Special Election? by James Hitchcock

Special Election?

Christians Can Never Put Their Trust in Princes

The results of the 2010 election are a salutary reminder once again of the inherent ambiguity of politics for Christians, who must labor to build up the Kingdom while not expecting it to be achieved in this life. Christians have good reasons to be disturbed at the direction of the country, but it is not at all clear that the electorate’s repudiation of the Obama administration was primarily motivated by those concerns.

The economy was the governing issue, and the administration was rebuked for not having effected a recovery. In a sense, the president deserved blame, in that he offered himself to the voters in 2008 as a savior who would solve all their problems, almost by magic. While the demand to “get the government off our backs” was loud in 2010, most voters seemed to retain the ancient conviction that Washington can and should solve all economic problems, although realistically it is questionable how much government, given even the best of efforts, can actually achieve.

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James Hitchcock is Professor emeritus of History at St. Louis University in St. Louis. He and his late wife Helen have four daughters. His most recent book is the two-volume work, The Supreme Court and Religion in American Life (Princeton University Press, 2004). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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