Perhaps the biggest threat to the future of America is the ignorance its voters. Late night TV entertains its viewers with interviews demonstrating how little the average person knows about government policy and current events. For some reason, people feel that what they want to believe must be true. They are more interested in their opinions than in facts, and they make no effort to support their opinions with facts; sound bites are good enough, even when they don’t mean anything.

I wonder how many who blindly support a party or a candidate actually know the difference between a flat tax, a VAT tax, and a graduated tax system. I wonder what their definition of “Wall Street” is or if they have any understanding of the impact of trillions of dollars of debt on the future of our country. Do people actually believe that health care or a college education can be free? For those who support the nuclear deal with Iran, exactly how does it prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon? For those who oppose Hillary, what exactly does the FBI say she has done that is illegal? What is the difference between a US citizen and what critics of Ted Cruz say should eliminate him from running for president? Since when is being young a liability or being rich a sign of competence? What evidence is there now that our allies trust us or that our enemies negotiate with us with respect? When those who support the repatriation of Syrian immigrants promise to do background checks, what exactly will they do and how will they do it? What exactly is socialism, and how is it different from progressivism? What has been the outcome of socialist governments in the past, and how might that be good for America? What exactly would be the financial implications of abandoning US dependence on foreign oil or the cutting our carbon emissions? Does increasing the minimum wage mean that small business owners will cut their own pay or that their product will cost the public more? How will your candidate change what has been done into something better?

Good intentions get lost in the reality of implementing change. As long as the American people make minimal effort to educate themselves about the issues at hand, the winners of our elections and the leaders of our future will be those who have witty comebacks and catchy slogans, those who look good on the evening news, those who tell us what we want to hear. The success of a republic rests on the education and participation of its voters. Hope for our future and change for the better will not come from those who refuse to hold our leaders accountable or from leaders who are dedicated to protecting their own power, rather than serving the American people.

God held the ancient Hebrews accountable when they allowed their corrupt leaders to defile their culture. I can’t imagine American will be any different. If we subjugate God to our own ends, if we serve ourselves rather than obey God, I suspect God will allow us to see what it’s like to face our enemies on our own strength. I pray every day for the people and leaders of our country, and ask God, in his mercy, to send us citizens and leaders that will lead us to repentance and obedience.