So I coming out of mass on a balmy day – sunny 37, baby! A nice lady says she watches #NewDay and then shakes her head and says how crazy everything is, that she wishes the #GoodStuff was more of the show (so many say that!), and that all the madness makes her wonder: “Who are we?”
The question is getting louder in America. It is not a new curiosity, especially with major movements dividing the country into polar opposites, like penguins and polar bears.
(FOR EXAMPLE: The 2016 election, being painted by the current political mess in which partisan opposition has not only removed progress and compromise from government but forced voters into right, left and left out as much as we have seen in recent history; The economy, highlighting have/have not in epic ways given the reliance on Wall Street instead of Main Street as a mainline for success; And then we have a war that shows division literally – are we in or out? Are we at war? Are we fighting amorphous “terror”, or agents of perverse Islamism? Is it the USA war or the Arab region’s war? Are other Muslims the main target or are we?
Social issues at home are also tugging on us: ferguson, gay marriage, media mores…they all test who we are as defined by what we tolerate, pursue and dismiss.
People keep sending me all these stats about how Christian the nation is and how wrong I am therefore to question the presence of God in our rights and laws as Americans.
One might suspect that given the known and pronounced catholic influence on my family and me that I am probably not motivated by atheism, and that just maybe there is more to how America is designed than just the religious preference of a majority of its citizens, especially given the first amendment to the foundational document of our democracy- which is not the Declaration of Independence, by the way. But let’s leave that to the side.
The main point of this post is to suggest, that the questions above matter and YOU have to answer them. You can’t leave it to electeds. There is no better informed, equipped and reasonable “THEY”.
And if you do abdicate the power, the answers may be slow coming, inconsistent and unsatisfying. Not because there are not good men and women working hard for you in government. In most cases there are, in my experience.
The one thing that is clear is that more ownership is needed among citizens. The constipation in DC is enabled by the lack of consequences at the ballot box. We ping pong between parties more than we seem to empower real change.
My frustration with social media is that it is too often consumed with attacking others with no real potential for progress.
I would love to examine the lives of trolls and see what in their existences works well given the completely useless way too many abuse social media.
Anyway, it is up to you. For all the talk about special interests, money, capitalism excess, plutocracy, oligarchy…it all grows out of the commitment of “we the people” to the collective. Our decisions, compromises and collective agreements make us what we is.
That goes for the rights a society embraces as well…but that is a fight for another day.