A series of quotes from recent posts to the Jack’s Winning Words blog kind of sets the stage this morning.
Let’s start with this recent gem –
“Truth isn’t truth.” (Rudy Giuliani)
Followed by this piece of sage advice –
“Never lie to someone who trusts you, and never trust someone who lies to you.” (Mark Twain)
From there, it doesn’t take much to segue to this –
“There’s a point when patience ceases to be a virtue.” (Thomas Morton)
Eventually, one ends up here –
“Did you know that Dammit I’m mad spelled backwards is Dammit I’m mad?” (Sent by Norlene)
Anger and disappointment that got us all into this current mess, but that won’t get us out of it. That same anger has served to further polarize the country into Them vs Us camps. It doesn’t much matter which of those tribes you have joined – both are wrong.
So here we are. Mad and out of patience. What now? The easy thing to do is to join the ranks of the disaffected on the barricades, to choose a side and begin attacking the opposition. That is what is fueling the continued invective pronouncements and outrageous actions that are the fodder of the nightly news.
So, what are reasonable people to do? One thing might be to step back and understand that our ancestors created a truly wonderful system of checks and balances in our government, if we allow them to work. The way to letting them work is to make sure that there is not a huge imbalance in power in any of the three legs of government. Each of the legs serves somewhat as a check and balance against the other two. Even the actions of a headstrong President are eventually stymied by the legislative process necessary to carry out or at least to fund the things that he would like to do. And, a lopsided legislative environment can be somewhat moderate by Executive actions or Judiciary rulings. A judiciary that goes too far may be overruled through legislative action.
We have the opportunity this November to turn our frustration and anger into actions, which will restore the balance that the founders of the country envisioned when they wrote the Constitution and established that system of checks and balances. A relatively small shift in the makeup of the legislative body would bring things more into balance and force the compromises that are so necessary to govern well. On a more local note, the efforts to get rid of gerrymandering by placing the question of how redistricting is done on our ballot must succeed.
So, if you are out of patience and ready to say “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”; turn that anger into energy to work for change that will let our system work as it was designed. It really doesn’t matter which party the candidates that you vote for belong to; so long as they have the will and the backbone to do what’s right for America and not just to join one side or the other in the current melee. Look for candidates who refuse to acquiesce to the litmus tests of their party. Look for candidates who don’t just thump their Bibles and pontificate about their “Christian” family values, but who live their lives as Christians with thoughtful concern for the well being of others. Look for candidates who stay above the mudslinging and use of negative ads (that may be the hardest thing to find) and who focus instead on defining a plan for a better future.
It may indeed be harder to be patient and easier to be mad; however, patience, when combined with thoughtful actions and perseverance will out.