The Ides of March: Searching for a Messiah

Posted: October 6, 2011 by John C. Kwasny, Ph.D. in Drama
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Since I am the only member of our team who has been voting in elections since punching my ballot for Ronald Reagan, I get the privilege to post on the new political thriller, The Ides of March. Directed and written by outspoken Hollywood liberal George Clooney, the basic plotline surrounds Governor Mike Morris (Clooney) vying for the Democratic presidential nomination. His battle-hardened campaign manager Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and fresh-faced 30-year old press secreatry Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling) lead his star-studded team of advisors. There’s even the typical pretty 19-year old intern (thank you, Bill Clinton) played by Even Rachel Wood. Enjoy the trailer below…

In his fictional presidential bid, Morris (Clooney) proudly and clearly preaches a liberal, socialistic agenda. Coupled with his leading-man handsomeness, Clooney brings to the big screen the quintessential dream of presidential politics: A good-looking, intelligent, articulate, and compassionate leader. One has to wonder if this is Clooney’s fantasy-beginning to a real Washington political future.

This leads me to my first theme of this two-part series: Our proclivity to look to government as our savior. Every four years in American politics, we seem to search for yet another Messiah–that man (or woman) who can lead us to the Promised Land. We seek a president who will create more jobs. We want one who will get us (or keep us out of) an economic recession. We look for someone who will keep us safe from our enemies. We desire a president who will keep us wealthy and healthy (complete with insurance).

This pursuit of political deliverance occurs throughout the ideological spectrum. Left-wingers tend to seek presidents who will look out for the working class, bring fairness to all, protect all kinds of minorities, keep the environment safe and the entire world at peace. Right-wingers often look for presidents who are highly moral, who protect the rights of the unborn, who build a strong defense, keep taxes low, and keep government small. Now, there’s nothing wrong with having definite views and positions on public policy. The problem comes when we treat our presidents (or congress, etc) as our savior(s) and deliverer(s). If our emotions rise and fall based on speeches and programs and plans articulated by our governmental leaders, then we may be looking for way too much.

Of course, this is nothing new. The Israelites looked for a human king to be their political savior. They rejected God as their King, seeking to be like all other nations. King Saul was tall, dark and handsome–but we know what happened to him. Even God’s prophet Samuel tried to anoint a tall good-looking son of Jesse as the next king of Israel. Graciously, God intervened and gave Israel King David. Yet even David was only an imperfect picture of our true Messiah, Jesus Christ.

The antidote to this search for a political messiah is not passively sitting out of presidential elections. As Christians who are “in this world, but not of it,” we are obliged to vote with integrity for our govermental leaders. This longing for a savior is deeper than that–it is a heart issue. If we live anxiously day-to-day, believing our government either gives us prosperity or takes it from us, we are mistaken. We have lost our grip on the dominant Scriptural truth that God is soveriegn over all the affairs of men. We must always put both our great and our awful presidents in perspective–they cannot save us from much of anything, especially what’s most essential. Our search for a Savior begins and ends with King Jesus!

  1. kiamalee says:

    As always — written in true Kwasny form — succinct, direct, to the point, and ever applicable! Thanks for your contribution, John!

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