Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We Are The Ones

Chris Matthews has finally realized that Glen Beck is a religious nutcase, the light dawned in view of the Saturday “Restoring Honor” event which even Matthews could recognize as a religious gathering, and he is trying to figure out the source of the rise in fundamentalism in this country today. Yesterday he brought up the “Iron Law of Emulation” in which we always wind up copying our enemies. “Is that what this revival is really about, an emulation of the enemy?” he asked. “We‘re not—we don‘t want to be terrorists. But we have to resort to our fundamental beliefs, as well, to counter those fundamental beliefs.”

Oh, for heaven’s sake. Chris really tries to understand things, but in a battle of wits he’s bringing a knife to a gunfight here.

There are two things that thrive in economic bad times; religious fundamentalism, and ethnocentric phobia and it is hardly surprising that after almost two years of a depressed economy and in the face of signs that it may be beginning to get even worse, both of those things are rising in our society today. We will not defeat either of them by ignoring them, mocking them nor, really, by attacking them head on. Like any cancer, we will defeat them only by attacking the underlying cause.

Actually, religious fundamentalism is not a problem in itself. It can pose a problem to the degree in which it is intolerant of ideas other than its own, and to the degree that it attempts to impose its beliefs on others. That is the aspect of it that needs to be "defeated."

While there may not be much that our leadership can do about the economy itself, we can deal with the fear that the economic hardship evokes and take steps to offset the effects of the economy on the people most affected by it. Doing that will reduce the ability of the fear mongers to stoke the intolerance of fundamentalism and the religious/race baiting that can be so destructive if we allow it to take hold of our society.

My point is that the things that are happening in our society do not have outside causes, they are fueled from within. If our intolerance is caused by outside sources then we are helpless in the face of it. But it is not, and we are not. Therein lies freedom, for if we are the problem then we are also the solution. We are not the victim of some outside agency, and it is within our own power to solve this.

We need somebody to lead the charge, so to speak.

Obama was big on the theory of that kind of leadership during the campaign, that he was going to be the organizer of a community of action. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” he said. The American people would be the problem solvers, the agents of change, and that he would merely lead the way.

But since he’s been in office he’s been a typical American leader; one whose policy is tax cuts and handouts, and who basically tells the voters that the solution for the economy is for them to borrow more money and go shopping. Not much change there, and the credit cards are tapped out.

Somebody needs to step up and actually be the one.

1 comment:

Bartender Cabbie said...

Who will be a good leader? I see no one at this point.

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