Friday, September 25, 2009

One of everything, please, and how dare you charge me for it!

While reading an article about the "tea party" movement, I came across the story of one of the protesters. She is upset, angry, on the verge of outrage. Her problem? The alleged socialist agenda of the current president, along with his desire to increase government control over everything. (She did not comment on how the previous resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue increased the size and scope of the federal government on a scale that makes FDR look like Ronald Reagan, even though the last president came from the supposed party of small government.) No, the object of her outrage is the current president along with his proposed changes on health care, energy, and everything else we Americans hold near and dear. "The government needs to back off and let capitalism work," she said. An interesting comment, since the thing that pushed over the edge into outrage was not healthcare, but the lack of help from the "someone" with her mortgage that she can no longer afford.

I think this is the reason why reasonable political discussion is nearly impossible. We live in a nation that wants the government to leave them alone, and to take care of our every problem. Yes, health care needs to be reformed, so the government should fix it by leaving it alone. We're sick of paying high property taxes, but we want world class schools. For that matter, we're sick of paying every kind of tax, and heads are going to roll down at city hall if someone doesn't get out here soon and fix that pot hole in the street in front of my house.

I thought of ending this post, my first since finishing my latest book, with a little sermonette of how we must live consistent lives, but I decided against it. Inconsistency in thought is the hall mark of the current age. We've grown so accustomed to holding onto mutually exclusive thoughts and beliefs as if they compliment, not contradict one another, that we cannot imagine life without them. In the words of the Brain, we want a world that is both flat and puffy. Now we have it. God help us.