Today, sitting in Mass, I listened as the priest of my hometown church gave a rather politically charged homily on just how messed up the world is. There is no reason to worry about 1,400 dead in Syria, he argued, when we have 50 million children who have been murdered because abortion is legal in our country. The world is an insane place, and it is chock full of insane things.
This priest is one I have a lot of respect for. The fact that I can listen to him and know how passionate he is about his faith and his job inspires me to do better in my own faith. But, more than that, statements like the one I quoted above make you think, something that our beloved leaders in Washington D.C. would rather we not do.
Of course, they like to act as though we should think about things. "Do you want Obamacare to be repealed? Do you want the Democrats to be defeated? Do you think Red States are better than Blue States?" Of course we do. That's why we're not on the other side of the political aisle. But, these Republican leaders have very little interest in our opinion. They ask us the obvious questions and ignore the hard ones that we ask of them.
"Why not defund Obamacare?"
"Why launch strikes in Syria?"
"Why not make a stand on spending?"
These questions irritate them because it requires them to deal with us in a one-on-one setting and answer for their rule over us. The Republicans in power fully believe that by virtue of winning the office, they are infallible. They believe that they are entitled to whatever decisions they want to make to stay in power, the will of the people that put them there be damned. And damned we may end up as a result.
Think on the argument presented by the priest. If the government was worried about atrocious and obscene murder, then why not more actively pursue the Kermit Gosnells of the world? Why not go after the gangs, cartels and others who murder each other in the name of their gang or drug trade? Why not look at the hellish conditions within our own inner cities and clean those up instead of focusing on launching military strikes on a country in the middle of a cultural war our government clearly has not and will not ever understand?
The fact of the matter is that our government has no indication of caring about the internal plight of America. It's a story of appearance. The administration wants our country's power toned down. They want everyone to see America is kind and peaceful and loves giving out health insurance and just being a happy little place here on planet earth. Just another seat at the table of nations, as it were. No ambition to go out and police the world. Except when they want to, anyhow. But, even then, it's not about America or its national interest. We can't, after all, be so self-centered. We have to care about humanity and the pain that it suffers when a bully hurts it with immoral chemical weapons.
But the Republicans are just as much to blame on caring about appearances. Amnesty makes Republicans appear friendly to Latinos. Fighting Obamacare is "fighting healthcare," which the American people don't want (Karl Rove says). Cutting federal spending hurts their golden calf, military spending, and suddenly we'll be the weakest nation in the world if we did that.
We exist under a government that doesn't actually care about making the nation better anymore. They only care about how they look to the outside world. And it sucks for us. A lot.