The punditry in reaction to the presidents reaction to Tuesday seems to be pretty unanimous. The Washington Examiner says, “It’s still Obama’s way or the highway.” Howard Kurtz surveys the pundits and writes, “Still, the media consensus was that the president had blown it.“ Leave it to Peggy Noonan to quote Chris Matthews:
This is not just poor strategy, it seems to me to be mildly delusional. Chris Matthews erupted on MSNBC: “There’s something in this guy that just plays to his constituency and acts like there’s no other world out there!”
One must ask in the wake of this utter repudiation how the man got reelected. We know how he got elected, he lied. But his character was obvious even before his reelection (remember “I won”?) though less blatantly so than the last two years. His crack about the two-thirds that did not vote reveals much not only about his character, but about the nation. His much vaunted GOTV effort was very much cult-of-personality based and definitely attracted the low information types. And that, frankly, is what scares me.
Many of the low information types also reflect a personality type that is so self righteously self-absorbed that they rise to the level of “mildly delusional.” Obama is, in more ways than I really want to contemplate, representative of his core constituency. “I do not care what the facts are, I want (am entitled to, should have)….” I don’t know about you, but I have experienced this sentiment in so many big and small ways in my daily life of late, that with a president that loudly proclaims it I must conclude what I am experiencing is more than purely anecdotal – it is a serious societal trend.
It’s a recipe for chaos. From the very small things (barging in line, for example) to the very large (Obamacare being Exhibit A) our society cannot survive if everyone thinks the way they see things is the only way, and their desires are the only desires that matter. Anyone with any Christian insight should have alarm bells ringing right now; Christian thought being full of everything from wisdom sayings, to admonishments, to outright commands to “regard one another as more important than yourselves.” That being true, our nations troubles run much deeper than politics.
This election tells us that the nation clearly wants something different than what it is getting, but an election will not fix it. Yes it may fix some of the big things but until the little things get fixed, this ugly, unsurvivable viewpoint will lie there, just below the surface waiting once again to assert itself in large and unhappy ways. It takes more than politics to fix this.
Education and religion are the two great cultural shaping institutions in our society. They affect the little things in ways that politics just cannot address. They cannot be turned as quickly as politics. It takes far more energy, effort and commitment to fix our educational and religious institutions than it does our political institutions.
We should enjoy the hard fought victory from Tuesday night through the weekend. But come Monday there is much to be done.
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