Have there ever been times more dire than these? Has an election never been more important, for ourselves and our children? Take a look around, America:
- We are enmeshed in an increasingly unpopular war. Our soldiers are doing the best they can halfway around the world. Sometimes, they seem as if they have the upper hand, yet, there seems to be no end in sight to the fighting. Certainly they must wonder if they’ve been forgotten about back home. In this election year, one side vows to “finish” the conflict, while the other has an eye toward bringing our soldiers home. Most people now agree that the war was a mistake, but overall the country is still divided.
- Oil supplies are getting tighter and tighter, driving the price of crude oil ever higher. This, along with spending on the war has started inflationary pressure. The price of everything seems to be going up.
- We are either in a recession, or on the verge of a deep one, caused by oil prices and inflation. Unemployment is climbing. Home foreclosures are up. There is a general economic unease that permeates the mood of the populous. Regardless of the turmoil of the last couple of decades, everyone has to admit that overall, the economy had been pretty good. Now, it seems like we are entering a more permanent era of bad economic times.
- The environment is under threat. Although industry and government give lip service to being good environmental stewards, the problems keep getting worse. There is an ever growing movement of scientists and activists that is attempting to get governments to clean things up, and they are gaining more and more public support.
- Our morality seems to have disappeared. EVERYONE agrees, but for different reasons. The left can point to our lack of compassion as a society, the right can point to an increasingly vulgar popular culture.
- For all the strides we’ve made in race relations, many times it looks like we’ve made no progress at all. Many times, conversations are on pins and needles. Racial injustices, both personal and institutional, still abound.
- The space program, once a source of national pride, has become old hat, and many consider it a boondoggle that has outlives its usefulness in these tumultuous times.
- The Olympics, once an international spectacle of purist amateur sport, has become politicized, professionalized, and extremely expensive – especially with the safeguards necessary to prevent terrorist attack. Although the US is sending a swimmer who may get more medals than anyone in history, the Olympics seem to have lost their luster.
- Even if we get out of our unpopular war, the world is still a dangerous place. The Russians, the Chinese, the ever-present threat of terrorism – these are all huge challenges faced by whichever candidate wins the election.
- A good half of the country thinks the president is a criminal – both domestic and international. Even those on the right wonder if their president hasn’t fallen to corruption. Whispers of “impeachment” are now being spoken in broad daylight.
Certainly, these issues are world-altering. Surely, our children will never forgive us if we make the wrong choice.
To be continued…