“The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.” Will Rogers
There is a phenomenon occurring in modern society that mirrors the discontent of days gone by. Cultural memories abound of kinder, easier times where the doors to your house went unlocked, and the neighbor kid was always welcome at the dinner table. The phenomenon presented is the urging of certain factions within the population to push forward values and principles that sound relevant but have little in the way of real time serviceable significance in the Twenty First Century. The issues of freedom of choice and the equality of James Madison’s guiding words dim in the harsh reality that we, as a nation, are ill informed and hypocritically driven to speak or act on the misinformation given us.
Much of the confusion derives origin in the individuals we accept as leaders and the apathy towards those who do not lead as we believe they should. The cry of family values and the attack of such have brought much disparity and depression. There is a cry for a reinvigoration of “Christian values” which some contend is the nature of our national character. That same rectitude has decided that we would be better served by following the teaching of the Bible as a replacement for the ideals put forth within our Constitution. In all of that fervor is the convenient misremembering of the fact that the country and the guiding lessons given us within the Bill of Rights, specifically call for the complete separation of church and state.
This zeal for the reemergence of puritanical practices were the cause of the intense exodus that originally instigated people to bolt from their hearth and homes to a find different, less intolerant, way of life in the New World. To be fair, not all people came to America for religious reasons, but many did and their struggle is being cheapened through the convenient and intentional misinterpretation of values that, by law, have no place in a modern dialogue on societal issues. Those who are most guilty are the very people who are chosen to act in a totally different manner. Many of our politicians have pulled the religion card to engage in deprecation, denunciation, and denigration of those within our society who do not live the norm as it best serves the cause of reelecting the duplicitous denizens of government.
The continual denial of the rights of people to make their own decisions on their lives by way of marriage, or health issues is repulsive at least and criminal at best. The active condemnation of those who are vigorously attempting to maintain the freedoms we are supposed to be guaranteed is a fight that should not be fought. Why must the conservative faction in this country continually denounce and disparage the duly (twice) elected President of the United States? What is the advantage to the average citizen of a legislature that hurls away billions of dollars of revenue to give tax cuts for the richest members of society while rebuking any effort by the administration to come to the aid of the middle and lower income citizens of our country? Could the advantage be founded solely in the personal contributions of those selfsame wealthy individuals to the reelection war chests of like-minded legislators? Would not that be bribery, which is illegal? Amazingly, this form of graft is not illegal because it has been renamed “contributions” and voted into law. Go figure.
Now some of the blame must be assigned to the everyday man. We allow these wolves in sheep’s clothing to continue raping and pillaging society because we have convinced ourselves that we are doing everything we can. We watch the news on CNN or Fox, or read about it on some uber-liberal website and think that we have done our jobs as citizens. This is not so.
The fact is that most citizens suffer for a malady where it comes to our responsibilities in this democracy. That malady is called narcotizing dysfunction. The expression denotes a common consequence of overindulgence with mass media.
The theory posits the idea that when news of an issue besieges the public, people become dispirited with it, replacing engagement on the issue for just simply grasping the apparent nuances of the problem. It might be suggested that the enormity and amount of communications Americans receive may produce only a cursory concern for the difficulties of humanity. The significance of taking actual action is abandoned, while shallowness shrouds the true culprit, indifference. The result of this is a population that is civically unconcerned and unmoving.
The hidden devastation comes from a point of self-deception. The simple act of having knowledge of a subject and can, at some level, engage in discourse about the action or event might give rise to the belief that something is actually being done to alleviate the negative consequences of the issue. Unfortunately, having been being informed and grown affected is not a substitute for the achievement of a resolution. Even worse is the impression that one can have a clear conscience about anything of import by simply discussing it.
In the end there is a responsibility suggested that the knowing is not as important as the doing. Many politicians, on both sides of the aisle, prey on this pandemic of ennui by spouting religious rhetoric, or yammer against such things as simple charity or human decency. They put the blame on the blameless while ignoring the true culprit…ignorance and deceit. They deceive the population by focusing on unsubstantiated destructive behaviors within our society while discounting the real time needs within our society. Democracy is a system of action, and not a soap box for pretentious prattle that can never truly addresses the wants and needs of the citizenry.
Quite simply, we do not have to accept anything but honest and compassionate actions from our leaders. We simply need to exercise our inalienable rights to change our world for the better. We need to be citizens instead of being an audience and vote.
“It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes, we have to do what’s required” Winston Churchill