Snowden: Stop Putting So Much Faith (and Fear) in Presidents | Intellectual Takeout

Whistleblower Edward Snowden recently popped up and offered his take on the presidential election.

Source: Snowden: Stop Putting So Much Faith (and Fear) in Presidents | Intellectual Takeout

I found this interesting! Whether one considers Snowden a hero or a traitor, he often has useful things to say, and these comments are among them:

“Snowden highlighted Obama’s failure to close Guantanamo Bay and end mass warrantless surveillance as specific broken campaign promises. Snowden said he was bringing up these points simply to drive home a larger message.

‘We should be cautious about putting too much faith or fear into elected officials,’ said Snowden. ‘At the end of the day, this is just a president.’

“He said if people want to change the world, they should look to themselves instead of putting their hopes or fears in a single person. ‘This can only be the work of the people,’ Snowden said. ‘If we want to have a better world we can’t hope for an Obama, and we should not fear a Donald Trump, rather we should build it ourselves.'”

I was especially interested in the author of this essay’s focusing on Snowden’s use of the word “faith.” He (Jon Miltimore) points out,

“It has occurred to me on more than one occasion that people increasingly treat politics as a religion and political leaders like gods or demigods. Modern man looks to political leaders for hope and sustenance, and often blames them (in their hearts, if not in words) for their pain and misfortune.”

I saw this with Obama, who was treated like a secular messiah by the left, and I have and am also seeing it with respect to Trump. The use of the theologically and politically problematic term “God-Emperor” (mostly used ironically, or at least tongue-in-cheek, but not, I think in all cases – see previous posts on this subject) is of course the most extreme example of the trend. Miltimore continues,

“Would America not be a better place if people more often looked inward instead of putting their hopes and fears in some distant leader? Would we not be better people if we did so?”

Absolutely! Even those of us who would like to see the return of some sort of limited monarchy to America – ideally as a Commonwealth Realm, in which the British Monarch was Head of State, but not Head of Government – do not, or should not, expect that this would solve all our problems.

Expecting top-down solutions to what are often bottom-up problems (and, yes, I readily grant that some of our problems have indeed come from mistakes on the part of our elected leadership, in part because we and they have both forgotten that they’re supposed to be public servants, not the public’s masters), and passively waiting for some quasi-omnipotent “God-Emperor,” whether from the left or the right, to fix things, is a fool’s errand.

We are adults, we need to start acting that way!

Author: The Anglophilic Anglican

I am an ordained Anglican clergyman, published writer, former op-ed columnist, and experienced outdoor and informal educator. I am also a traditionalist: religiously, philosophically, politically, and socially. I seek to do my bit to promote and restore the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, in a world which has too-often lost touch with all three, and to help re-weave the connections between God, Nature, and humankind which our techno-industrial civilization has strained and broken.

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