Erica Wanis

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Colossians 3:1-2, NIV.

As a Christian, I'm quite familiar with this passage, and always took it as an admonition against the kind of "worldly" sins addressed in this particular Pauline epistle. Be honest, love your neighbor, don't be a lover of material things, shun the pleasures of the flesh, etc...

Recently, however, I've begun to consider these words in a different, more fundamental way. The seemingly endless litany of scandals rocking the Obama Administration is largely responsible for this. Like most conservatives, I'm outraged and horrified at the conduct of our President and his appointees. His willingness to abuse Executive authority with impunity and his cavalier attitude about the responsibilities of his office seems to betray a contempt for the U.S. Constitution and the principles it embodies. His reticence to exert American influence and leadership in foreign affairs is condemnable. His blithe dismissal of issues like the Benghazi terror attack and the IRS targeting debacle as "phony scandals" bespeaks an arrogance of massive proportions. His refusal to enforce immigration laws is leading to a humanitarian crisis on our southern border. The Middle East is imploding.

One could go on and on. Predictably, the frustration on the Right is epic, and it's not just directed at the Oval Office. The impression among many is that President Obama has been aided and abetted by a complicit Congress, including "establishment" Republicans who are more concerned about feathering their own political nests than they are about representing the people and principles that got them where they are. People are mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore; or at least, they aren't going to keep voting for the same people they've been voting for. It's time for change! Time to throw the bums out and install some fresh blood – people of principle who will not betray their constituents at the first opportunity.

The Tea Party is often the group seen to represent this sentiment, but on the Left the same dynamic is present to some extent in movements like Occupy Wall Street. There is a general feeling that something's gone terribly wrong in Washington – in America – and that something major needs to happen in order to set things right.


Erica Wanis

Erica Wanis is a consultant for the John Jay Institute's Center for a Just Society. She resides in Leesburg, VA, with her husband and son.