lord’s designed for us.

Theology is art and science, poetry and prose, ecstasy and ethics, affirmation and action.

Dear conservatives and progressives:
Make a friend different than yourself. Enlightenment will follow. Friendship and common goals can help us transcend our prejudices. May I continue shedding stereotypes and learn deep listening and mutual love.

When we ask someone in greeting, “How ya doin’?” Let’s listen for their answer.

Classism, racism, sexism…lose their power through friendship and shared vision.

Shalom is possible when a vision of flourishing overtakes hatred.