In times of established order, when the law rules supreme and the transgressor of the law is disgraced and ostracized, it is in relation to the tax collector and the prostitute that the Gospel of Jesus Christ discloses itself most clearly to people. "The publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of heaven before you" (Matt. 21:31). In times which are out of joint, in times when lawlessness and wickedness triumph in complete unrestraint, it is rather in relation to the few remaining just, truthful, and humane people that the Gospel will make itself known.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics p.58
Bonhoeffer fought for human decency at a time when the world around him was descending into vicious partisanship and xenophobia. When the anti-Jewish rhetoric in Germany reached a fever pitch, he undertook efforts to smuggle Jews out of the country. Since his brother-in-law was Jewish, the issue was very personal to him.
What you do when the world around you goes crazy says a lot about your character, not to mention your situational awareness. Personally, I constantly ask myself how I would respond if I were in a country like 1930s Germany, where you felt palpably that something awful was brewing in the air. Would I flee? Would I do something local? Something national?
The passage in Matthew cited by Bonhoeffer in the quote above contains two parables about how "the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit" (Matt. 21:43). I believe that a time is fast approaching, if it hasn't already whooshed past, when God may take his favor away from us as a nation for failing to produce fruit.
I took a class this past weekend put on by a non-partisan group called Veterans Campaign, designed to prepare veterans for a "second service" to their country as public servants. We were taught from the very beginning that your goal is NOT to become a politician, nor to get famous. Your goal is to represent the people as a humble public servant. This was quite an adjustment for me, since I have previously stated that politics will not save our country. Nevertheless, as I see things worsening by the day in this country, with partisan and foolhardy rhetoric proliferating on both sides of the aisle, I feel I have a moral obligation to do something.
Bonhoeffer talks about the Gospel revealing itself to "the few remaining just, truthful, and humane people." I believe the just people are the ones currently fighting to have children reunited with their parents at the border, and to stop children from dying in US custody. I believe the last remaining truthful thing to do is admit that Donald Trump is a liar and a self-aggrandizing maniac. I believe the last remaining humane thing to do is reinstate healthcare coverage for the millions who were recently kicked off.
In short, I hope in the future to announce my candidacy as a Democrat for a public office. I don't yet know where or when. All I know is that the polices of the current administration have strayed so far beyond the pale of compassion and human decency that they must be fought by all legal means.