Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What Should the Ordinary American Do?*

*Inspired by a discussion on a board started by Mark Shea.

As a nation, we’ve established, neither the private sector nor the government have a lock on virtue or vice, in fact, both abuse their positions of power in ways that boggle the imagination of those who are actually part of the everyday 99% not in government higher echelons of power and not brokering big deals on Wall Street. We’ve also established that the media enjoys pointing the camera at anyone who disagrees with the status quo, and the counter media as well.   Whoever speaks up gets abused and called a loon depending upon which party one affiliates with –the Tea Party is stupid…the Occupy Wall Street are zombies and thus by decrying both uprisings as illegitimate, stupid, unreasonable, unwashed, uneducated, spoiled, crazy and out of touch, nothing actually has to be addressed.

With the Government, Corporations and Media having shown themselves to be 1) corrupt 2) wasteful and 3) undeterred by public outcry, what do we do?

All I can tell from the demonstrations, from the bloat of government, from the massive layoffs paired with massive profits, the cover ups and disquieting non reporting of scandals, the water carrying for whomever one supports, we've established: We’re a flawed people…this is not news.

Now what would be news is for voices of reason and moral soundness (no dog in the fight), to speak out and help us be the peace makers that Christ asks us to be.
So while it might be reactionary to vote GOP in response, it might be incorrect.  Likewise, voting for those who have to this point, exonerating themselves from all guilt for being gluttonous and power grabbing, warring and name calling because others did it first is equally wrong.  What is the third alternative? What is the option that would further our society and curb the abuses of these seemingly unbothered Leviathans?  I'm not interested in despairing.

If we throw out the standard deviations of both sides, those that allow opponents to scream “SEE? These guys aren’t legitimate, they aren’t worthy of our attention!” what is left?

I know liberals who have good reasons for distrusting corporate America.  I know Catholics who hold that voting against abortion is enough.  I know conservatives who fear our staggering debt.  I know Democrats who vote to try and shore up the safety nets for the disabled, the poor and the needy because they know these programs are needed.   In short, most Americans right, left or middle, act in their own lives out of good faith and vote accordingly. 

Most Americans, Republican, Democrat, liberal and conservative, moderate or otherwise, are neither the enemy nor the devil.   Most Americans want 1) the opportunity to succeed 2) that same opportunity for everyone else.  The question is always, how do we get there?  Most people disagree with injustices that seem systemic, corruption that is ignored, waste that goes on unchecked, the unraveling of the rule of law and the deliberate manipulation (either by ignoring or painting with words) by media that goes against the best virtues of our nation, right and left and always presumes bad faith.

So what do we do? Not vote? Then we tacitly allow whatever happens to simply be.  So disengaging is not the answer.  Besides, it's cowardly.

Run and be Palinized by the side that disagrees?

The modern age has the equivalent of mobs of wolves who do not care if your family is destroyed by lies or truth if they disagree and they are not culpable or answerable to anyone in this world. Truth is not the goal, picking the winner is.

I know it’s not enough just to play the roll of gadfly, we need to discern how we must act if we would be thoughtful citizens and help shape the discourse which is right now, merely discord; but I am not sure how to even begin.


Gramma 2 Many said...

I believe one must vote their conscience. I would never support a candidate who would support abortion or Homosexual marriage. I want one who will give the respect to the Constitution that it deserves. I also believe that Republicans are as concerned for the poor as the Democrats. We just want to show them how to succeed rather than keep them on the dole.
I really did not come over here to get into the debate though. (Usually I love to debate.) I came over to thank you for your prayers for my daughter Kris.
I only today figured out who the Creative Minority is. I was googling and found a link. I am so thankful for your prayers and the prayers of so many people. If you have not been back to my blog, we received good news last week. Her tumors have shrunk by 66%. With that news, she is willing to continue her treatment. Thanks again for your prayers:)

Anonymous said...

Excellent words and a very thoughtful and reasonable post.

Sherry said...

I do not support abortion at all, but I acknowledge that that is merely the beginning of civil civic involvement in the process of politics. It is important that we hold our leaders culpable for other abuses and evils as well, that we not turn a blind eye to torchure, to eroding the rule of law, to erasing the protections provided by the Constitution through creative legislative process, or the excessive spending without any checks, ballances or oversight. Glad to pray for your daughter.

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