As I have tried to find space to think and breathe late in this political season I have been thinking about how the electoral system in our country came to degrade into what it is today. When I first came to be cognizant of political campaigns in the early ‘70’s there was some mudslinging (and I daresay there has nearly always been) but ultimately it was usually exposed for what it was, absurd and unfounded accusations. Since the early 80’s this is not the case. Many people are never brought to account for their smears, innuendos and outright lies.
How can this be so? Where is the free and responsible press? How is it that people still believe that Obama is a Muslim, a friend of terrorists, an Arab and a socialist? It’s hard for me to believe that the end is not near for this country. I try, but it’s hard.
I am an Obama supporter. I believe in him and in his policies. I believe that if he is allowed to implement his vision for this country that some of our greatness can be restored. As I listened to his “infomercial” last night I wanted to stand up here in my little apartment and cheer for him. He gets it, he really does.
As I listened to various commentators later, a good number of them conservative, I was struck by a great truth. They kept saying things like: We can’t afford healthcare reform, we can’t afford to improve education, we can’t afford better programs for poor families……… BLAH BLAH BLAH.
And then, my epiphany. We can’t afford the 2 current wars. We can’t afford the Wall Street bailout, we can’t afford all the wounded soldiers coming home, we couldn’t afford the Reagan military build up. But we did those things anyway, because rich and powerful people demanded that they be done.
We, the people, need to take to the streets and demand that the lives of the poor, the homeless, children and the elderly be found to be worthy of the same consideration as wars and Wall Street tycoons. In fact they are worth more. Not being able to afford the programs that raise their standard of living to a minimum level it is not an acceptable answer. Dip into the same pocket where you got the money for the wars and the bailout. We cannot afford NOT to spend this money. The current administration and all of Congress should be ashamed of the condition of the most vulnerable among our citizens. We should all be ashamed. I know that I am.
The prophet Micah tells us: He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?.
What our country, which professes to be wholly Christian and God fearing has perpetrated on its poor is neither just, kind nor humble. To use another word from the First Testament: it is an abomination. May the next president and the people of our country have the courage and fortitude to change this. It is our only hope for redemption.
Hoping for strength when it is most needed,