Our political divide scares me. I came across this quote in the Sunday Chicago Tribune (11/14/2010) from Margaret Chase Smith (Republican senator in the 1950s McCarthy era): “I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny – Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear.” How poignant are those words today! The Dems aren’t doing much better.
As I read and watch the news, I often wonder. Are Americans this stupid or this apathetic? Because fear and lies are being held out as the truth. I think it’s a combination of both. I was reading my daily devotion and came across this verse “for the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine…instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear…they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (II Timothy 4:2-4). I am not saying vote one way or the other, but seek the truth. Just because a pastor stands in the pulpit and says “thus says the Lord” doesn’t make it so. I double check my Bible to make sure he isn’t making stuff up. Likewise, politicians who driven by other motivations, are not always speaking the truth. Half-truths and lies are the specialty. Are they all corrupt? No, just like not all pastors are.
Our economy will not be fixed quickly. It took years of wasteful spending on behalf of American citizens and the government and it will take years to repair (i.e. seven years of feast, seven of famine). Anyone who says otherwise is lying. We may have stopped the free fall, but we still need to repair and dig out of the hole that we collectively (citizens and government) willingly got into. We accepted loans we couldn’t afford hoping interest rates would stay low for ever. We maxxed out credit cards. We invested in get rich quick scams (Madoff, Stanford). Good credit, no credit, bad credit – all approved! If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t true. Big business and bankers took advantage of our greedy nature and here we are. It’s like Charles Dickens’ Little Dorritt all over again. When will we (Americans) accept our part in the blame and stop saying it’s the government. They played a role, but we were star players. The American dream was never we would all be rich and famous. The American dream was if you worked hard and saved money, you could have your little piece of the pie.