Monday, November 5, 2012

Heading toward the end

Mercifully the election will be over by this time Wednesday.  Dear God it has taken so long.  Yet if the trend continues the press will start wondering who is a viable candidate in 2016 before the swearing in ceremony.

Sadly neither outcome offers much solace.  While I hope Obama loses I'm not entirely sure what that would mean.  In theory it would mean that the HHS mandate would be killed before having to go through the lawsuits.  Also it would depose someone who is hostile to religious freedom and replace him with someone who is at least ambivalent about it.

For myself I'm old enough to remember when candidates seemed to at least have some divergence in viewpoints.  Nowadays that has all but disappeared.  Different faces, same bad ideas.  Yet one would think that we are worlds apart in this country.

It is tempting to give up on it all.  Many have done so.  Despite the "stakes" only half of voting age citizens vote these days.  Not surprising then that people are so disillusioned with American "values."

I honestly think this is causing some soft of existential crisis.  Chesterton said that America was the first nation to be founded on a creed.  If that creed turns out to be false, then who are we?

Not that other countries aren't experiencing such crises as well.  Islam's continued spiraling as it deals with its homicidal radicals in its midst while trying to figure itself out on the world stage is a haunting issue.  Secularist are ahead of the game in crisis as they imagine theocrats attempting to take over the world.

Economic crises typically force us to reevaluate what is actually important.  But I do wonder if we as a people have the knowledge to perform that reevaluation.  Catholics emphasize reconversion.  That everyday is a chance to recommit to Christ and the Truth.  Lent is set aside for precisely that.

But what if you don't have anything to recommit to?  Our culture has done away with God and truth.  We wax poetic at times about family and "the important things in life" but we don't seem to believe it ourselves.  We have severed our ties with the past, and in doing so seem to have crippled ourselves for the future.

I've always been far more of a pragmatist.  I typically follow idealists and work to make the dreams come true.  Idealists tend to not see the work ahead.  For pragmatists, that's all we see.  

There is always hope for Man, so long as he is alive.  The same is true for a country.  There is always time to turn around.  Our problem is we don't know where to turn back to.  We keep looking at the superfluous (relatively speaking).  The economy.  Jobs.  Education.  When all we are concerned is economic status, it isn't surprising that we cannot move forward.

To me the question is not how the election turns out but how will we as a country react.  I think either way tough times are ahead and we'd do best to prepare ourselves.  Personally I do not think that the average American citizen has the moral fortitude for tough times.  But then again maybe that is the point.  Through suffering comes strength, etc.

In any event, at least it will be over soon.

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