I must admit I am usually more prone to waxing poetic than waxing political, but when I found that I had to disengage my mind at church to keep from crying while singing “America, the Beautiful” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” I realized it was time. You see, as I sang those words that honor both my God and my country, I felt as if I were singing about a country that was, not that is. I’ve watched the moral decline of our country, and I’ve watched people in power abuse their privilege–enough so that I fear that the United States of America I know and love will no longer live up to the words in those songs.
For me, the Supreme Court’s announcement on President Barack Obama’s “Affordable Health Care” was the kiss of death for life as we know it in the United States. While I admit it is helpful for those individuals with preexisting conditions or those who have catastrophic illnesses and no insurance, overall the plan will tax (pun intended) our nation’s economy and reduce the quality of health care for the middle and lower class (which doesn’t likely include those powerful individuals responsible for the act’s passing).
This decision on top of Obama’s personal act of waiving the immigration laws for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants–again, nice for those immigrants but setting up a precedent for disaster–makes me question those in political office. Is Obama’s “niceness” in this instance merely a political ploy to gain the Hispanic vote come November?
I must admit, if left to myself, I would approach politics as the proverbial ostrich, burying its head in the sand (a myth, by the way; they bury their eggs in the sand and run when danger comes, which I might also do). I am a proponent of the Mr. Smiths who go to Washington with pure motives and a desire to make a positive difference rather than line their pockets and fulfill their own evil agenda. (See this video clip of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to see the type of politician who will get my vote come November. If there is one.)
Yes, I am a trained journalist, but I am not a lover of news. I love to write, I love to make beautiful layouts of photos and text, I love to edit copy, I love great photos, and I even love deadlines. I don’t mind watching the news, but I always feel it is shallow and sparse. I don’t mind reading newspapers, but I hate the awkwardness of trying to read an enormous sheet of inky paper with annoying jumps to obscure pages inside. To be honest, news depresses me, and, if I actually had control of the remote, I would more likely watch reruns of “The Waltons” than keep abreast of the real world.
However, I am married to a man who not only handles the remote but also scrutinizes the news in its many forms–and shares the information with me, along with his matter-of-fact personal commentary as to the impact that the newsworthy events will have on our family, our community, our state, our nation, our world. (Yes, he is that informed and prophetic.)
And between the floods caused by Tropical Storm Debby, the fires in Colorado Springs, and these latest decisions by those in power, I had to hold back tears Sunday, when our church service not only included some patriotic songs and the color guard honoring our flag but also a sermon titled “Free to What?” Part of our freedom, as Pastor Mark Hubbard so eloquently spoke, includes our ability to make a difference, our freedom to make a change.
I’m not sure what that means for me. I may be just waxing political poetically–and even this is scary to me. But if I have the freedom to make a difference and a niggling sense that something has gone far wrong in this land that I love, I just might have to get political.
What do you think?