Asking the Wrong Questions
My mother is someone I frequently describe as “June Cleaver”. She has led a truly charmed life, and as a result has a very happy and rosy outlook. This last year has been difficult for our relationship. We have had increasingly difficult discussions about politics, raising children, and life in general. I have made sincere efforts to get through to her, and she to me, but we disintegrate into heated discussions almost every time we see each other. This forced me to evaluate both my own perspective and hers. An epiphany struck me when I did so:
I have been asking the wrong questions.
A quote has been attributed to both Cecil Rhodes and Rudyard Kipling. It goes “To be born and Englishman is to win first prize in the lottery of life.” You could say this lottery-winner status shifted to the United States after World War II, and that the peak of the last century was the era from 1950 to just before President Kennedy was shot. It was certainly a great time to be an American. My mother graduated from high school in 1958. This should give you a clear picture of who she was, and who she is today is a direct result. With this in mind, I began to look for what defined her beliefs in a general way. I came up with a stunning divergence with my own perspective: she has faith in the institutions of society.
This is the core disagreement we have. Her faith is in direct opposition to my lack of it.
Education, health care, the financial system, government, corporations, entertainment, and religion– all of these things she holds in high esteem. She trusts them. She believes them. I do not, and here we have the problem. I see corruption at each and every level of society, permeating everything I have been told to believe in. This has caused me to examine long held viewpoints, and realize the error of my assumptions. My Mother has not done this, and probably will never do it – she is comfortable in her illusions.
You may ask what the relevance this personal aside has to my political opinions usually expressed in this space. It has taken me a long time to come up with a reasonable and logical explanation of the disaster of Mitt Romney. All year I was told to back Mr. Romney. He was the only one who could beat Obama. Never mind that he is XXXXX (insert problem with his history/ philosophy/ business background/ liberalism/ whatever here) XXXXX. It is the only way we can defeat Obama! I was asked to have faith in the institution of the GOP campaign, and to suspend my judgment for the victory. This may sound familiar if you recall names like McCain, Dole, etc. My Mother – and many others – are capable of doing this, and indeed have done so for most of their lives. I cannot do it anymore. As many of my friends will point out, “the lesser of two evils is evil”.
The numbers of people who I consider “awake” are small in proportion to the population. They are larger when you consider that almost all of these people are independents, third party or Republicans. More importantly, many of them are very, very active. They are centers of influence for everyone they know. They are relentless. They are educated beyond your belief. They do not accept the propaganda they have been fed all of their lives. This is the group the GOP must inspire if it is to be relevant in the future. These are the activists of the future. This is the diverse group of people with all of those “groups” the GOP says it wants to bring in to the party. There is a problem for the GOP, however – it does NOT inspire loyalty or support. Right now, it is inspiring opposition.
That most difficult of choices is now in front of the GOP – change or die. Those who hold power now – the consultants and staffers, the lawyers and lobbyists – will see their influence wane. To see the party succeed will see them lose power. They clung to power in every state this election year. Look at the list of states where Romney cheated, broke the rules, used violence and deception and fraud, and you will see why he lost – Maine, Massachusetts, Iowa, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Colorado, Arizona, Alaska, Washington, Nevada – I could go on and on here. Look at what his people, and the Establishment, did in Tampa at the Convention. What an epic failure all of these losers are, and everyone who backed them shares in the blame. Own it.
After the disaster that was Tampa, I spent a little time reflecting, and then found a local candidate whom I could support. A great man was running for Sheriff against a corrupt democrat who has a long history of doing a poor job in office. Here, I thought, is my chance to fight for the GOP, and against the democrats! Can you guess what happened? There are nine County-wide elected officials where I live, five of whom are GOP. All of those save one endorsed the democrat incumbent over the Republican nominee. Due in part to the efforts of many Republicans – including a former Governor and a former District Attorney – the incumbent won.
What lesson do you suppose this conveys? What reaction do you think the activist base has for actions such as this? It strikes me that instead of making changes and heeding cries for cleaning up the corruption, the wagons were circled by those benefiting from it. This corruption – in every institution of society, from the bottom to the top – will either be rooted out, or it will bring down our society.
You may have heard about the “fiscal cliff” that is coming with the New Year. That cliff is nothing – it is a blip on the radar compared to the real cliff, which is the total destruction of the dollar, coupled with the drastic actions that will be taken as a response to the chaos that event creates. We are already heading for the real cliff. Mitt Romney would have driven 30 mph at the cliff, and Barrack Obama is going 80 mph. Both of them offer no real solutions, just different escalations of the same problems. The question is not who will turn aside from the cliff, although that is certainly an important one. There is not a single question to ask. We need to:
Follow the money.
Trust God, yourself and your family.
Stand for Liberty.
Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. (Psalm 146:3)
Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and be not entangled in the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)