Much of our political discourse just seems to be an argument about who to blame and a promise to do something about those people who keep messing things up. It is not about a call to any higher vision or principles or any hopes for a better life. It is about men and women of immense egos telling us we deserve to get even and we can count on them to help. It is about America reduced to a reality TV and trying to articulate the truth of our lives in a 140 character tweet.
We are constantly being sold solutions in search of a problem. We are told our anger, or fears and our fears and prejudices are now moral sensitivities and no one has the right to offend them. Tennessee has tried to solve the threat of who goes into what bathroom. We have tried to make the Bible our official book (It is not dangerous unless you read it.). Finally we decided that our mental health system need not serve anyone our therapists and counselors think are morally challenged.
Meanwhile, 280,000 people remain without access to health care after our legislators refused to even talk about a plan already approved that would help everyone at no cost to the state. The Speaker of the House has know convened a task force to figure out how to do attack this problem using genuine “conservative principles.”
National politics help to keep Tennessee from looking totally pathetic. The scariest thing is not so much who wins. It is that someone will. Right now even though I like some candidates more than others I have a real problem seeing a path that will arrest our further descent into madness and chaos. I fear it is reality TV destined to run forever and I wonder what happened and where we are yet to go.
I have a friend who tells me that democracy is something that must be done everyday and instead we sold it to people who think a better country is defined by what makes them richer and more powerful. Perhaps we need to demand our country back, and insist that our principles need to be more than apology for the injustices we inflict on the poor and vulnerable and that a government that prizes the voice of ordinary people can not be run by people who think they are better than everyone else.
I simply refuse to believe this is the way it had to be. If I matter, if you matter and if it matters that we matter can there not be a path to something better? Must our politics, must the way we use power simply be about the misery we perpetrate on each other?
I am sick of pointing fingers. Maybe it is time for all of us to say that life is more than who is to torture and who is to be the victim. Maybe it is time for us to say we all live in the same boat and the water is rising so very fast.
Maybe it is time.