Monday, December 06, 2004

Fads, Trends, and Revolution

There’s all kinds of talk out there, and it’s easy to get swept up in the emotion. I am old enough to recall some of the completely foolish ideas to take root in my lifetime, from Pet Rocks to Polyester Suits to Ancient Astronauts to Bill Clinton’s “Black” Presidency. I also have been fortunate enough to witness some truly amazing changes, from the first Lunar Landing to the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Internet. I have also noted trends through time, as people changed their economic, social, religious, and behavioral standards, sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better. I agree with those who say we stand at a crossroads, but I don’t always agree with where the roads ahead really lead.

I write about whatever strikes my mood, but it is fascinating to me also, to see how many facets of life are presently coming together. For example, President Bush is the first truly Evangelical President, which may explain why so many secularists are anxious about him. This is not to say that Dubya pushes his beliefs on others; compared to Clinton or his father, George W. is not prone to make any more religious statements, and his public pronouncements are the epitome of tolerance and broad-minded acceptance of others. But the simple fact that when this President goes to church, he does so to praise God, rather than look good on the cameras, irks the anti-church crowd. The knowledge that President Bush prays before making important decisions strikes anger into the hearts of those who would rather he decided by committee. The reality that President Bush does what he honestly believes is right, rather than acting on the directives from Congress, creates panic in those who want a weaker President, someone less decisive, less likely to be direct and plain-speaking. Personally, I applaud the man. No, I don’t agree with him on everything, but in the main he has the right idea. Will future Presidents follow Bush’s lead? I don’t know, but considering that devotion to an absolute Justice, and a sense of total accountability for all his actions, have been the mark of great Presidents from Washington to Lincoln to FDR to yes, George W. Bush, it’s not a bad lead.

I wonder what we can expect from Congress. In the past, Congressmen and Senators had an easy out. Business was everyday stuff, except for those rare occasions when the public demanded action, and many politicos knew how to posture for the home crowd, while actually doing almost nothing to change the status quo, since they could always blame it on the other party’s obstruction. Now, however, there are clear lines. Democrats truly hate Republicans, and Republicans enjoy control of the White House and both Houses of Congress. They have an incredible opportunity to move the nation forward – if they are honest and bold enough to take the chance. I am truly encouraged by blogs in that respect; we need to keep their feet to the fire, not letting up just because they say they’re on our team.

Then there’s the Economy. We came out of the recession pretty well, but there’s a serious need to address the trade deficit, as well as the National Debt. It must not be a contradiction in terms any longer, to demand a lean Federal Budget.

As for the War on Terror, we must never forget that 9/11 was more than one evil planner, more than one group of murderers who hate America and all we stand for, that we are in a war for our very existence, and what happens in Fallujah is critical to what will be later in Houston, Washington, or New York. Every war has its point of decision, where will is tested, where determination runs against the cost, and the pessimists, cowards, and hidden enemies try to dissolve the effort. Now we run and throw away the hope of the world to come, or else we stand fast and remember the cost in the perspective of the deep reality of History, and hold precious the sacrifice of our fallen soldiers by not quitting the field, now or ever, until the war is completely won and the enemy utterly undone, by whatever means is needed. We must count this war as revolution against fascist ideologies, against a new and immoral enemy, against an evil subtle but feral, to establish not only a representative government for the people in the Middle East, but a model to instill hope and positive direction.

We can play at this, make it a fad, or we can start a trend, and change the world. Every issue, every vote, every decision now is critical to that work.

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