Politics, Misery, and Strange Bedfellows

Does misery make strange bedfellows or is it politics that do so? In Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest, “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows,” makes its appearance in a very literal way as the king’s jester crawls under a cloak and finds himself with an unusual bedmate. In 1850, an American essayist massaged those words to say, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.”

Perhaps the two phrases are not unrelated. When people are suffering under a miserable political situation, they find themselves making unusual partnerships. Famously, we allied with Stalin in World War Two in order to fight the Nazis, an absolutely necessary task. Once that fight was over, it was Stalin’s turn to attack the civilized world. Our one-time ally did not share our values.

Without making any analogies to Hitler or Stalin, I wrote a Musing in 2019 called Strange Bedfellows about finding myself cheering on, and financially supporting, a number of courageous and outspoken individuals with whom I agree on 90% of issues. More than a few of them choose a homosexual lifestyle, one that my faith prohibits.

Now another strange alliance is rearing its head. I admit to smiling broadly when I read that an elected Maryland Democrat councilwoman had to apologize for linking Muslim children with white supremacists because they opposed LGBTQ material in the classroom. When the Hamtramck City Council in Michigan passed a resolution limiting the types of flags that could be flown on public property, thus countering a government display of support for Pride month, I approved. It is not incidental that as of 2022, the mayor and city council are all Muslim.

On the issues of not prematurely sexualizing children, of not indoctrinating children into “alternate” lifestyles, and certainly on the issue of not introducing toxic hormones and surgery into the lives of immature, confused children, one hopes that religious Muslims, Christians, and Jews can agree. Of the three religions, Islam is the one that currently is hardest for Leftists to ignore and insult. I hope that America’s Muslim community pushes back hard to protect their children and ours.

However, this doesn’t mean that we share a vision for America. Is this group of (mostly) immigrants looking to continue the path that the United States’ Christian founding fathers established, or are they looking to bring America under the influence of Sharia law? Some reports that I have read about Hamtramck’s city council concern me. Some actions of Muslim members of Congress worry me. Once again, we need to straddle the line between welcoming allies while keeping a realistic and careful eye on the future as we attempt to fight a miserable political culture by partnering with strange bedfellows.

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