But what about The Fire Next Time, to steal a book title from James Baldwin, who wrote, “There are too many things we do not wish to know about ourselves.” On Oct. 12 Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., described two of them: “ever more ferocious political tribalism and mutual hatred.” He’s right to say we create fire-prone underbrush as we lose contact with “people who don’t share our socioeconomic background. … The only way out is to rebuild our communities and launch new ones—one person-to-person relationship and one local institution at a time.”
Some fire this time was visible. Police in Minnesota arrested two people for allegedly stealing political yard signs and setting them on fire. On Oct. 15 other Minnesota police sought a man who allegedly attacked state Rep. Sarah Anderson when she found him kicking down several of her yard signs. A GOP candidate for the Minnesota Legislature, Shane Mekeland, reported an attack on him by a “much bigger person” who left him with a concussion.
In Portland, Ore., once known as “the Rose City” and now nicknamed “Little Beirut,” right-wing marchers calling themselves “Patriot Prayer” faced off against left-wing protesters calling themselves anti-fascists. Some of the battlers wore Boba Fett helmets and body armor. Others wore black clothing and ski masks. This was the 15th confrontation in the past year and a half: Police now use explosive devices and chemical irritants to keep the militants from killing each other.
Happily, Nov. 6 brings one of our solemn traditions, as millions peacefully go to the polls. I’m not writing about specific political contests here, because while most WORLD members should receive this issue before the Nov. 6 election, others may receive it afterward. By the way, WORLD will have real-time vote-total tracking at wng.org/election: That page goes live on Election Day.
Christians will watch those results eagerly, while realizing that politics will not save us. As we vote, perhaps against some candidates rather than enthusiastically for others, it’s good and right to keep in mind these hopeful words from singer-songwriter Sandra McCracken: “We will feast in the house of Zion / We will sing with our hearts restored / He has done great things, we will say together / We will feast and weep no more.”