I live in a fairly small community, and even here, the conversation on the metaphorical town square is a cacophony. There is not enough time, not enough hours in a day if one does anything other than talk of current events, to discuss all the extreme and frequently bizarre occurrences one hears about on the news in a single newscast or visit to the internet.
We barely had time to digest that the former Republican Speaker of the House had called the presidential candidate in second place for the GOP nomination a ‘miserable SOB’ (even though the Speaker rarely had a negative remark about Barack Obama or Pelosi or Reid) and even though the Speaker really didn’t know the candidate or much about him.
We didn’t get to talk about that nearly enough (and it really was quite an epic moment…quite revealing of why we are where we are as a nation) because Ted Cruz unexpectedly dropped out of the race. Supporters were assured that the baseless accusations leveled by Donald Trump against Cruz’s father supposedly being a confidant of Lee Harvey Oswald were not the reason Senator Cruz dropped out but I wouldn’t have blamed Cruz if it had been. Hurl wild, baseless, irresponsible accusations against an honorable, patriotic, conservative senator’s family in the morning and become the presumptive Republican nominee for president that same evening…only in America…what a country.
That buzz barely had time to get going however before the NFL team, the Major League team and the NBA team in Atlanta all locked arms and merrily threatened the governor of the state of Georgia if he dared to sign a bill that did the bare minimum to protect religious liberty. Even that modicum of protection was too much for those teams and the leagues they represent. Religious persecution and more lawsuits against Christians must rule the day they decided. Christians and their antiquated religion must be brought to heel and the great moral philosophers that gave us Beyonce at halftime were just exactly the guys to make sure that happened.
Still, there was no time to become incensed over that because a day or two later, there were suddenly concerts being canceled and fingers being wagged at North Carolina simply because that state was forced to codify into law that which until recently every ambulatory person on earth thought was obvious, that men and women use the bathrooms appropriate for their gender.
Then after North Carolina’s governor was vilified for doing what any decent leader would have done a month ago, Obama violated every principle the nation was founded on when he mandated from on high that our little girls must have grown men who are also strangers and perhaps have sinister intentions in public toilets and locker rooms with them.
Meanwhile, ISIS is losing strength, except when they aren’t; the recovery has slowed, though there is no recovery and never has been; Kim Jong-Un is testing missiles; billions of US dollars are being spent to rebuild Middle-Eastern mosques; despite all the talk of a wall, illegal immigrants are inundating the southern border; an English teacher bragged about lying to America about both the Iran deal and Obamacare and then snubbed Congress and there are no repercussions; and all of that is just in the past two weeks.
I can’t decide what I should do. Should I shut my ears, withdraw from the fray and focus solely on my home and family? That’s very tempting but nearly impossible. Even when I promise myself I am taking time off from bad news, I find myself checking my smart phone four or five times a day. Or, do I find some rallying point that will renew my zeal for the fight that seems to never end and only occasionally results in a half victory. (Like the half victory Little Sisters of the Poor enjoyed this week. The Court should have ruled on the merits of the case.) I think it must be some variation of the latter while not allowing myself to neglect the former. I think my generation (I am 52) is just now getting an inkling of what tough times are like. We didn’t have to experience a depression, a World War, or go to Vietnam. It’s our turn. We’ve been fighting political fights for a few years now and the reality that we have actually lost ground is discouraging and hurtful. Still, we can’t quit, can’t let up. It’s our turn.