Monday, March 7, 2016

Mary Poppins and the 2016 Election Cycle

Picture source
 I love Mary Poppins. It might be referred to as a “kids” or “family” movie (which it is), but I think you can never be too old to watch Dick Van Dyke dance on a rooftop. I laugh so hard I cry when Uncle Andrew hosts a tea party of the ceiling, I snicker at Mrs. Banks’ ditzy household management, and I choke up when Julie Andrews sings “Feed the Birds”. You could make a lot of cultural and relational observations from the film: the relationship between Jane, Michael, and Mr. Banks, the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Banks, the relationship between Mary Poppins and the children. The following scenes are classic (please, say I’m not the only one who wants to live on the same street as Admiral Boom!) but it makes an interesting point.

George: “I suggest you have this piano repaired. When I sit down to an instrument, I like to have it in tune.”

Winifred: “But George, you don’t play!”

George: “My dear, that is entirely besides the point!” 

While laughing for the umpteenth time about this particular scene, I had an odd revelation. I, along with the rest of our family, have been more involved in this election cycle than in any other. It is obvious that we are at a massive crossroads – and most of the routes that we currently see are not that desirable. We have socialism, illogical promises, and antichristian candidates on one side, and a few RINOs, an incomprehensibly proud billionaire, and Ted Cruz on the other. That, by the way, is not a “diss” on Cruz – at the moment, we are supporting him and praying for wisdom and integrity on all sides. 

However, George’s silly rejoinder to Winifred’s sweet logic is a bizarre analogy of what will go down in the history books as one of the strangest election cycles in history. I feel that this could be applied several different ways, one of which is the Trump campaign. 

Christians and non-Christians alike are, rightfully, pointing out the issues and inconsistencies the Donald displays – but he consistently is winning primary after primary, even in states that were expected to vote differently thanks to their Christian, conservative population (can anyone say South Carolina?). Of course, a part of me wonders where all these people and their Trump-warnings were four years ago when Obama was campaigning for a second term… but it’s a little late for that now. Back to the point, though, it is amazing how many people – conservative Christians, no less – have thrown themselves on the “Trump train”. Their leader is “an unrepentant serial adulterer…who has openly and unapologetically boasted of his many sexual conquests and who famously cheated on wife number one by ensconcing the woman who became wife number two in a penthouse apartment at one of his casinos in Atlantic City”, as Bryan Fischer aptly states. Fischer goes on to say that “[a]s recently as last week he was defending taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.” How on earth does that kind of man become the “hero” to so many people who recite the Ten Commandments every Sunday morning? 

Of course, for those who count themselves fiscal conservatives and not necessarily social conservatives, Donald isn’t that hot of a choice either – “he has over-leveraged four different business enterprises into bankruptcy and yet wants us to believe he’s just the man to do something about our $19 trillion federal debt.” (Thanks, again, to Fischer.)

I could elaborate further – how Trump doesn’t hold the biblical view of sexuality, how his rudeness and immaturity will make us even more of a laughingstock, and even how the selfish, evil actions of other politicians have caused the panic that drives people to support Trump – but I will restrain myself for now.

Here’s my point:

Donald can’t play.

Not at all.

Yet, he and his supporters consistently reply, “Madam, that is entirely besides the point!”

The piano needs to be played. It needs to be played with love, talent, and integrity. For the sake of us all – and especially, as Ben Carson stated at CPAC, “for the children” – please, please find a pianist who can play a song of freedom, virtue, and life.

That is the point, after all.