Darrow Miller and Friends

The 2012 Election: What Does it Mean for America?

Jmaistre words pertinent to 2012 election

I cannot think about the 2012 election in America without recalling words originally penned in French: Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite.

So wrote Joseph de Maistre in 1811. Maistre was a philosopher, writer, lawyer, and diplomat who lived in Savoy (modern day southern France). His words–more familiar to Americans in English, of course–clearly show the relationship between a people and their government: Every nation gets the government it deserves.

At the DNA we often say that politics is downstream from culture. Maistre’s observation clearly reflects this truth. So does the 2012 election. The culture of a people inevitably leads to their political philosophy and determines the government they have.

Most discussions of elections and politics use the language of policies and programs rather than the deeper language of culture, i.e. principles and paradigms. This distinction of vocabulary is important for all societies, but especially democracies where citizens participate vigorously in determining the outcomes.

The threat to democracy is not so much the elected officials, but those who put them in office. An election is less a referendum of a particular politician or party than a manifestation of the nation’s cultural vision. President Obama recognized this, and said so more explicitly than any other national figure in the 2012 election cycle. In his September 6th acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, Obama said:

On every issue, the choice you face won’t be just between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two different paths for America. A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.

President Obama is correct. And the citizens have chosen the path they want to take.

It is relatively easy to vote out a corrupt politician; much harder is changing the culture from corruption to justice. It is one thing to replace a foolish political leader; it is quite another to change a foolish citizenry to a wise one.

But let there be no mistake, the government is a reflection of the people. A nation gets the government it deserves. A foolish governor is a symptom of an unwise citizenry. The issue is bigger than personalities and parties; it’s the value given to wisdom in principles and paradigms.

For a century America has been shifting from the Judeo-Christian paradigm to a Post-Christian framework. With the 2012 election, we may have passed the point of no return.

But that’s for another post.

– Darrow Miller

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).


  1. Champ Rhodes

    December 3, 2012 - 9:27 am

    And that’s what you call a big tease! Can’t wait for the follow-up post.

    • admin

      December 5, 2012 - 3:53 pm

      Thanks very much, Champ. We’re always grateful to hear from enthusiastic readers. I believe you will appreciate this series.

      Gary Brumbelow

  2. Jon Davis Jr.

    December 3, 2012 - 9:22 pm

    Even if the current generation throws away liberty, the next one can win it back!

    I try to think in terms of “what is the 500 year plan?”

    We’ve got lots of work to do!


    • admin

      December 5, 2012 - 3:52 pm

      Good for you, Jon. Thanks for your reply. Keep reading … your comments suggests you will resonate with this brief series of posts.