What has happened to our country that it has become so divided and acrimonious and who can we blame for the state of affairs in Washington? That’s easy, let’s blame Obama or Pelosi or Reed and Schummer. Or Trump, McConnell and Ryan. Don’t forget the biased news media and the liberal left colleges. There’s certainly plenty of blame to share with all of them.
But, in the final analysis are they really the problem or just a symptom of the problem? Why is it that most great empires, or civilizations collapsed from within before they were ever conquered by external forces? A cursory glance back in history reveals they all collapsed due to some of the same factors, among them: a departure from the very values that made them great in the first place; acknowledging God as the supreme being, not man; honesty in their conduct with each other; pride in their self-reliance; a willingness to submit to laws for their mutual benefit and safety; and courage in the willingness to fight to maintain their values and culture.
In what has become a typical script for the secular humanists, these failed entities sought only to seek self-glorification and self-satisfaction, and in the process, they surrendered themselves to total accommodation and appeasement of all interests, points of view and competing versions of the truth.
How many of these factors appear now as our culture moves from its Judeo-Christian heritage to the new three-headed god of political correctness, multi-cultural diversity and moral relativism? And this with little opposition that only further enables the demise to continue.
We can’t seem to remember the advice of Edmund Burke who said, “All that’s necessary for evil to succeed is for enough good men to do nothing.” Or Albert Einstein who observed, “the problem with evil is not only with those who do it but with those who let it happen.”
As we look at the moral decline of our nation we must accept the fact that it is to a major degree, our lack of meaningful opposition that enables it to continue. Look at just two examples of how we are giving our country away by default. In the last election here in Montana 396,629 registered voters didn’t vote. In 2014 nationwide, only 36 percent of registered voters did vote. In the pivotal 2006 presidential election 60 percent didn’t vote. In the 2016 presidential election 47 percent of registered voters did not choose to participate.
As another example, the Democrats in congress frequently vote against their own self-interests — as in the case of a unanimous vote against tax reform which clearly benefitted everyone — but still receive millions of votes from their faithful. Other people and things are not the problem, “We The People,” not the government, are the problem.
If we keep electing and re-electing people whose most important agenda is maintaining their personal and party power rather than what’s good for the country as a whole, we can’t very well expect a more beneficial outcome. Our apathetic acceptance of the changes in our culture amounts to surrendering our heritage, sovereignty and destiny to the future tyranny of secular humanism and globalism.
One of the main reasons for this situation is clearly a lack of leadership. But where should that leadership come from? The issues are essentially all of a moral nature. Morality is in the province of religion. In the early days of our founding fathers, that leadership came from the pulpit and became imbued in our culture. We cannot expect a revival in this realm without strong public activism from our Christian leaders.
Unfortunately, with few exceptions, they are absent from the battlefield. So intimidated by the IRS and/or the new three-headed god of our new culture are they that they refrain from speaking out on issues that could be termed political in nature — which could be any issue. I don’t recall Jesus having that problem.
We must understand, however, that bringing the truth to all people should involve caution but should the truth be ignored? And if so, what compromise, appeasement, or accommodation comes next?
In the end we’ll get just what we deserve. And if our lack of opposition causes our self-indulgent surrender by negligence to occur, then whose fault will it be? Not the governments, or the media or the schools. It‘s up to “We The People” but “We The People” are probably not up to the task.
Tom Osborne lives in Kalispell